Open Home Gameplan
Article by Michael Turner, Director of Young Property Investor.
Attending an open home is as simple as rocking up. Wrong. There are strategies involved, that can position yourself as the winning buyer or the sorry loser.
Don’t just rock up, rock out. Not literally, the agent I’m sure wouldn’t appreciate that. But it’s important to not just be there.
An open home is face to face time, you never usually have with a wide variety of people. You aren’t just seeing the home, often, you are front and centre with the buyers. Bet most of you haven’t considered that.
It’s an excellent chance to play your ‘poker face’, probe, listen, snoop and present. People are watching you too…
Don’t just pull up Real Estate or Domain on the morning of your inspections. Plan them out. Look at the times, create an itinerary of your movements of that day. Know the times, understand how long it will take. Prioritise on the homes you have a vested interest in seeing.
Don’t just select a few homes because they look pretty. Select the ones that are important to view. Play time is for later.
Don’t just turn up too. Make sure you have something to take notes. A folder to carry brochures, bring a pen (or two) to jot down important facts or key takeaways. When you get home, unless something is magnificent, they will all become a blur. Take notes and you’ll thank me later.
I’m aware there is no dress code, but it’s important to dress for the role. Don’t wear a studded suit, but don’t wear a singlet and boardies. Honestly. An agent meets potentially hundreds of people a day. For a keen look in, don’t be that guy who looks like he was lives on the streets.
On the flip side however, don’t overdress. Don’t wear the top of the line Armani suit or Gucci sunglasses. Because then it will be noted, and the agent will have an underlying feeling you’ll pay top dollar. Meaning he’ll ring you for all you are worth (or faking being worth).
Dress comfortably. Wear easy to remove shoes, socks with no holes. Some opens will have you remove your shoes often.
Speak to the Agent
Introduce yourself. Make sure you give your details, phone number and email. It’s important to be accessible, and like you are interested in buying the home. Some people don’t give details, and the agents think you are a timewaster, which you likely are. Give details, let them call you. Work with them (keep your enemies closer).
They may give you info on their secret soon to be released listing, it may pay big dividends to know about those secret listings. Explaining your situation to them, be frank, explain you are interested, and ask questions. Make it known you are serious buyers, and take notes as you ask questions.
Listen to other buyers
Your competition is all around you. Fun times ahead. Listen to what they are saying, to the agent, to each other. Are you competing against a family, or investors perhaps? This could help you strategise when it comes to negotiating.
The hardest person to beat in a negotiation is the family who has a vested interest (local, family nearby, sentimental value) in buying the home. They fall in love emotionally to the home, so they will beat you in your analytical method of finding a price value.
Keep your cards close
Don’t tell the agent or exclaim how damn much you love the home. Note things you like, but don’t exert enthusiasm. Mention that you appreciate the colour, the condition, the location, how it is a favourable layout. Don’t exclaim your absolute undying love. That will give them leverage against you in crunch time.
In the same vein, don’t criticise too much, but be impartial, make fleeting comment, none at all if that is easier. Save it for later.
Thank the agent when you leave. Trust me. They’ll often ask you a few questions, answer, they may give you a hint that somebody has made an offer or is close. Make sure to follow up if you are interested, and be genuinely pleased with them allowing you in. Take their card too.
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Michael Turner is a Partner of Young Property Investor (YPI), as well as AUD Property Group. He currently manages three other business ventures which have a keen focus on projects, development, residential property and future growth centres. He based in Sydney Metro and can often be heard on various radio mediums talking about Football and Property. You can find him on Twitter @blameturner or email him directly at [email protected]