A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the market’s “new normal”. That normal is old now. We have a new new normal now. This could be as strange a new normal as I’ve ever seen. Maybe even as strange as that carrot up there. For 25 years I’ve had a common routine when it comes to showing houses to buyers. We go out, usually on the weekend, I enter the house via my lock box key and we proceed to examine the place and the lot. Simple right? That process repeats itself at the next house and the next…and with other clients later on that day…etc. What’s changed you ask? The feeding frenzy in all it’s radiant glory and beauty! Now when I show a property I need to enter the house…and close and lock the door behind us! I need to do that because well over half of my showings lately other people follow us in! On multiple occasions while I’m out in the back yard with my clients 3 or 4 other groups come on in when they see an open door. It becomes an impromptu open house! I have to run around and throw everybody out so we can leave!
“Oh, aren’t you holding it open?” they say. Right! The amazing thing is how they all seem to be RIGHT THERE right after we go in. Prospective buyers just hanging around, lurking in front of houses for sale…looking for somebody to let them in. It’s freaking WEIRD! I kid you not folks…this happens to me every weekend now! Sorry, I just am not going to hold an open house on somebody else’s listing. Lately, before we go in I look around the street and see if anybody is sitting in a car. If they get out…I tell them to forget it. Lay down the boundary right away. “Sorry…call your agent, or Redfin or something!”
It doesn’t stop there though. The astonishing conversations I hear at ACTUAL open houses boggles my mind. Like the guy who asks the listing agent (in a room full of potential buyers) “How much over the asking price should our offer be?” Nice poker face, huh? Make sure you tell other interested parties how much you’re going to offer! What’s worse though is the expectation that the listing agent KNOWS what it’s going to sell for! He or she has NO CLUE folks. I swear, I could write a book on stuff I’ve heard people say at open houses…out loud.
“Will the seller fix all these things in the report?”
“If we work with you will that guarantee we will get this place” That to the agent holding it open, again, in a room full of other prospective buyers.
” Will the seller take less?” I always love that one…it’s a personal favorite. I usually reply “If the house is on the market in 3 months then maybe, but based upon the fact that there’s been 150 people in here so far today I’m willing to bet that more that a few people will express enough interest to buy it sooner rather than later…and I’m thinking that somebody in that bunch will most likely write an offer OVER ASKING.
It’s the New, New Normal. Playing now at a listing near you.