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4 Challenging Visitors You Get at Open Houses

When you invite the public to view your listing, you attract many potential buyers who are on the fence and so will give you the runaround. Here are some tips for recognizing some of the people you’ll meet and how to tap into what they want.

The Dodger

He shies away from interacting with you, hoping you’ll leave him alone while he looks around. He doesn’t stay for long and tries to leave without giving you his name or contact information.

The bottom line: He hasn’t committed to making a move but is considering his options, and he’s afraid you’ll try to force a sale on him. He needs to make these decisions on his own time.

How to handle him: Give him space and watch for whether he lingers over a particular feature of the home. Pop over to ask his impressions and how the home compares to others he’s seen. Let him steer the conversation, and when he sees you’re not trying to corner him with a sales pitch, he’ll open up.

The Faker

He discusses his real estate needs with you and even gives you his contact information to follow up. You think the conversation went great, but you soon discover that he gave you a fake e-mail address.

The bottom line: He wants to work with an agent, but he doesn’t want you spamming his inbox with newsletters and market reports. He needs to know you can do more for him.

How to handle him: When you’re talking to him, pick up on something he wants or needs, such as public-school ratings or certain neighborhood amenities. Say you’ll email more information and ask if he’s provided the best address to reach him on the sign-in sheet. Now that you’re offering something of value to him, he’ll say, “Actually, send that to this email address…”

The ‘Negative Nancy’

She doesn’t hide her feelings and mentions everything she hates about the home within earshot of other guests. The trouble is her opinions could influence those who genuinely like the house.

The bottom line: She doesn’t necessarily think the place is all bad, but she wants her views to be heard and valued.

How to handle her: Turn the conversation around, and ask her what she would do differently. You’ll find out what adjustments could make the home work for her—or you’ll have an idea of other listings to send her way.

The Looky Loo

She says she’s just browsing to see what homes on the market look like, but she’s not in the market to buy.

The bottom line: Her current home may not meet her needs anymore, but she wants to avoid moving, so she’s looking for renovation ideas. She might also be a potential seller checking out the competition.

How to handle her: Ask how your open house compares to her current home, and listen for the items she says her home is lacking. Offer to send her listings that have what she’d want—even if only for design inspiration—and potentially a free consultation with a lender so she can discuss the financial practicality of remodeling vs. buying a new home.

Click HERE to Download the complete and FREE Home Buyer Check List!

When you buy a home, you’re getting more than just the structure of the house — you’re getting the neighborhood, too. We recommend visiting the new area multiple times at different times of the day to get a feel for it, since that may determine your family’s experience while living there. A great house might not be as enjoyable if the surrounding community isn’t a good fit. To help out with your neighborhood evaluation, use this checklist of important items to look out for.

Sidewalks – The presence of sidewalks may indicate that the neighborhood is an active one. It may also be safer for those with children, since drivers and pedestrians won’t be sharing the same space.

Parks – A nearby park might be beneficial for you and your family to get some exercise while meeting new people.

Schools – Check to see how far away the schools are, and how your children would be getting there. This may not be as important for homeowners who don’t have children.

Major Roads – Drive around to locate the closest major highways. If big roads are close, they may increase noise level around your home or become a security concern for those with small children and pets.

Transportation – Depending on the area, you might not always depend on a car to get around. Explore the local public transportation options to see what works for you.

Shopping Centers – Figure out how close you are to shopping centers so you can estimate how long it will take to run errands on a typical day.

Restaurants – If your family likes to dine out, check out the food scene near your house to see if you’ll enjoy frequenting those restaurants.

Recreational Centers – Whatever you and your family do for fun, make sure there’s something within a reasonable distance. Think fitness centers, pools, dance or martial arts studios, painting classes, or anything else that could entertain you and your family.

At your next open house, bring this checklist with you as you go for a walk around the neighborhood. Your new community might be a perfect fit!

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