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June 11, 2012

5 Types of People Who Attend Open Houses

Syndicated — In real estate showings, the Sunday open house is the gold standard. As the name implies, a property is open to just about anyone who learns of the showing in an online or print ad, drives by and sees the agent's A-Frame sign, or receives a notification postcard in the mail.

But not everyone who goes to an open house is a potential buyer. Here are five types of people likely to pass through a property during an open house.

1. The real buyer

These people are somewhere in the home-buying process. They're either testing out the market or they're serious and fully qualified, ready to take action. For the seller, these are the ones you want coming through the door.

2. The nearby neighbor

This guy or gal has been waiting for years for an excuse to get inside your home, for various reasons. Their home may be similar to yours - maybe even designed by the same architect - and they want to compare their property to yours. There might be other reasons to see it, too: They may have heard late-night music/noise and want to see what it's all about.

Your open house might also give a neighbor the chance to see how much privacy they actually have. For example, at an open house of a view property in San Francisco, a neighbor came into the house and made a beeline for the back deck. Meanwhile, in the neighboring home across the backyard, the neighbor's son sat in the window. What followed was a cell phone conversation in which the father instructed his son to move to the right, to the left, go upstairs, and so on. The father's goal was to determine from exactly which points in his home he and his family were visible to their neighbors.

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