Wet Blankets


After 20 years I think I’ve probably seen it all when it comes to folks coming into open houses of mine. In the first few open houses there’s plenty of neighbors, there’s also agents with clients, folks that I think of as “professional” buyers ( those buyers who basically know what they’re doing) and there’s also those folks that just think it’s sort of fun to explore a house they see when they happen to be driving by. They have no intention of buying anything, they just like looking at open houses. I’m that type myself…I drive Lesley crazy when we go on vacation someplace because I can’t resist the urge to check out a few open houses if I see directional signs. Sometimes I just want to see how the agents in them act around me.

Well there’s this other class of open house visitor. I think of them as the wet blanket. These folks appear to go in with the specific purpose of being critical. They’re usually kind of a pain to tell you the truth. Typically they have no concept of the relationship between the listed price and it’s real value. Maybe they’re all from out of state and they think all of our prices are insane. 

On the first of April I pulled a little April fools prank here by telling that story about a Pompano house that was listed for $112,000. If that situation really did exist and I was holding the place open I’ll bet you there would be one person (out of the 500 who would come to that open house!) who would walk around the house and announce to me something like “There’s marks on the paint here!” or “How old is the furnace?” A few years ago I had this great listing that was kind of aggressively priced (we got 14 offers) yet there was this one older lady who complained to me about a cracked kitchen floor tile and told me in very broken English “Price too high! You come down!” I couldn’t resist..and I replied to her “Price too low! You come up!”

One of the funny parts of these complaints is the fact that the issues being raised are almost always easy and relatively inexpensive fixes. Missing closet doors, stains on carpet, marks on the hardwood floors…etc. If you’re buying a house at a discount versus the comps in the area, and sometimes even if you’re not, who cares about this little stuff!


  1. Stephanie says:

    I think there are a whole lots of people who just want to get into someone elses home and nose around. They make their negative comments to build themselves and their own home up in their minds.
    You do put up with a lot, Mr. Minkey!

  2. thank you for that commentary. So true! Watching all these house shows, people come in and out commenting on the paint color and the fixtures. How easy of a fix is that and would that be a deterrent of making an offer for a house with great structure and potential??

  3. My favourites are the neighbours who come to compare decorating tips. And then they begin to tell you the dirty secrets of your clients ” oh jane… she is always out partying.” or “Bill… he is a miserable old man” or “Sally never mows the lawn in the summer, I cant wait for them to move out of here”

    For all they know I could be a friend or relative. Its amazing what people say and do in the sanctity of an open house that they would never normally do.

  4. I don’t mind running into those kind of people during my open houses because it reminds me of how lucky I am that I don’t have to LIVE with them!

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