When you open your house, you open your life

Nick "Slueras" "Fleuras" Flueras got caught. Your thief probably will not. (Flickr photo by angus mcdiarmid)

The conventional wisdom has been that open houses work better for the listing agent than for the seller.  It’s a way to capture buyers for other properties, goes the thinking.

In Manhattan, however, open houses often provide an unencumbered path to an offer that leads to a contract.  Sometimes they benefit the listing agent either for the foregoing reason or because the agent snares a direct transaction–one in which the buyer is unrepresented and the agent can collect up to twice the commission otherwise earned.

An unexpected beneficiary could well be a thief dressed in buyer’s clothing.

Brokers tend to be pretty good about warning their sellers about the need to hide expensive items such as jewelry.  Some are less diligent than others.  Moreover, no one or two agents can be everywhere in an open house all the time. Continue reading