Realtors Don't Bite- I Promise

At my open house yesterday, I had a couple come into the house in the middle of the afternoon. They had obviously been looking for awhile and were intent on checking out the floor plan of the new construction model-they were all business. I stayed in the kitchen area as I normally do so shoppers can move about the house without a pair of eyes looking over their shoulders and giving them a bunch of information they weren't interested in. I waited for them to come into the kitchen and then I introduced myself. I asked them to sign in on the open house sheet and they did so quite reluctantly. I also offered the information sheets and added that if they needed more answers to any questions,that I would be happy to assist them. They were starting to get nervous, worried that some heavy handed pitch was about to fall upon them, grabbed a sheet and bee-lined it for the door. After they left I checked myself in a mirror to see if I had a big chive stuck between my teeth.
Time out. I would like to offer a couple of tips
to help everyone feel better about visiting an open house. Realtors are doing their jobs by presenting the broker's listing in the best possible light. We (on the whole) are very friendly sorts and would like to help everyone who thinks to stop by. So, here's a couple of examples of comments you could make to help yourselves and the realtor feel more comfortable about the visit.
Explain the reason you are visiting the open house. Job One for any realtor is to ascertain information about a prospective buyer. Here's a couple of examples Realtors hear all the time and they indeed are helpful, even if it is the slightest bit of information:
a) "I am just the neighbor and I want to see what $173,000 gets you these days" a great way to let the realtor know what your level of interest is in the property. We're not going to bother you, we just need to know for the security of the seller, who is coming into their homes.
b) "We are working with Betty Alton from Banner Realty and WE LOVE HER!"-also lets the realtor know that you've already chosen a realtor. I like these people because I don't have to try to identify where they are in the process of shopping for a home. This realtor has a responsibility to give your feedback to the listing agent to pass on to the seller. Would I love to have everyone be my client, why yes of course, but let's be realistic.
c) "We're just snooping around and don't have a clue as to what we're looking for, we've just started looking." This information helps the realtor know where to begin a conversation about real estate in general.
d) "We're looking for our daughter whose getting out of the service in three months and want to help her narrow her choices". Again, a great place for the realtor to decide what information will be helpful to the visitors and their daughter.
These are just a few examples of how easy it can be to share some information so everyone can enjoy the experience of exploring the real estate market. So, in closing, on behalf of all hard working Realtors, please, say 'hi' and relax. Sign in, I'll bet the sign up sheet will give you an opt out response on the checklist of information the sheet may be asking for. Relax, everything is going to be okay! Open houses are supposed to be fun!