*Note: I wrote this post awhile back, but today is National Open House Day and homes throughout the Greater Dayton Area will be open. Sign up at any Open House and you will be registered for GC from Lowe’s. Remember the ground rules for Open Houses- the Realtor hosting the Open is working for the seller, so be very careful about giving that Realtor any thoughts and opinions about the property you are looking at, lest you enter into a Dual Agency situation (read about the caveat emptor of Dual Agency below).
It’s Sunday morning in Dayton Ohio and you want to go looking at homes. I understand that. You probably want to go looking at homes during an Open House because you might be undecided about which Realtor to use, and you figure at an Open House you can remain anonymous. I understand that as well. Or maybe you just love looking at homes? Makes sense to me. Or perhaps you have family that is moving back to Dayton, and you promised that you’d go to Open Houses to see what is on the market? Trust me, I understand that there are many many reasons that Dayton residents spend their Sundays looking at Open Houses, and that’s why I like Open Houses.
A really great way to find Open Houses in the Greater Dayton area is directly through the Dayton Area Board of Realtors (DABR) website, through their Open House portal, here.
It allows you to refine your criteria to specific areas, specific price ranges, etc, so that when you hit the “Submit” button in the upper right corner, you get any homes listed as “Open Houses” in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and you also get all the information about that property that you would see through the MLS. So instead of a few lines of copy and one grainy photo, like the newspaper, you get a complete printout for the property. You can also map them, and, drumroll please, you can print them up. Cool, huh?
Of course, please keep in mind that many Open Houses in Dayton are hosted by, well, “hosts” that not only may know nothing about the property, they may not be licensed Realtors, which might be a good thing if you want to just go look at a home, unmolested by pushy salesfolk. But if you want information about the property, then you have to talk to a Realtor anyway, as an unlicensed host is not allowed, by law, to discuss any property listed in the MLS.
Here’s where it gets tricky: If you go to an Open House, and it is hosted by a Dayton Realtor, please remember that that Realtor works for the seller- they are not, at that moment in time, working for you, even though they may ask for your contact information. That is, any information that you tell a Realtor at an Open House, that pertains to your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about that particular house, will be conveyed to the seller. Buyer beware! Be very careful about what you are saying at an Open House.
Which brings us to a whole other point: When you are serious about looking at homes unmolested, contact me. While I can’t say I would never be a dual agent, I can say I would only be a dual agent to a client who specifically requested it. I will represent you and only you in a sale. A buyer’s representative can take you to look at any home listed in the MLS, and you can get a private showing, if you will, with an experienced real estate agent, who truly has your best interest in mind. It’s a fiduciary relationship, and when you are making such an important purchase, you really want someone who understands that relationship in your corner. Call an agent who you feel comfortable with, and allow them to work for you.
One more thing, getting into the Dayton Area Board of Realtors MLS is easy- just click on the link on the upper right sidebar. But, if you want to make this really painless, a specialized home search can come to your inbox. It’s simple as can be, just let me know- 937-478-7781, and we’ll set it up for you. Some Realtors might call this a VIP Buyer Search, or some such thing, as if it’s something no other Realtor can offer. I think it’s basic customer service. When you are ready to automate the process, let’s talk.