What REALLY Happens At “Agent Open Houses”

Every weekday, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, the city plays host to a slew of “Agent Open Houses.”

What really goes on here?  Let’s take a look…

Open House Sign

Ah yes!

The agent open house!

The holy grail of open houses!

So private, exclusive, and secretive, that the general public is dying to know what REALLY goes on!

A client of mine sent me a listing the other day where it said “AGENTS ONLY” in the open house field, and he asked, “David, what really goes on at these things?  What am I missing here?  I mean, they went out of their way to specify ‘agents only’ in the MLS field, so what are they hiding from the public?  Why would they be so concerned about non-agents attending?”

I told my client that what he was asking me to divulge could cost me my life.

See this photo here:


That’s Yale University’s “Skull & Bones Club,” circa 1947.

It’s the most secretive society known to man, so secretive, in fact, that Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker starred in a movie in 2000 that divulged all their secrets:


But just as in the movie, “The Skulls,” several members of that photo from 1947 mysteriously disappeared, or died.

Having said that, I’m willing, once and for all, to betray my fellow Realtors, and let the Cheshire cat out of the enviro-bag, by divulging once and for all what really goes on at agent open houses…

Here is the bulk of what goes on, designated by category…



In the “Broker’s Remarks” on MLS – that’s right – the hidden remarks from the public, you might find the caption “AOH F S/W by D&D.”

Yes, that’s right!  The Agent’s Open House will feature platters and culinary delights from Daniel & Daniel!  Oooo-la-lah!

Agent open houses are the perfect place to fill your belly, regardless of whether or not you have any interest in the house itself.  Don’t even go to the second floor or the basement; just come inside, remove your shoes, and help yourself to some cheese and crackers!

It’s a secret society of sandwich-eaters, you see.

Last week, a “Lifetime Achievement” award was presented to my lower intestine, for consuming my 1,000th open house sandwich as an active Realtor.

My favorite, is when an agent, man or woman, will bring his or her children to the agent open house, sort of feign, “Sorry, I got stuck with the kids today” and then proceed to feed his or her obnoxious, drooling brat-pack with sandwiches meant for agents.  It happens all the time.  And it saves about forty bucks.

If you suspect your husband or wife has been attending too many agent open houses, check his or her back pockets at the end of the night.  If you find those little toothpicks with the flags on the end – BINGO!



Most Realtors are alcoholics by nature.

There are those that start as alcoholics, and become Realtors, and then there are those Realtors who simply follow their colleagues.

A good agent open house will serve booze, and on time as well!

The beer-cart girl won’t make her first appearance on the golf course until 11:00am, and as honorable, professional, respectable Realtors, we wouldn’t dare imbibe before the legally permitted hour.  That’s why most agent open houses start at 11:00am on the dot.

Time to get your drink on!



This was overheard at last week’s open house on Blaven Street:

“So my colleague’s friend, right, her boss said that his buyer’s agent knows a girl that works for a competing brokerage whose deal-secretary went for lunch with a Broker’s assistant who saw Ferris Bueller pass out at 31-flavours last night.  I guess it’s pretty serious.”

Thank you, Sloane.

TMZ has nothing on Realtors at open houses.

Perez Hilton would faint.

If you’re interested in third-hand, twice-regurgitated, semi-realistic information that has passed through several layers of broken telephone, then an agent open houses is your place to get it!

Trying On The Seller’s Clothing!


If you’ve ever sold your house or condo, and you sat down to sign all the paperwork, and your agent said, “We can just gloss over all this pre-printed stuff; these forms are standard, and every seller signs the same forms.  These are OREA and TREB designed forms, and all this pre-printed text is for your benefit,” there is a reason why this was said to you.

Section 14 specifically reads, “The seller(s) hereby consents to having his/her clothing inspected, worn, judged, ridiculed, dressed-up-in, and displayed at agent open houses.”

Folks, this is exactly what goes on.

And drag is not out of the question…

While a host of agents are eating sandwiches, and others are gossipping, there’s always 1-2 agents upstairs trying on the home-owners’ fur coat, long underwear, and/or silk scarf.

Open houses run from 11am to 1pm, but around 12:45pm, there is usually an impromptu fashion show (not unlike the photo above…), starring the listing agent, and anybody else who feels like letting loose.

Bonus points go to:

1) Suits bought at Moores in houses over $1 Million
2) Spotting fake D&G, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi, Vendi, Blendi, Bjendi
3) Anything leopard



A good, experienced Realtor will not leave an agent open house without at least one gold watch, and one set of dangly-earrings.

Think I’m joking?


Tomfoolery, Ballyhoo, Hullabaloo, Horesplay, Hubbub, Poppycock, Monkey Business…



Huh?  What are we talking about?  Does this really go on, and what does it entail?

Tickle fights?

There’s nothing un-masculine about a couple of reputable agents in custom-tailored bespoke suits engaging in your standard tickle fight.

The first person to yell “hehehehehe-heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” loses, and has to divulge the price of the highest offer in his or her next multiple offer process.



As you can see, there are a LOT of reasons why we, as Realtors, keep the lid on “Agent Open Houses.”

And this is only the beginning.

I thought long and hard about divulging everything that goes on at these functions, but I just don’t know if you folks are ready to handle it…


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  1. excellent says:

    For some reason or another, I can’t see all of this blog, the text keeps hiding? Are you taking advantage of javascript?
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  2. Bob Gordon says:

    What really got me to read your blog was a comment in the “wordpress” only for Realtors section of a FB fan page. Once here, I had to know what really happens at Broker Open Houses, because I figured it had to be more than consuming little bite sized sandwiches and telling the listing agents how great they are. Disappointing to find out that is, in fact, all a broker open house is for. Would write more, but I hear there are those little gourmet ketchup bottles at a broker open house on the other side of town. Gotta run.

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  4. patrick says:


  5. Josie Stern says:

    David, I read most of your blogs but have never commented. I couldn’t help myself this time though. First your blog is really funny but I hope your readers don’t believe everything they read.

    Agent’s open houses for “agents only” are done for one reason only and that is to stroke the listing agent’s ego because exercising control makes one feel powerful. I cannot believe it when I see that agent’s are imposing these restrictions. These short sighted agents are conducting a two hour open house which is a great opportunity for EVERYONE especially potential buyers to see the house. What is wrong with that? Isn’t an agent supposed to allow as many people through the house as possible to try to get the highest sale price for the seller? So why is an agent’s open house off limits to the general buying public?

    In fact, we send out mass emails inviting the public to our agent’s open house because we see it as an opportunity to “talk up the house” and hopefully attract more interest for the property. But, of course, these naughty things you’re divulging do not go on at OUR agent’s open houses.

    1. @ Jose Stern

      Believe it or not, there are a few readers who might believe everything I wrote…

      I agree with you though. The idea for this post came when a client sent me the listing for a property which noted “AGENTS ONLY,” and the reasons you’ve outlined above are exactly why it’s a poor idea.

    2. Bojangles says:

      I went to a hookers and blow open house once. No joke.

      Stupid owners, hahahah!!!

  6. Joe Q. says:

    What about the bit where the visiting agents bet on how much the house will go for — writing their bids on the back of their business cards — closest answer gets a bottle of booze?

  7. David Ursino says:

    Had a great laugh reading this. Well done Dave