“If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all!”
Oh, if only that were the case…
Ah yes, the Agent Open House!
A time-waster for some, and a waste of time for others!
For those of you that think an “open house” is on Saturday and Sunday from 2-4pm, I’ll let you in on a little secret: we Realtors have our own “special” open houses during the week.
Every day, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, our city is rampant with raging Realtors who drive around as fast as they can to tour as many houses and condos as they can cram into two hours.
I have my own thoughts on the matter, which many Realtors will disagree with, but I’ll put it into print just for fun…
I think these agent open houses are a tremendous waste of time.
For some agents, previewing properties in their areas of interest, or for clients they know will be interested, is time well spent.
But for many, many agents, going “on tour” is simply in lieu of anything better to do, and is often a replacement for spending five dollars on lunch. Many agent open houses are catered, and to nobody’s surprise, these are the best attended. As I have alluded to about a thousand times, many of Toronto’s 35,000 Realtors have absolutely, positively nothing to fill their days, and thus they caravan to agent open-houses, in order to feel like they spent the day working.
When I have a listing for a condo, I don’t do agent open houses. There is no point.
For the gamblers out there – I’d set the over/under on “attendees at condominium agent open house” at 2.5, and I’d certainly take the under. I’ve sat at countless agent open houses years ago where I didn’t get a single agent through. When it comes to houses, you can park on the street, in the driveway, or down the block. For downtown Toronto condos – who wants to risk getting a parking ticket to run up and check out 600 square feet that is likely the same as the last five units that came out in the building with the same floor plan?
When I have a listing for a house, of course I do an agent open house! I got 20+ people through the last three agent open houses I had for actual houses.
However, the one drawback, in my opinion, is dealing with my colleagues, who always have something to say.
I know best, but so does he, so does she, and that guy over there knows better than all of us. It’s the business; you’re only as good as the snarkiness that comes out of your mouth on a daily basis.
Here are the comments I received at my open house last week:
“I can’t believe somebody actually lived here!”
Right. That’s a totally normal thing to say!
You can’t believe somebody lived here? Really? In this $900,000 house?
I responded to this person, “Oh they did, happily, for a long time.”
She said, “Yeah, but seriously – who could live here, like this?”
I said, “Have you ever travelled the world and seen what people live in? Maybe Africa, Thailand?”
She sneered, and walked downstairs.
“You have the square footage listed as approximately 3,000 on MLS. How accurate is that?”
“Do you trust lasers,” I asked.
The man just stood there.
“I read somewhere that the laser is the most exact unit of measurement on earth. Anyways, Plan-It was here last week to take measurements, and the square footage came in at 2,973. So, you know, make of it what you will, give or take.”
The guy looked at me and said, “Soooo…..it’s not three-thousand?”
“Sooooo….what happened here, did they just run out of money?”
“What do you mean,” I asked.
“Well it looks like some of this place is renovated and some of it isn’t.”
“That’s right,” I explained. “Some of the house is renovated, and some isn’t.” I didn’t really understand the question or the issue. The owners had updated and renovated over the course of their time in the house, but should ALL houses be torn down and built anew, or never updated? All or nothing?”
“Well it just makes no sense. The sink is over there. Nobody would live with a sink over there.”
Yes, that’s a fate worse than death. I’d hate to see this guy’s house…
“That basement is a mess. You should really get a dehumidifier.”
I answered, “True, it’s a bit damp, I thought about the dehumidifier, but that would be a giant red flag that says ‘major problem,’ and I don’t need to advertise that. Also, I think in this house, people will assume the basement is damp, so the dehumidifier will just create work for me and the sellers, ie. having to empty it every night.”
She responded, “Right. Well, you should get one.”
I said, “Mmm…hmmm…..I know.”
Amazingly, she said, “So are you going to get one? They’re on sale at Canadian Tire right now for $29.99.”
“Are the owners currently living here?”
This was my favourite, since the house was completely vacant.
“They’re minimalists,” I wryly responded.
“Riiiiight,” she said, as she nodded and may or may not have understood my sarcasm.
“They hate possessions. Any, and all, possessions. I think they feel better, the less they have.”
She nodded, and walked away. Did she really believe that? Poor girl!
“It’s really hot in here! Why don’t you turn on the air conditioning?”
Well, I didn’t turn on the air-conditioning because there is no air-conditioning.
See that field on MLS that reads “A/C?” Well, where it says “NONE” in bold – that’s the reason why it’s so hot in here.
Trust me – on this 34-degree day in July, I surely would have turned the air-conditioner on.
But thanks for the suggestion!
“How come there are only two bathrooms?”
Well, I guess because there isn’t a third one, nor is their a fourth, or a fifth.
How come you’re only wearing a two-piece suite? Where’s the vest, bro?
“Do you know the average income of the people on this street?”
Um, yes, I do.
Because I have no life, and in my spare time, I knock on 40 doors and ask people to see their T4’s…
Seriously? I mean – “Know your product,” and all, but seriously?
“What – No sandwiches?”
No, but there’s a Subway down the street.
And if you go about two blocks east, there’s a movie theatre where you could probably snag a few kernels of free popcorn…
You all thought I was kidding when I said that many Realtors get fed every day by going to catered open houses! But this is proof!
“I heard somebody got shot on this street like ten years ago. Did you hear that?”
No, I didn’t.
But that’s because ten years ago, I was just getting out of rehab, and that was before I had the surgery that turned me from a woman to a man…
What a stupid question! I’m a real estate agent; not a historian, and not the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Why am I even here?
There must have been two agents, out of about twenty, that had something positive to say.
There were about three recognizable, respectable agents who showed up that I was happy to talk shop with, and who I was pleased to see attending my agent’s open house.
But as for the rest, I felt like these people were just talking to hear themselves speak.
The last guy through – at about 1:29pm, just before I closed up, said:
“So how do you feel about your price?”
I said, “Pretty good. The market seems to have slowed since March/April, but we’re bang-on, the way we see it.”
I asked, “What do you think?”
He answered, “Whhhhhoaaaa, (hehe) it’s not my listing! No sweat off my neck!”
Okay. So what’s your value then? You can’t even throw a penny into the well and guess as to what the property is worth?
The few positive conversations I had with experienced agents made up for all the nonsense, but it was a rather frustrating afternoon.
“Everybody has an opinon,” goes the saying, but some opinions are so misplaced!
For somebody to ask “How could anybody live like this?” makes me wish that this person’s son or daughter spent a year travelling in the bowels of the Congo, and then brought home photos!
I’m feeling more and more like a two-year-old kitchen is no longer acceptable to today’s buyer, via today’s buyer-agent.
Am I wrong here?
Have expectations been blown out of proportion?
I have another listing for a house coming out next week.
Maybe I’ll bring sandwiches this time, just to lighten the mood…