open house compensation

10 Replies

i did an open open house for a coworker  .  if a visitor to open house person is currently working with an agent and they purchase the property after attending the open house, am i entitled to a commission

Short answer, no, unless you are the procuring cause of the sale.  

Generally, the listing agent and the buyers agent will get a commission no matter who hosts an open house.  Most agents consider hosting an open house as an opportunity to find prospective buyers that do not yet have an agent.  


 @Craig Wilcox if you would not mind answering a question. @Muriel Hair question  has me thinking of open houses I attended without my agent. :| the person that hosted the open house wanted me to sign a "guest" book and handed me her card. my friend took the card and but didn't sign the book. I didn't sign because I'm just paranoid that way. Does signing acknowledge anything? What if I was interested and went back to my agent and said, hey I found this house. 

thanks and have a great night.....

@Daria B. ,

The guest book can serve a couple purposes.  It is a way for the host agent to document how successful the open house was for the seller.  It can also be a way for the host agent to get contact information of any attendees that are looking for a house but do not have a buyers agent.  The host agent can then follow up with a call, email, or letter in an attempt to gain a new client.  If you have an agent and include their name on the guest list, the listing agent can follow up with your agent to see if there is any interest.

You do not need to sign (just politely say you would prefer not to) but there is really no reason to be paranoid.  If you have an agent, you can sign your name and the name and brokerage of your agent for contact info.  Sometimes if you tell them that you are working with an agent, they may ask you who it is but will not ask you to sign the guest book.  Or, if you don't have an agent you can sign your name with no contact info so they still have a record of the number of attendees but will not contact you.

Open houses are a great way to view multiple houses that might fit your needs without setting up multiple appointments.  If you are interested in the house, I would recommend the next step to be a private showing with your agent.  Your agent will set up the showing with the listing agent (whether that is the host agent or not) and you will go from there.  

I hope that helps, feel free to message me if you have more questions.

 @Craig Wilcox thanks for the answer. I've been to a lot of open houses with my friend and never sign the book. When I had an agent I thought it would be bad for her since I didn't know if it would affect her commission. Somehow I thought there was an obligation if I signed.

@Craig Wilcox , super helpful response. I am an investor who has recently gotten my RE license and is just starting to feel out the retail market. I have a colleague (investor) who is listing her flip this coming week and has asked that I host two open houses for her on Sat/Sun. 

I was curious as to whether or not I can ask to be nominally compensated for a hosting fee or if I just let it be and help out. I am not actively looking for retail buyers at this moment, but I know that it wouldn't hurt to help facilitate it for my colleague. 

Thanks for your insights.

Not unless it was discussed and agreed upon (in writing) with the listing agent that you were going to get a cut of theirs.

@Alissa Collins ,  First of all, congratulations on getting your license.  

Your decision regarding the open house is really a personal one.  If you feel there is a benefit in hosting the open house then that could be enough compensation alone.  You may be able to get valuable feedback from home buyers that can help in your business.  You could make a connection you might not otherwise make with neighbors or other professionals checking out the latest flip.  Or, maybe it will develop a better relationship with your colleague that could lead to future benefits.

On the other hand, your time is valuable, there is nothing wrong with asking for compensation or not hosting it at all.  If you have the time, I would consider hosting the first one as an educational experience.  Pay attention and look for ways to gain value through knowledge, contacts, or monetary means.   If it ends up that you are just passing time watching a house, you will have to determine what your time is worth and ask for that upon the next hosting request.

I hope that helps.

I'm not an agent, so take my answer for what it's worth. 

I think that theoretical learning is only the base, the real learning starts when you're dealing with houses and buyers and sellers and lookers. 

So, I would think as a new agent, it would be a great learning experience. You'll get a feel for what buyers in that area are looking for, what questions they ask, what they like and don't like, what's their preference. 

You might fumble with your answers at the beginning, maybe have to ask and get back to them, maybe don't understand their reasoning or whatever. But it allows you to build up your answers and understand what buyers want and what is important to emphasize and what to minimize. 

Once you've done this a few time, you will come across more fluid in your discussion and like an 'old hand'. It'll be easier to pick up new clients, because they feel more secure with someone that appears to have been at this for a while and seems confident. 

So, for that reason, as a new agent, I would appreciate the learning opportunity of holding an open house for another agent.

@Craig Wilcox - thanks for the thoughtful response. I hear you loud and clear on all your points. 

@Michaela G. - your insights are much appreciated. I'm always up for learning opportunities and you're right, there is no replacement for experimental learning. 

I've gladly accepted the opportunity for my colleague and will be there this weekend. It will be fun to talk with everyone who walks through the door this weekend. 

Thanks again and cheers! 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here