Open houses might be fun for home shoppers, but to agents, they’re work. Your feedback is the market research they need to do their jobs right. So perhaps, being ready to ask their questions at an open house, might not be a bad idea.
Here’s a list of common questions brokers asks:
“How long have you been looking?”
Reason: The agent’s checking how serious you are with the transaction. If you’ve just started looking, they could understand that you’re still gathering your thoughts. But if you’ve been looking for a few months already and haven’t decided what to get, and might tell you’ve seen a lot but didn’t quite found the right one. The broker will try to push what listings they have and maybe this is the house you’ve been looking for.
Your Answer: You should be honest and specific. You don’t want to mislead your broker into knowing for what you don’t really need or like.
“Are you working with an agent exclusively?”
Reason: This question sets the tone of the conversation. Agents are trained to respect boundaries so don’t be surprised if the agent asks who your agent is. If you are already represented by an agent, the open house agent will not try to represent you. Since you are bonded by your buyer-broker agreement, the open house agent can just call your agent about the recent developments about the property’s offers and for your feedback.
Your Answer: Better give the open house agent your agent’s name and brokerage company as soon as you come in for the open house. This protects you from having to give your personal information to the open house agent. Sign in with your agent’s contact information so that they can follow up with them, not you directly.
“How does this house compare to others you’ve seen?”
Reason: The open house agent wants to get a sense of whether this house is a contender. And assuming you’re touring other houses within the area, he/she wants your honest insight on whether her listing is better or worse that the others you’ve seen.
Your Answer: Be honest. Point out the positive and negative feedbacks you have about the house so they can check on how to further improve the property. This is one reason that a ‘For Sale by Owner’ is difficult since they are emotionally attached and a room for improvement is really hard for them to take in.
“Are you specifically looking at this neighborhood?”
Reason: The agent just wants to know how focused you are, to rule out serious from ‘just looking’ buyers. She needs to understand what other listings have that hers doesn’t. Now she’s focused on knowing your initiative are: certain streets within the neighborhood, certain style of house or it’s all about the price.
Your Answer: Be specific. Your answer will provide depth for the agent when she’s going to update the seller of the status of the property, if there are buyers or if adjustments should be made for faster selling.
“What do you think of the price?”
Reason: This is probably the most important question that an open house agent will ask a home buyer. Of course, they won’t ask this at first because they need to establish a connection first. She wants you to give a considerate answer, not a phony one.
Your Answer: This question is a bit tricky. If you don’t really know the market in that area, don’t just throw out a number. Simply tell the agent that you haven’t been enough to give an educated answer. But if you feel like answering, you can say something like “I think it’s priced competitively” or “It’s priced too high.” It’s not about the figures but just to give a general perception. Just tell them what you think and maybe the agent will call you once the offer’s been reduced.
“Are you considering making an offer on this home?”
Reason: Sometimes, the home buyer takes this question offensively. The agent just need to ask since you’re viewing her listing. This is a really valid question for them to ask because it’s their job to do so.
Your answer: You’ve got the power! Let the agent know if you’re interested or not, this way, she will know if she can negotiate with another serious buyer or let you know first if there are multiple offers coming in.
And lastly, please do sign in. You don’t need to give them your full name. It’s just a common courtesy that you can do to preserve the values of our society.
Source: realtor.com, businessdictionary.com
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