Attending An Open House – What You Need To Know

Attending An Open House - What You Need To Know

Although the Internet is helpful, nothing compares to seeing a home in person, and an open house is an easy way to do this.  If you are planning to attend an open house and already have an agent, here are some things you need to know.  If you are undecided whether or not to hire a buyer’s agent, this article may be helpful to you.


When buyers attend an open house, most don’t understand the rules.  Typically, they see a great house on line, go see it during an open house, and if they like it, they call their agent.  This is a bad move and can cost you your representation, not to mention a lot of money.

The listing agent represents the best interests of the seller.  Therefore, we believe you should never go to a property without your own agent.

As a real estate agent, there is nothing worse than having one of our buyer clients going to an open house without us.  There are too many things that can go wrong.  So, here are a few things to remember when it comes to attending open houses.


We highly recommend having an agent with you when viewing homes.  First, they will point things out in the home that the listing agent, who does not represent you,  will not.  Also, it ensures that you get to have your own representation.

Buyers often feel like they are “bothering” their agent on a Sunday afternoon, and just go look on their own, but this can end up hurting you.  Your agent is there to service you and should make themselves available to you whenever possible.

If for some reason your agent cannot be there with you, be very careful.  Ideally, your real estate agent will call the other agent ahead of time and let them know to expect you.  However, if this doesn’t happen, you can still protect yourself.

Before entering the home, tell the agent hosting the open house  that you are being represented by another agent, and let them know who it is.  It is also a good idea to make sure that agent will honor your relationship with your agent.

Protocol in a real estate transaction can be really tricky, and is not always cut and dry, so you need to establish this up front.  Most agents will honor the relationship with your agent as long as they know about it up front. However, if you fail to mention that you have your own agent, you could be out of luck.


In order to avoid any problems, it is a good idea to consider signing a buyer’s agreement with your agent.  This agreement will solidify your relationship with your agent and should protect you from an overzealous listing agent.

If you know that you want your own representation,  talk to your agent up front before going to open houses to make sure you are all on the same page.

Disclaimer: The Schuman Team practices real estate in Ohio.  Since many states have different laws and protocol regarding a real estate transaction, we recommend consulting a qualified local legal professional prior to entering into any written agreement. This blog contains observations and opinions related to our first hand experience working with buyers and sellers in Ohio, but should not be construed as legal advice.


About The Authors

The above information pertaining to Cleveland Real Estate News was provided by The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna. They are Solon residents and can be reached at 216-346-3235 or via email, or

We service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Attending An Open House – What You Need To Know is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©February, 2011

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