Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Open House Home Shoppers

I worked an open house this past weekend for one of my listings. It was fairly typical. We had about 10 people show up in a 4 hour period, most of which were not terribly interested in the house for one reason or another. As I told my clients prior to the open house, the odds of finding the buyer for your home through open houses are not good. Buyers drive by and see a great looking house from the street not knowing anything about it. More than once I got, "We are looking for something more in the mid $200K price range". We're priced at $339,000. Or they're looking for something with more square footage, or more bedrooms, or a formal dining room, or something. It's such an inefficient way of shopping for a new home, but hey, gas is fairly inexpensive these days, so why not drive around aimlessly stopping at every open house sign you see. It's even more fun in July, when it's 110 degrees outside. The best part, nobody takes me up on my offer to help them find something through the MLS system. My opinion's a bit subjective, but I think it's quite a bit more effective to only look at houses that we've determined meet the majority of your criteria, before we even get in the car. But what do I know?

I did have a potential buyer show up that was trying to play the "buyer market" card fairly strongly. He and his wife toured the home for 10-15 minutes, and then asked if the price was negotiable. I informed them that my clients were aware that there is almost always a process of negotiation when a buyer makes an offer. He then asked what the seller's bottom line was, and informed me that he was a real buyer (whatever that means) and if they were real sellers he would be interested in this home. I tried to educate him that regardless of what my client's bottom line was, if the value of the house is 'x', then that's what it should sell for. He then very sternly said, "Have them give me their bottom line. I am a real buyer and might be interested in buying this home." I called and talked with him the following day, and as I suspected, he was looking for a seller who was in dire straits and ready to give their home away for less than what it is worth. This wasn't the home for him. I hope he isn't very particular in the house that he ends up purchasing. It appears that he is going to have to compromise on everything about a home except the fact that the seller's ready to give it away. Good luck!

Disclaimer: That's not me in the picture. I'm a bit younger by just a couple….decades, and I'm not so much of a suit and tie guy!!

-Steve Nicks

[tags] open house [/tags]