My name is Alec Parkin, and I am interning with Bob Gordon at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Boulder, Colorado for the spring semester. Before I get into my blog detailing my open house experience, let me introduce myself a bit more. I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Leeds School of Business studying Operations and Information Management, as well as pursuing a Real Estate Certificate. I will be graduating in May (where has the time gone?) and am exploring career opportunities in financial services, technology, and real estate industries.
The first task I was issued with for my internship was to visit several open houses around the Boulder county area to see what the experience is like from a home buyer’s point of view. In order to do this, I first had to find homes with open houses that were in a price range that would be affordable for a recent college graduate (which proved difficult to do). However, I was able to find some open houses in Lafayette and Louisville that were affordable enough, so I set off. After attending several of these open houses, I have several observations that are detailed below.
Alec Parkin, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
The Good: At most open houses I was greeted and asked to sign in, while also encouraged to find the Realtor if I had any questions about the home. At one of the open houses, I was asked about what I was looking for in a home, price range, and even given advice as to how to approach the current market as homes are selling very quickly. Though it was great to be greeted at most homes, having the agent converse with me was the best way to make me feel comfortable as a buyer in an open house environment. I also found most homes to be very clean and open house ready with a visually appealing environment for potential home buyers visiting to see.
The Bad: As I stated above, I was greeted at most open houses, but not all of them. In fact, at one of them I was actually not greeted at all until I was on my way out the door, which led to the agent quickly asking, “Did you sign in?”. As a home buyer, I would prefer to be greeted and feel welcome, rather than just asked if I had signed my name – Alec Parkin -as I am leaving. It was at this same property that I also saw a home that was not set up property for a showing. If I was seeking a home, I believe it is important to make a good first impression with a clean home, but that was not the case here. The rooms had clothes thrown on the beds, while the kitchen had clutter around the table, which was not visually appealing at all. When I thought it couldn’t get worse, I walked into the backyard and found a large pile of random junk from toys to gardening materials lying next to the patio.
Overall, the open houses I attended were a good experience, but as I mentioned there were certainly some bad takeaways as well. Seeing this experience from a home buyers point of view, my one piece of advice would be to chose your Realtor wisely. You don’t want someone who isn’t open to greeting potential buyers to your home, as an impression can really make a difference. Just think about it – making someone feel comfortable during an open house is important to leading someone to feel as though your home might be the one for them. So make sure you find a broker with a good reputation and experience, and if you ever find yourself hosting an open house, having it clean wouldn’t hurt either!