Three Open House Traps Buyers Should Avoid

When you're touring a home, it's easy to lose focus on what you came to do -- see if the house is right for you.

By: Geoff Williams

They aren't the enemy or devious people, but that smiling real estate agent and the chipper homeowner have an ulterior motive.

But don't worry: they aren't trying to pull the wool over your eyes in a sneaky we're-going-to-rip-you-off-and-then-dump-your-body-in-the-river sort of way. It's more along the lines of a woman putting on makeup and fixing her hair before a job interview, or a man who shaves before a date even though he usually sports at least three days' growth. In other words, this is an open house, not an open book.

The real estate agent and homeowner want to impress you. They want you to fall in love. They're thinking, "Pick me, pick me," and anyone knows that just as an employer won't be impressed with a job applicant who shows up in sweats and a T-shirt, they know that the house better look its best.

So when you go to an open house, if you really want to buy a home that you're going to love after the crowds have left, not to mention that nice furniture, then make sure that you're on guard and not about to be swayed by some charm. Unless, of course, that house you're looking at really is truly charming.

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