Top Ten Things Not to Do at a Realtor Open House


Open house

The inspiration for this list is having attended some realtor open houses and having an active imagination of the reaction of the realtor if one of the visitors should do any of the things on the list. I am entirely innocent.

10 If you attend a realtor open house, do not make yourself at home no matter what the salesperson says when you arrive. If you do, at best you’ll be asked to take you feet off the couch. At worst, the police will ask you once to get out of the shower and get dressed. (Don’t make them use that stun gun Bunky. You’ll look ridiculous on the nightly news especially buck naked.)

9 If you attend a realtor open house, do not think that pot on the stove is hot cider. If you do, at best the potpourri won’t make you sick. At worst, you’ll find the wood chips and cinnamon sticks aren’t as fun on the revisit. (That ER ipecac treatment was a close to waterboarding as you will get for a while.)

8 If you attend a realtor open house, do not think you can test the bed. If you do, at best you’ll be shown the door. At worst, your picture ends up at the Multiple Listing Service, and this will be your last open house. (You should have set an alarm before that nap.)

7 If you attend a realtor open house, do not make jokes about the home owner’s relative photos. If you do, at best no one will hear you. At worst, the realtor will rat you out to the owner. (You didn’t know this was your bosses house until you saw his photo last did you?)

6 If you attend a realtor open house, do not help yourself to one of the cookies in the kitchen. If you do, at best that is why they are on display. At worst, you are now painfully aware the cookies were props. (How long will you have to chew that wax before it goes bye-bye?)

5 If you attend a realtor open house, do not turn on the big game. If you do, at best the broker will ask you to turn it off. At worst, you will still be watching as the owners return to their house. (Pretty uncomfortable explaining how you came to turn the thing on in the first place. Oh and that beer just magically appeared.)

4 If you attend a realtor open house, do not open drawers to have a peek. If you do, at best no one will know. At worst, you’ll go into the media room and be able to watch the security camera replay of your bathroom snooping. (Don’t even try to figure out how to erase the file. The central control is locked, and the owner is looking at your performance on a cell phone ten miles away.)

3 If you attend a realtor open house, do not be tempted to open the refrigerator. If you do open it, at best only the salesperson will know. At worst, the owners return home through the kitchen door just as you look inside the refrigerator. (Your comment about “nice looking pot roast leftovers,” does nothing to ease the tension.)

2 If you attend a realtor open house, do not be tempted to pick a flower or two no matter how lovely. If you do pick one, at best you can tell a fib about it being broken off. At worst, you have the flower in your hand and no way to hide the fact from the owner. (The owner happens to be named Tiny and stands seven feet tall and rushed out to his garden to find you with his favorite Zinnia in your hand. You should just fall down now.)

1 If you attend a realtor open house, no matter what, do not turn on the Jacuzzi. If you do, at best that broken switch will fail to operate. At worst, the broken return pipe will shoot water all over until the tub is dry. (Of course, you can’t turn it off either so you stand by helplessly watching the firefighters try to save the house from the burning lanai.)


    1. Thanks, Larry. 🙂

  1. Ha! Good advice, John. Loved the wax cookies part.
    All my real estate agent memories are mortifying. But it’s difficult to get around using them…

    No viva from Las Vegas and it’s been 2 full weeks.
    7am Monday morning and I’m already stressed out, even on a telework day. So double thanks for the fun post.
    Have a marvelous Monday full of mega hugs.

    1. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly while saying a nice mantra. I use the word crap. Goes like this *Breathe in deeply and slowly let out while saying crrrrrraaaapppppppp. Moven’ Monday to you, Teagan. 😀

  2. LOL! This was great, John! I think we’d all be amazed at what goes on at these open houses.

    1. Yes. Thanks, Jill.

  3. That wax cookie thing is mean. Who would do such a thing when you could simply buy a cheap box at the store, put them on a cookie sheet, and hide the evidence? Most people can’t recognize Chips Ahoy when the package isn’t around.

    1. Oh. I thought Chips Ahoy were wax. Go figure. 😀

      1. I tend to stick to Oreos, so I wouldn’t know.

      2. Man I love the double stuffed and a glass of milk.

      3. They have thin ones now. Don’t feel like that’s natural.

      4. Thin????? Illegal. (Not to mention immoral)

      5. Good one to blame.

  4. Loved it, John. The agents in my office will appreciate the humor. Must share! 🙂

    1. Yes, please do.:-)

  5. LOL.:D
    Thanks for all the hearty laughs and soft smiles you are spending, dear John.
    Best regards,
    Dina & co

    1. Thank you Dina. 🙂

  6. What an imagination!!!! Thanks for the laughs on a Monday morning, John!

    1. My pleasure, John 🙂

  7. You know, John, perhaps realtors really shouldn’t suggest people make themselves at home. I mean, *some* people take stuff like that to heart … and the outcome never is pretty. Perhaps the transgressor can use The Old Card or fake senility. But this was good for a Monday morning laugh!

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I like the Old Card myself.

  8. All good advice! And look but don’t touch!

    1. Yes. Good advice.

  9. Why do people say “make yourself at home” when they mean “act like you’re in church” ?? Great list John. Hopefully, I’m never going to an open house again.

    1. I have no idea , Dan. I’m with you.

  10. They love it when every kid you brought along heads for a different room at the same time. Want to freak them out? Go down the crawl space.

    1. H ha ha. Especially when each has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

      1. Red KoolAid was another popular option I seem to remember.

    2. Especially when each has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in their hand.

  11. I have a feeling you would whisper these suggestions to the people you’re with just to begin the uncontrollable laughter. Nice move, Butch. I like your style. Giggle

    1. Have been known to do that very thing. You caught me. 🙂

  12. I could have used these laughs on Monday! We started our day with car trouble, but (thankfully) we ended the day with our car humming as if nothing had happened. (Long story short: we have a Prius and somehow the battery discharged over the weekend. Possibly trunk wasn’t closed properly and a light was left on for over 36 hours. We learned something new about our 2-year-old car and only had to spend time, not $$). Back to your list: these are great and I’ve always wondered about the behavior of people who go to open houses. I’ve been to a few but I always feel awkward if the occupants are still living there and their stuff is all over the place. We’ve been shown houses where the occupants didn’t even bother to clean up, put away their laundry or dirty dishes … yuk!

    1. Thanks, Marie. Glad your Prius was good to go after a charge. I’ll bet you will check the trunk from now on. Open houses are a mixed bag, It is amazing how some people live isn’t it? Have a great week. 🙂

      1. Oh, yeah, we’re being super mindful about the doors and the lights in the car 😉 You know, when we were house hunting years ago, the owner of one house (she was selling it herself) urged me to open the closet doors and the cabinet drawers, saying she always did that when checking out a house herself. It felt awkward to me especially since there was so much stuff in them 😬

      2. I would never do that. Those visions would haunt me.

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