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Realtor’s Open House Behavior

Dear Phyllis,
I love your real estate column and appreciate your wisdom. My son’s Realtor typically goes to open houses with him, and I often join them. However, last weekend his Realtor was out of town and he had us go on our own. My son did just what his Realtor suggested: He walked in, introduced himself and gave the seller’s Realtor his Realtor’s name letting her know that his agent was out of town. We walked around a bit and, when on our way out, stopped to ask the seller’s Realtor a few questions. I would not say she was rude, but she was very cold and not at all helpful. I don’t know that I have an actual question but am curious as to the protocol for the seller’s Realtor when holding a home open. Aren’t they supposed to answer questions and try to sell the home?
~ Mark

Dear Mark,
Your son’s Realtor gave him excellent advice. He courteously introduced himself and explained why his Realtor was unable to accompany you both. You note that this was the seller’s (listing) Realtor hosting the open house. Often, it is another agent holding the home open and not the Listing Realtor. But whoever is hosting the open house should be courteous and prepared to answer questions.

Currently open houses are extremely busy. Last weekend I met my client at two open houses. At one there were about five groups milling around and, at the other, more than 10. Of course, the hosting Realtor wants to sell the home. Likely they are also hoping to meet neighbors who may be selling soon. They also want to meet potential buyers looking to purchase. Open houses can be a great opportunity for real estate agents to meet new clients.

Keep in mind that the agent hosting the open house has many duties. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the homeowner’s belongings remain safe. Open houses can be very draining for the agent who is hosting. There are many people to talk with and a lot of questions to answer. I know when I am done with holding a home open, I am mentally exhausted.

Best of luck on your home search.