Do You Do Open Houses?? I Don't!

Real Estate Agent with First Choice Realty, Inc

I have been in real estate for 22 years, and like most agents, I was told early on to use listings of experienced agents to hold "Open Houses" as often as possible.  I like most agents, did a few.  Of course, we didn't have the huge availability of the internet like today.  Signs with balloons were the norm!

The first couple of open houses, I would get to the property early, so I could walk the house several times and get familiar with details, to be as prepared for questions as possible.  One of the first houses I held open, I realized as I entered the master BR, there on the dresser was a jewelry box.  I lifted the lid to see if I should hide it, or leave it out.  I'm not a jeweler, but I decided to hide it, as there appeared to be some very nice rings!  After the open house, I awaited the homeowners arrival, had the wife look thru her rings, and verify that I had only moved the box.

From that time forward, I had a prepared disclaimer concerning jewelry, cash, medicines, guns, tools & other items of value.  Basically it removes the liability from me should an "Open House Attendee" decide to get "sticky fingers" during their walk-thru of the property.  

In later years, I had a couple in a home one Sunday, and I noticed the husband was paying special attention to the "security" of the house (i.e....dead bolts, window locks, etc).  I told the sellers about it, and to make sure that everything stayed locked up the next couple of weeks.  About 10 days later, somebody attempted to get in a back door while they were at work.

Today, we are warned about meeting strangers at a vacant property.  They say to meet at the office & get a drivers license, and leave a route you plan on going with the "buyer".  Also, to have a distress phrase, that you can use in calling the office or home!

They actually warn us........then we hold an open house, and invite the world to "Come On In!"  They could attack you, steal something, or just plain "case the joint" for a future breakin!

I explain that to my sellers & have them sign a disclaimer.  I can still find a newbie agent that is just "dying"  (sorry, wrong word) thrilled to get a nice listing in which to hold an "Open House!"

Not me, what about you?

Comments (8)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Woody Edwards in 38 years, I've never experienced that.... we do open house events every weekend on resale home and new construction....

May 09, 2016 12:13 AM
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

Barbara - Stay safe & vigilant!

May 09, 2016 12:20 AM
Barbara Todaro

I live in cow country.... cows are gentle!!!

Aug 08, 2016 06:37 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Hi Woody, I'm happy to say we don't experience problems of that significance here in Mississauga.  Realtors hold open houses regularly, and if conducted correctly are a great source to obtain new clients.   Have been doing it for years, and picked up many new clients that way.

May 09, 2016 12:40 AM
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

Gloria - I agree that it is a great place to pick up buyers.  Stay safe!

May 09, 2016 12:47 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Woody, thanks for your post explaining why you don't do opens.  Like Barbara, many agents in Erie do hold open houses and homes do sell at our opens.  We are fortunate that Erie is a fairly safe area.

Aug 08, 2016 06:32 AM
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

Mary - We do have safe areas, but I guess I have a bad taste for open houses!

Aug 08, 2016 07:00 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

We don't do many, if any, open houses for the public. We hold Broker's open house and agents can bring their clients.

Oct 19, 2016 03:47 AM
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

Rebecca - That's probably the safer way of doing open houses.

Oct 19, 2016 04:17 AM