It's the weekend and you know what that means, Open Houses abound in the Greater Boston area. The front doors of Single-family homes, condos, and multi-families are wide-open welcoming strangers in to check out every inch of their interior and exterior space from top to bottom. Pretty amazing when you think about it. We often wonder how the idea got hatched and continues to thrive. It does say something about our trust in one another and the hobby of “just looking”.
So what about the Open house tradition?
Usually you'll find the most properties open to visitors will be on Saturday and Sunday afternoons anywhere from 1PM to 4PM. Properties available to be seen are advertised in newspapers, posted online, found on real-estate web sites and even by just the placing of an Open House sign (with or without balloons) in front of the home.
And who can attend?
Anyone. Yes, anyone. Some come because they have planned their afternoons on checking off their of homes to see. Other come because they happen to be driving by see the sign (with or without balloons) and think "why not" take a look! There are the curious neighbors and homeowners in the neighborhood who may be thinking of selling in the future and see the OH as an opportunity to compare their home with the home for sale. No one is turned away, No one is qualified at the door…it is opened for your viewing pleasure. Pretty nice, huh?
Who's there and why?
The visitor is usually greeted at the door by the Seller, her or himself, or a representative of the Seller, a real estate agent. They say “hello “ possibly point out something about the property they feel of special interest. More than likely they will ask you “sign-in “ on prepared sheet and this can be a “wait a minute" moment for many. Often visitors feel annoyed by this request and may resist. For the record, the Seller’s agent is hoping to capture your info for further communication (information you may find useful) with you but it also serves to assure the seller that the folks coming through are in their home in good faith, to do nothing more than look and maybe even buy. If you don't want to give any additional information, you don't need to, in most cases your name will suffice. You'll be given a sheet with the property details and now you're free to look around and come you own conclusions about the house, condo, townhouse or multi-family!
If you're out and about this weekend, we'd love to hear from you about your Open House experiences and welcome your suggestions and comments. Don't forget to bring along our "Checklist" for open house tips!