Woman in Kitchen at an Open House

9 Things to Never Say at an Open House (or You’ll Regret it)

Are you buying a house? Going to an open house soon? Be careful of what you say during the open house because it can backfire and come back to hurt you during the negotiations. 

As a real estate agent, I always advise my clients not to say anything during open houses. You need to maintain a poker face so as not to give away any information that could hurt your bargaining power. 

Another concern with open houses is that some homes have cameras installed, so you never know who’s watching or listening. I’m especially wary of doorbell cameras and tell my clients to keep their voices quiet, even when outside the house, to avoid being recorded.  

While sellers are supposed to disclose any on-site cameras, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and say something you shouldn’t.

Never Say This at an Open House

“This is the Perfect House”

Never show excitement when you are at an open house, even if it’s the perfect home. Don’t go around the home saying this is the perfect home and that you love it. 

Remember, play it cool and keep a poker face. You don’t want to be too excited that it goes against you during negotiations.

Things to Never Say at an Open House

“We Need to Move In Before School Starts”

Never say that you need to move in before school starts. Don’t give away your timeline, it will make it harder to negotiate. If the seller knows you’re in a hurry to buy a home, they may think you’re desperate and less likely to give you a good deal. So, it’s always better to keep your timeline a secret and negotiate from a position of strength.

“Our Lease is Expiring Next Month”

Again, don’t reveal your home buying timeline to the listing agent. Never say that your lease is expiring soon. This will definitely work against you during negotiation because the seller will know that you have a deadline and that you need to move in soon. 

“We can make this Room the Nursery”

During the open house, don’t say things like “We can make this room the nursery” or “We can add another bathroom here” or “We can paint this room blue.” 

I know it’s tempting to start dreaming and planning, but you really shouldn’t reveal too much during the open house. Remember, you need to play it cool. Don’t get too excited and start making renovation plans! Poker face remember? 

“This Home is Within Our Pre-Approval Budget”

Never say “This home is within our budget.” This is the worst thing you can say at an open house. You never want to reveal your budget. 

You also never want to tell the seller’s agent the amount that you’ve been pre-approved for. This will definitely hurt you during the negotiation. It’s best to avoid discussing finances at the open house.

Things to Never Say at an Open House

“Our Kids Also Go to This School District”

Never say” Our kids also go to this school district”. You never want to reveal to the listing agent any personal information like which school district your kids go to. 

This is because the seller’s agent may use this information to their advantage during negotiations. For example, if there are only a few homes for sale in that school district, the listing agent will know they have the upper hand in the negotiation. So, to keep things fair, it’s best to stay quiet about personal information that could potentially go against you. 

“We Keep Losing Bids”

If you’re in a competitive market, don’t get chatty with the listing agent during the open house and tell the agent that you “Keep losing out on bids.” 

Although it may seem like a harmless conversation starter, it can actually work against you during the negotiation process. The listing agent may perceive you as desperate to buy a home and use that to their advantage. 

They’ll think you’re probably tired of the home buying process and might just settle down on a home just because you’re exhausted from the home search. 

So, don’t reveal too much about your previous home search experiences. It will go against you during negotiation. 

Things to Never Say at an Open House

“The Carpet is Too Gaudy”

When attending an open house, don’t be overly critical of the home. Some people tend to go overboard and get overly critical, showing their dislike for the house as a strategy to negotiate the price. 

However, this approach can be seen as impolite and offensive to the listing agent. It’s important to remember that the listing agent may have a personal connection to the seller and you don’t want to hurt their feelings or come across as rude. You still want to be on the good side of the seller and the listing agent!

Ask too Many Questions

During the open house, don’t be that buyer who hogs the listing agent, asking too many questions. While it’s great to be enthusiastic about the home, you will seem too eager which can backfire at negotiation. 

Also, you will come across as too pushy or difficult to work with which can also backfire. Keep in mind that the listing agent may have a close relationship with the seller, so be mindful of the questions you ask. Don’t accidentally reveal too much! You might regret it!

House Hunting Checklist

House Hunting Checklist: Free Printable

Below is my house hunting checklist printable. I suggest you print out copies of this checklist and keep it in a binder. Use it to take notes and to keep track of the homes you visit during open houses or when you are out house hunting with your real estate agent.

Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it.

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