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Open House Survival Guide

I love snooping!  That’s why I go to open houses.  Even if I can’t afford the house, I love to go in and see why they painted the walls that hideous fluorescent green, or why they chose those god awful lamps with matching pink pillows.  It bides the time while my wife (the serious one when it comes to these things) looks at the prospective place as her next purchase.

Sometimes I think that open houses were created for the realtors themselves to show that they are actually working.  Most open houses occur on the weekend – duh!  That’s when most people are off of work, and able to go to these things, but who wants to work on a weekend!  I believe that most of the time open houses are a huge waste of time.  Here are my top secret tips to survive an open house.


Do it on a Sunday

– Plan your open houses on a Sunday, as I find that there are way more listings planned for that day so that you can coast from house to house so your (insert husband or wife here) doesn’t complain that we are taking six hours out of their (insert male or female show here) watching time to look at a cardboard box.


Eat lunch before you go

– You never know what they made those cookies out of – See rule # 5.


Bring slip-on shoes

– It’s so awkward standing there and talking to an agent for 10 minutes while your wife is trying to put her high heel boots on.  Leave the fashion trends at home!


DON’T take your agent

– They are annoying.  If you take them then you have to explain to them what you did or did not like about the house.  Go alone.  If you want to tell the agent, or have a second look, then bring them.


NEVER eat the food

– I’m sure that Aunt Betties home baked cookies look great, but if you take a bite, then the agents have reeled you in.  There’s a reason that the plate always looks so full!


They are never THAT cool

– Houses are always staged by the real estate agent before you enter the home, it is usually better to take a look at the place on a private showing to see how the owner really looks after the place (minus the jazz music, fresh flowers and lighted candles.. as nobody is ever THAT cool).


NEVER take cards, pamphlets, papers or anything really

– You totally know that they will send you a billion emails if you write your contact information down!


ALWAYS have a “back out plan”

– Making up an excuse to leave is just awkward for everybody involved.  Instead of saying that you can hear your mother calling, just say that your cat broke its leg falling off the counter and you have to go.


NEVER under any circumstances use the bathroom

– Common sense wins this one


ALWAYS have fun

– These things are quite boring, dull and predictable.  You need to make it exciting in order to have any fun with it.  Try funny hat/mask day.

There you have it, using these simple tips and tricks; you will be in and out of an open house in no time!

Crystal's Comments and Questions: 

My husband and I only went to one or two open houses while we were house hunting ourselves, but I will agree that you shouldn't seem too interested or use the home's bathroom, lol. 

Do you have any open house tips for all of us?

7 thoughts on “Open House Survival Guide”

  1. LifeAndMyFinances

    Good stuff! I love walking through homes myself. I know that I will buy one someday (hopefully next year)! It gives me a great idea about what I want in a home. I think it’s torture for my wife though since she knows we’re not going to buy it. Oops.

  2. retireby40

    It took us 6 months to find a home that the Mrs. liked. This was our first home in 2001. She is really picky.

  3. Everyday Tips

    I love walking through open houses, but I hate being nagged to leave my info.

    We hosted our own open house when we sold our home by owner about 10 years ago. It was really an army of people coming through, and no offers came of it. (We had 72 people see the house.) We ended up selling to a couple that stopped by a few days before the open house and saw our ‘for sale by owner’ sign in the yard. They came to the open house though and saw all the traffic, which may have caused them to offer sooner.

    Don’t bring your little kids to the open houses, that is my piece of advice.

  4. Molly On Money

    Only about 5% of homes actually sell from an open house. Although they might have a slim chance of selling the house they have a greater chance of picking up new clients.

  5. krantcents

    Interesting information! I like looking at homes (usually the high end ones) for their architecture or historic significance which is hard to do in Los Angeles. I would like to add a tip to your guide, never ever get in the tub with your shoes on (my wife’s pet peeve)!

  6. The Passive Income Earner

    I have never had problems going to open houses but I hate doing them. One time, we came back and there were pencil drawings on the walls … Who do you blame? You realtor or the other?

    I have found that there wasn’t much staging 4 years ago when we went to open houses Not sure if there is more now in our area.

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