What NOT to Say at an Open House

Always wear a poker face when attending an open house.Yesterday I hosted an open house in Palatine for a couple that wants to take advantage of this market and move up to a larger home. As their listing agent, I was thrilled with a turnout of 18 people. If I had been the buyer agent for some of those people, I would have been horrified! Here are some of the actual comments:

“I can’t believe how reasonably this house is priced!”

“I can’t find anything wrong with this house.”

“This is a really nice home!”

Never, never, never let anyone besides your buyer agent (who should be me ;)) know how much you like a home for sale! It can cost you thousands of dollars. Once the sellers learn how much you like their home, they have the advantage in negotiations. Always wear your poker face to open houses and watch what you say!

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Fran Bailey Fran Bailey is a Realtor who has been quoted in numerous Chicago and national publications. To schedule showings for any listings, get a free market analysis for your home or to contact Fran email her at fran.bailey@bairdwarner.com or call 773.793.4516. Learn More


  1. says

    Good points, but people just don’t shop for a home like a poker player. It’s too emotional.

    Even if a buyer drops their guard at an open house, they maintain a serious upper hand in the current broader market at this point, right?

    Currently, any inclination to transact should be cultivated, in my opinion.

  2. Fran Bailey says

    Hi Andrew,

    Buying a home is an emotional purchase. Buyers can express their emotions, I just recommend that they not do it in front of the listing agent or the seller. Doing so seriously weakens their negotiating position.

    Case in point, one of my sellers in Chicago had a cousin living with her who happened to be in the house when a couple and their buyer agent came for a showing. The wife drooled over the house within earshot of the cousin who then passed the information on to my seller who then told me.

    Sure enough, they submitted an offer, but I advised the seller to hang tough on the price. She did and ended up getting asking price. If we hadn’t known the wife was so in love with the house, we would have negotiated more not wanting to lose the sale.

    It’s also amazing to me how many buyer agents tip their buyers’ hands. I had an agent basically tell me that her buyers loved one of my listings last fall. My sellers got 98% of list price on a $600K+ home.

  3. says

    Works both ways.

    We often see people at open houses who go out of their way to criticize the home. I just ask them to let us know your agent’s name so we can keep them informed as to the offer status.

    We’re still seeing multiple offers on lots of listings, so it helps our clients decide which buyer would be the best for them to work with.

    No one likes deal with a PITA.



  4. Fran Bailey says

    Hi Ira,

    I agree it’s also not in buyer’s best interest to be a PITA (love that!). Good point!

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