TheRedPin.com

November 04, 2014 09:09 ET

Putting a Halt to Open House Hijinks

Body Language Expert Explains How to Nix Nosy Neighbours and Lose Lookie-Loos

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 4, 2014) - Fall is high season in real estate, with hundreds of enticing 'open house' signs lining the streets of Toronto until early December. While this open-doors ritual attracts many potential buyers, open houses have a dirty little secret: Shockingly, they only account for five percent of sales. In truth, most sales come from private showings. Moreover, open houses also attract nosy neighbours and lookie-loos out for some free weekend entertainment.

"TheRedPin's philosophy is all about customer service, so we do open houses on our listings because clients are accustomed to this norm. We're working to shift this mindset," said Rokham Fard, co-founder of real estate brokerage TheRedPin.com. "There are some networking benefits, but an open house is just that - open. That guarantees you will get people coming through who have no intention of buying the home."

Fard warns sellers that the majority of visitors to open houses are really just nosy neighbours or "lookie-loos" out to get free décor ideas. Don't believe him? Fard suggests sellers should crash their own open houses and see for themselves.

To help sellers identify the nosy neighbours and tag the time wasters, theredpin.com commissioned body language expert, author and international keynote speaker Mark Bowden of TRUTHPLANE® together, they have developed the worlds first comprehensive field guide for identifying "lookie-loos."

Getting a little handsy:

One surefire way to tell who's serious and who's snooping is to look at what, and how, they touch the things.

A snoop will simply push open a door, while a buyer will handle the doorknob to feel for quality. A snoop will lean against the kitchen counter, while a real buyer will run his hands over it. The latter indicates the buyer is already feeling a sense of ownership in the home.

Good company:

A lookie-loo enjoys poking around other people's homes; for many, it's a hobby, or cheap weekend entertainment. If a visitor has kids tagging along, they are probably a serious buyer; no one out for fun would drag whining children along. Similarly, if parents or in-laws are in tow, it's likely you're dealing with serious buyers.

Open wide!:

Like a small child in a candy store, a true buyer will be eager to take everything in! Wide open eyes are a major giveaway that this person is looking to buy.

It's all in the details

Someone who's seriously looking to buy will answer any questions succinctly. So if simple questions result in rambling, tangential soliloquies, you're likely dealing with a lookie-loo.

"People who are trying to deceive will go into far too much detail when responding to simple questions," said Bowden. "Real buyers will keep their answers short and sweet."

Mouthing off:

Lookie-loos who get caught in the act will likely respond in one of two ways, both of which involve the mouth.

Some will be angry at being caught; this will manifest itself with a tight upper lip, and a slightly dropped chin.

Others may instead feel amused by their cover being blown, and respond with a smirk. This smirk is known as the "duper's delight," and is a widely acknowledged "tell" in any dishonest situation.

Everyone's a critic:

A real buyer is looking for a move-in ready home that will require little work before the truck arrives.

If a visitor is talking about grand plans like tearing out walls, gutting the kitchen and bathroom, and even critiquing the furniture and drapes, they are likely a lookie-loo.

Double Trouble:

Couples will look for a home together, but some will also spend their weekends open-house-hopping for sport.

While it seems counterintuitive, the couples who disagree and argue are likely the true potential buyers.

"Searching for a home is a process," added Bowden. "Couples discover what they like and don't like by looking and discussing. If two people are in complete agreement, they're probably voyeurs, not buyers."

Gut check:

As in everyday life, intuition plays a role. The term "gut check" is so named because the majority of our serotonin resides in the stomach. In a nutshell, if your gut is telling you someone is disingenuous, they probably are.

About TheRedPin:

TheRedPin is part high-tech company, part full service, savvy real estate brokerage now offering mortgages.

TheRedPin is the easiest way to buy or sell properties, carrying the largest database of residential homes for sale in the GTA. TheRedPin employ full time Realtors® that spend 100% of their time providing top-notch real estate services to clients.

To learn more about TheRedPin, visit www.TheRedPin.com/company-info.

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