An Insurance Policy For An Open House?

Real Estate Agent with & 9023635

Open houses require attention by the attending agent that goes beyond letting customers walk through the property.  Now, I have received an advertisement from an insurance company offering an insurance policy for open houses.  This type of policy may have been available for awhile, but I haven't seen one offered before.  If I hadn't already curtailed my open house activity here in Falmouth MA, here is the encouragement to do so.

I have often been at an open house where more people than I can personally manage arrive and tour the home.  This takes a great awareness of what is in the home, where all the parties are at any given time, and what is a possible target for thieves.  Jewelry on dressers, prescriptions in the bathrooms, and even art or collectibles, never mind something that might get broken by a visitor.

As if we have disposable cash for another "add-on", the insurance companies are making it more risky to hold an open house by bringing attention to the risks.  Maybe open houses are a thing of the past.  Maybe brokerages are going to need to be more careful about holding open houses.  I can see the day when open houses are no longer part of real estate marketing.

Happy Selling and Listing!


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Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Locally an arrest was recently made of individuals who did, in fact, target open houses for stealing prescription drugs.

Jan 19, 2009 03:19 AM #1
Eric McGowan
Moody, AL

Heath, it does make one wonder. People can get so much information now anyway from the net and can schedule a showing. I am not sure how many open houses are still going. In this area, many resales now are 'open' during caravan. Whereas newer homes are still setting with open house days.

Jan 19, 2009 03:19 AM #2
Leslie Stewart
Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals - Stayton, OR
Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker

Good grief, looks like we have to insurance ourselves into the ground.  I usually do open houses only in vacant or newly built homes, but I have noticed some of our props have disappeared.  What happened to the days "If it's not yours don't take it?"

Jan 19, 2009 03:42 AM #3
Steve Graham
Inactive - Atlanta, GA

Upon listing, and certainly upon an open house, sellers should be warned to put way, to the extent possible, all valuables. A petty thief is most likely going to steal items that can be easily concealed. I know this interferes with the sellers' daily lives, but it is part of these times that we live in. 

Jan 19, 2009 03:42 AM #4
Jerry Becker
Jerry Becker and Associates - Littleton, CO
Littleton, Colorado

I don't think open houses will ever go away, because people are are always curious.  This type of coverage may be good to have, and I can't imagine it being very expensive.  Of course, if an agent only does one or two a year it may be costly per open house.  It's a sign of the times as now you can also get identity theft insurance.

Jan 19, 2009 04:02 AM #5
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

WoW Heath.... I have never heard of insurance for an open house.. this is a new one

Jan 19, 2009 03:47 PM #6
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Heath - This is the first I've hear of open house insurance.  We do experience unmanageable crowds during some open houses and you are correct; they're hard to manage.  I try to have an associate present at my opens to help supervise and coordinate flow.  An insurance policy is not out of the question; however.

Jan 20, 2009 12:06 AM #7
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

I have never heard of insurance for an open house.  That is definitely a new one for me.  For our open houses since they do tend to be busy a good portion of the time we always try to have at least 2 agents and a mortgage person present.   We always ask our sellers like Steve Graham said to put all valuables away just to be on the safe side so nothing disappears just in case we get a "roamer".  The mortgage person is helpful because he not only can answer all the financial questions people have but be a "lookout" as well. 

Jan 20, 2009 06:30 AM #8
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker & - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

Any ideas about what else they can insure?  LOL.

Jan 22, 2009 06:33 AM #9
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Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker

Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA
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