by Neil Jenman
THERE ARE TWO BIG DANGERS WITH OPEN INSPECTIONS – first, they are a security risk and second, they can easily damage the value of your home.
Despite the warnings and the enormous evidence, many agents continue to allow hordes of strangers to wander through family homes. Most people who visit open inspections are lookers, not buyers. Thieves also visit open inspections and check the home for a future break-in. Your home is probably not insured from theft caused by an open inspection.
But the purpose of open inspections is not to sell the home, it is to create the impression of activity and “condition” sellers to lower their prices. Sellers believe that the people looking at their home are ‘buyers’. This makes them easy to persuade to reduce their prices. Sure, some of the people at the open inspections will be buyers. But the agents rarely know who is a real buyer and who is a looker. The agents then say to the sellers, “See, it didn’t sell. They all think the price is too high. ” As with typical advertising, one of the reasons the home does not sell is because the real buyers wonder what’s wrong with it. Hence the value is damaged and the price has to be lowered. Open Inspections are also used by agents to find sellers of other homes in the area. This is one of the most common behind-the-scenes tricks in real estate.
INSIST ON YOUR SECURITY. The best agents interview buyers before bringing them to your home. This is called “Qualifying”. And that’s all you want – genuine qualified buyers. These buyers should be able to inspect your home at any time (within reason). You hire an agent to sell your home for the best market price, not to wave people through your home. You could do that yourself and not have to pay an agent.
If the agent says there is no security risk, ask the agent to accept responsibility.