Agents may be scheduling too many open homes in a day – up to eight in some cases - undermining the chance for prospective buyers to properly evaluate a property, an industry executive has claimed.
“We recently conducted a secret shopper survey of open homes and in many instances the results were disturbing with agents arriving late, herding prospective buyers out of homes, turning people away, cutting short conversations with potential buyers, not taking names and inconveniencing property owners for the sake of a rushed 30 or 45 minute opening,” said RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.
In what Mr Baldwin said is becoming an increasingly stressful experience for buyers, sellers and agents, he said some agents are now cramming in up to eight inspections with as little as 10 minutes between each.
“Where, in the past, an agent would tell a seller that their property would only be opened every second or third week, agents are now promising to open not only every weekend but sometimes on both Saturday and Sunday which is simply not effective or sustainable,” he claimed.
“One agent had a run of eight home opens in a row with 15 minutes between and needless to say he was in an obvious lather when our ‘buyers’ caught up with him towards the end of the day.
“Unfortunately, there now seems to be far too much reliance on the open home to the point where both sellers and agents are compelled to open every weekend whereas in previous years an agent would say to the seller, ‘we have similar priced properties in this area so I will only open yours every second weekend but I’ll do it for an hour and make sure I have enough time between opens to talk to potential buyers’.
“If it is explained correctly to them, most property owners are much happier knowing that they aren’t going to be inconvenienced every weekend, that their property is going to be given a decent showing and that their agent will be spending as much time as required with viewers to ensure no opportunities are lost.
“Furthermore, if a correctly priced property isn’t opened it will certainly attract private viewings and the opportunity to redirect buyers from other home opens.”