Viewing Vancouver Open Houses? Be Careful!
Once you've decided to buy a home here in Vancouver, Lower Mainland, it's natural to want to see them all. If you happen to see an "Open House" sign, it's natural to stop and go in. But be careful.
The first step is to tell the agent that yes, you do have a buyer's agent. In fact, it won't hurt to give the listing agent your agent's card, just to reinforce the statement.
Next, if you fall in love and want the house, take the information and call your own agent immediately. Inform the listing agent that he or she can expect an offer and that it will be coming through your agent.
Why not purchase from the agent holding the open house?
For two reasons. First, you probably have a contract with your buyer's agent. Second, the agent holding the open house is working for the seller. If you purchase through him or her, you'll have no representation.
That means no one will be on your side, negotiating the best price and terms. And no one will help you include the proper contingencies in your offer. You'll simply be a buyer.
If the house happens to be new construction in one of Vancouver subdivisions, you won't have anyone negotiating for upgrades on carpet or appliances – although they may try to dazzle you with promises for "extras" like a microwave or a washer and dryer if you go ahead and purchase from the listing agent.
Beware – those "extras" will pale in value compared to the price reductions your buyers' agent can probably negotiate.
As your buyer's agent, I'll be happy to accompany you to open houses - and I'll be glad to give you a supply of cards to hand out, just in case you run across your new Vancouver home when I'm not with you.