Hadley Home-buyer’s Open House Adventure-Part 2
Remember Hadley Homebuyer? She’s the one looking for a home. “Just looking”— not really serious about it, or so she says. But she is on-line every day checking the new listings and researching the mortgage rates. This interest in real estate is not unusual. We all have it to some degree or another. But Hadley has a good dose of it. Hadley has a dream of owning a home in the next year or so. She is an HGTV fanatic, so she can’t wait to decorate it in the latest styles. In fact, she has also been window shopping for furniture and accessories lately.
When we last saw Hadley, her friend Sally had convinced her to go see some open houses on a Sunday afternoon.
They had gone onto the “Big Company’s” website and found a list. When Hadley asked about other listings, like one she had driven by the week before, Sally assured her: “Big Company must have the best homes since they seem to have a lot of listings.” Based on the photos, they select 3 to visit.
Hadley and Sally pull up to the first house. “Sally”, points out Hadley, “this house is right next to an office building. Isn’t that something to avoid?”
“You might be right, “concedes Sally, “but the pictures of the garden were really wonderful, so let’s at least go inside.”
As they enter, the agent at the open house greets them warmly and asks that they fill out a form with their names, phone numbers and email addresses. Thinking this is the only way to see the house, they do this. She offers to show them around and begins to ask them about their situation. “Are you looking as a couple?” she asks. “Do you work nearby?” “Do you have a home to sell first?” Hadley is a bit put off by the personal nature of the questions, but, being a polite young woman, she tries to answer. “No, I am looking alone and Sally is just helping me. I work as a pharmacist at the local drug store. I am renting now but my lease is month-to-month.”
Seeing that the kitchen needs complete renovation and the windows appear to be original to the house, Sally and Hadley beat a quick exit. They GPS the next house on the list and head off to house number 2, an estate-owned home where there is no information available on its history from the children of the deceased seller.
Let’s stop here and point out a few mistakes Sally and Hadley have made so far.
• They have not found all the homes that are open. Many good homes are listed with smaller companies and are available to be seen by anyone with access to the MLS system. Not all companies list all open houses on their websites.
• They have selected the homes to see based only on the photos and not on the neighborhoods or how well-priced they are.
• They are not going with their own agent, so the agents at the open houses will consider them fair game and will no doubt pursue them to represent them (while they also represent the seller).
• Hadley is risking a reduction in her credit score if she is incurring new debt for home furnishings just at the time when she needs that score to be at its best in order to qualify for the lowest interest rate in a mortgage.
• If Hadley had liked this house, had found an agent, had made an offer and had started negotiating, her agent would be at a disadvantage because the listing agent has information to use in the negotiations. For example, she can say: “Hadley told me she has a good job, so she can afford this price.” Or “Hadley told me she is on a month-to-month lease so why can’t she give my sellers the closing date they want?”
Also, if Hadley later finds an agent she likes, that agent may hesitate to represent Hadley because he or she will have a harder time getting paid on the homes that were not first “shown” to her by that agent. Particularly if the listing agent follows up by email and sends Hadley more information or otherwise encourages the sale. While that does not seem to be Hadley’s issue, it could affect how she gets represented.
To avoid these open house issues and others when buying a home, use the services of an experienced, trustworthy exclusive buyer’s agent. Sage Realty is one of the ONLY exclusive agencies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Even if you are buying in another market, ask us to refer you to the best EBA in that area. If you are a first-time home buyer, your fears will be eliminated. And if you have bought a home before, you will have a completely different experience. So Contact Sage today.