This list was originally posted on August 22, 2016. Since then, the real estate market has exploded, and I’m not sure realtors even have open houses. These days usually list the home and give buyers a week to submit a bid. Someday, the old ways will come back, and this list may be handy when they do.
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The inspiration for this list is having attended some realtor open houses and having an active imagination of the realtor’s reaction 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 your 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 as 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 photo ends up at the Multiple Listing Service, and this will be your last open house. (You should have set the alarm before that nap.)
7 If you attend a realtor open house, do not make jokes about the home owner’s relative’s 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 boss’s house until you saw his photo in the last frame, 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. (It’s retty uncomfortable explaining how you came to turn the thing on in the first place. Oh, and how 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 until the tub is dry. (Of course, you can’t turn off the superheated motor, so you stand by helplessly watching the firefighters try to save the house from the burning lanai.)