At least once in your life you’ve probably been to an open home. Whether you’re looking for a rental property or to make more of a long term commitment and buy a property, an open home is always involved.
I used to feel a bit awkward going to them, especially if the owner or tenant was still living there. I don’t feel right tiptoeing around someone’s house when they don’t know me and I don’t know them. But now that I’m looking to buy a property, I’ve been to a bazillion open homes and the awkwardness is gone. I’m there to sus out whether I want to drop a lot of money down so I tend to pay attention rather than spend my time feeling awkward.
When I’m at a house for sale I take photos, I write things down, I talk to the agent, I google on my phone while I’m there and do as much research on the house as I can. I’ve started to notice, however, that I am one of a few. I can be at an open house with 30 other people and maybe only five of us appear to be taking a serious interest in the property. So what are the other 25 people doing?
Snooping. People are at these open homes to have a good old sticky beak through someone else’s house. I spoke to a couple of real estate agents I know and apparently this is quite common. People are really that bored with their lives that they have to go through houses on the weekend.
Personally, I find all these people incredibly frustrating and rude. I’m there as a serious buyer and there’s all these clowns getting in my way, standing around talking, and even sitting on lounges or at the table! Pretty sure in most cases the house doesn’t come with the furniture.
I’ve noticed that there are fewer people at open homes when the property photos online show an empty house, no furniture, no photos on the walls and so on. There are usually only about seven or eight people. When I go to an open house that’s still got someone living in it, it’s like a house party. Everyone wants in on it.
At a previous rental property I lived in, the owner wanted to sell so I decided to cut my losses and move out as soon as possible. The real estate agent wanted to have an open house every Saturday at 8.00am, as well as several private viewings during the week. I flat out refused the private viewings unless they worked around me so I could be there. I didn’t feel comfortable letting people I didn’t know into my house while all my stuff was there, as well as my cat. I know it sounds silly but she is a very anxious cat and I didn’t want her escaping out the door. Now that I’ve been going to open homes regularly, I’m very relieved I didn’t allow people through my house without my presence.
What’s the appeal in having a snoop when you have no interest in buying the property? I don’t go to open homes I’m not interested in because it’s a waste of time. Are people really bored or are they just super nosy and intrusive?