This weekend you may have a list of open houses you want to hit, or maybe you are on your way to do some errands and stop at an open house just to see the inside of that beautiful home that’s up for sale. No matter where you are on your home buying journey, the sales associate holding the open house will want to interact with you to see how you are doing and gauge your interest.
You wouldn’t attend a friend’s party without saying hello and mingling a bit would you? It’s important to answer the host’s questions because while it is fun for home shoppers to attend open houses, this is work for the Shorewest, REALTOR®. Sometimes buyers are cautious as they don’t want to be cornered into a hard sell, hand over personal information or be put on the spot about a huge decision. However Shorewest, REALTORS® are there to help their seller by finding the perfect buyer. They are trained to ask the right questions and conduct market research to do their jobs correctly. Here are six questions you might hear:
1. How long have you been looking? The sales associate is trying to gauge how serious you are in your home buying journey. If it has only been a few weeks, they understand you are just starting out and still working out what you want. If it has been a few months they might follow up with additional questions to see if this house has what you are looking for. Make sure to be open and honest as this will set the tone for the rest of your conversation.
2. Are you working with an agent right now? This is not to jump on you and demand to be your agent. Shorewest, REALTORS® are trained to respect boundaries. If you are already represented, they cannot try to represent you. They may ask who your agent is, if they are from the area there is a good possibility that they know them. Feel free to give them your agent’s information, this way they can contact them directly to follow up.
3. How does this house compare with other houses you’ve seen? Now that the sales associate knows how long you’ve been looking, they can start to get a sense on whether or not this house is a contender. They are looking for honest answers, especially if you’ve seen other listings in the neighborhood. Maybe a different house has a remodeled master bath and that is why you like the other house better. By asking this question, the REALTOR® can go back to their sellers and suggest some projects that might need to be completed. Remember that the listing agent is independent and won’t have their feelings hurt by your opinion.
4. Are you specifically looking at this neighborhood? Far from being nosy, the agent wants to know how focused you are. Are you looking at price? Location? A certain style of home? Let them know if you are narrowed down on the neighborhood but still just looking. This is important information for the seller if someone is looking in their neighborhood but not pulling the trigger on buying this home. Readjustments to the price or home may need to be made.
5. How do you feel about the price? It is best to answer this question with a general perception. If you are at the open house and just started to look, don’t just throw out a number. Let them know that you haven’t seen enough to give an educated answer. If you feel that you have seen enough that you can say something like, “I think it’s priced competitively” or “It’s priced too high.” You never know if the agent will call you if the price reduces!
6. Are you considering making an offer on this home? Don’t feel offended or put on the spot! The Shorewest, REALTOR® has a job to do and that is to find a prospective buyer for their client. You may say that you are interested but that you would like to talk to your own Shorewest, REALTOR® before going any further. Or politely let them know that no, this home is not what you are looking for.
Lastly, don’t forget at the very minimum to sign in. This helps the agent gauge if the open houses are working or if they need to take a new approach. They also can take notes if they need to follow up with you or your agent on any questions. Open houses can be a lot of fun but remember to help your host out by answering some questions! #ShorewestRealtors #OpenHouse #BuyersMarket