Open houses are supposed to give buyers a chance to check things out in person and quiz the broker about the property, right?
But that's kind of hard to do when the real estate agent at the open house gets stumped by questions beyond such basics as where's the bathroom or how many bedrooms.
Apparently we are starting to see a rise in the number of clueless agents at open houses, with the actual listing agent out drumming up more business or simply at the beach.
Here's an observation from a top Boston-area buyer's agent who has run into a couple of know-nothing brokers at open houses this summer and is none too happy about it.
I am seeing a trend that the agent at the open house is not the listing agent. He or she knows nothing about the house. He or she does not represent the seller (but is there the get buyers for this house or as a client.) Twice yesterday, I asked a basic question about the house and an agent said, "I don't know, I am not the listing agent."
Of course, this goes to the heart of what open houses are in today's real estate market.
Are they really meant to drum up serious buyers? Or instead, are they marketing vehicles for agents to prospect for potential buyers for other listings?
And if that's the case, the seller is really getting taken for a ride.
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