Representation Rules

Visiting open houses and model homes is fun, but if you’re a serious buyer, there are a few things you should know in order to protect yourself and avoid misunderstandings.

Having your own representation is important. The seller whose open house you’re attending probably has someone working for them – so should you. If they don’t, that’s all the more reason why you should. Buyers considering new construction should also have personal representation – the salespeople at model-home sites might appear to be there to help you, but they’re serving the builder’s interests, not yours.

If your sales representative isn’t accompanying you, bring their business card to the open house. Handing it to the hosting salesperson lets them know you already have representation, so they won’t try to solicit you, and helps avoid future confusion about commissions and whose client you are.

At many open houses, you’ll see a sign-in sheet for providing your contact information. This is another handy way to let the host know you’re not looking for representation (especially if you don’t have any business cards to provide!). Just write your sales representative’s contact info down along with yours.

If you like what you see at an open house, and want more information or a private showing, tell your sales representative and let them handle the follow-up. Again, this helps eliminate any misunderstanding as to who’s representing you.

As for model homes, check with your sales representative before you visit any. Why? If your salesperson doesn’t accompany you, the builder may not allow them to represent you, which means you’ll have no one in your corner as you deal with the builder’s on-site rep.