Open House Reviews


By Patrick   Follow   Fri, 23 Mar 2012, 4:35pm   6,020 views   30 comments
In Menlo Park CA 94025   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

There is a new forum named Open House Reviews. Write a short review of any open house for sale or for rent, give the address, and say what you liked or disliked about the property -- especially what you disliked, since that's what the realtors and landlords are probably hiding from buyers.

It's also fine to write reviews of property that's not for sale or for rent. You don't need to have visited the property either, just write something interesting or useful about the property.

Why should users bother to write a review?

1. Because writers get a week of free access to Rental Comps and Price And Rent History starting from the moment they enter the property review. That access normally costs $7/week: http://patrick.net/housing/subscribe.php

2. Because writers get a week of free access to all the other reviews as well. Otherwise, they have to be a paid subscriber to get access to the other reviews.

3. Because writers will get famous for their honest and useful reviews.

4. It gives buyers a weapon to fight back against realtor spin.

That's all there is to it.

Viewing Comments 1-30 of 30     Last »     See most liked comments

  1. grinderman


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    1   12:31am Sat 24 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    This site is made up of people that are interested in one way or another , in property . If I am attending open houses , I therefore must be interested in a buying a property . Why would I want to share this information with anybody else ?

    " I fould this amazing house , please come and outbid me "

  2. Patrick


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    2   10:01am Sat 24 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    You're right that if you want the house for yourself you're not likely to share a good review of it on Patrick.net.

    But there are some good reasons to share negative reviews:

    * You get a week of free access to the Patrick.net Data Service which other people pay $7 per week for.
    * You get access to all the other reviews and comments in the Property Reviews forum, where you might find some detail about the property from someone else that is really important.
    * When you've decided you do not want a property, the details you post about that property might be really valuable to someone else. Helping other people is nice.
    * If you make your money from real estate in some way, you build a good reputation by posting informative reviews of property (not just advertising fluff).

    BTW, I had to move your comment from the Property Reviews forum to this thread because otherwise non-subscribers (and non-reviewers) would only be able to read the first few words!

  3. Patrick


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    3   12:38pm Mon 26 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    grinderman says

    If I am attending open houses , I therefore must be interested in a buying a property . Why would I want to share this information with anybody else ?

    " I fould this amazing house , please come and outbid me "

    Hmmm, another way you can use this service is to point out all the bad things about a house you are interested in. This may discourage other bidders and get you a better price.

    As long as you're telling the truth about those bad things, I don't mind. Realtors ignore the flaws in their advertising, so you're free to ignore the positive features of the house in your review.

  4. leo707


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    4   3:49pm Mon 26 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    grinderman says

    If I am attending open houses , I therefore must be interested in a buying a property . Why would I want to share this information with anybody else ?

    Often times when attending open houses you may know directly afterward that you are no longer interested. Just post reviews on homes you have lost interest in.

  5. rooemoore


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    5   8:34am Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Actually, only a small percentage of open house attendees are potential buyers.

  6. Landru3000


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    6   9:44am Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    grinderman says

    This site is made up of people that are interested in one way or another , in property . If I am attending open houses , I therefore must be interested in a buying a property . Why would I want to share this information with anybody else ?

    " I fould this amazing house , please come and outbid me "

    Some folks like to go to open houses just to look and talk about them. I'm no longer looking, I bought six months ago, but I still come here and read this site.

  7. Patrick


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    7   11:22am Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Whether you own or not, you still probably still have valuable opinions on specific houses for sale.

    I'd be delighted if you'd review a property.

  8. Patrick


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    8   1:15pm Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks but I didn't make it clear enough that the reviews are all supposed to be here:

    http://patrick.net/forum/open-house-reviews/

    If you create a new thread in that forum about a property you get a week of free access to everything on Patrick.net.

  9. Icabod


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    9   1:54pm Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I will check out the Open House forum and add some if I go to more. Recently I went to one that looked amazing in photos online but was a dump with rental tenants in person. The best part was a velvet print of Kramer hanging on the wall in between two bedrooms.

  10. Patrick


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    10   2:02pm Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    It would be great if you could include photos like that in your review.

  11. Patrick


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    11   5:23pm Tue 27 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    What would make this viral, that is, spontaneously spreading by itself?

    I could let every reviewer also email any review to anyone. Would people use that?

    I could place ads in the Open Houses sections of newspapers, saying "Review these open houses!" but then, the newspapers probably wouldn't like it, and it's expensive.

    I could stand outside some open houses and pass out cards, asking people to write up their opinion of the house on the Open House Reviews forum. But there's just one of me.

    I could give free access to all the reviews to reporters, hoping they write about them.

  12. chemechie


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    12   10:45am Wed 28 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Do you have a mechanism to prevent realtors or sellers from posting unrealistic reviews of houses to generate traffice?

    I would suggest NOT giving free access to reporters - once you give them one thing free, they will want everything else free. Make them post their own reviews to get access just like everyone else.

  13. Patrick


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    13   10:51am Wed 28 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    chemechie says

    Do you have a mechanism to prevent realtors or sellers from posting unrealistic reviews of houses to generate traffice?

    Yes, the other commenters! The sellers and realtors can say what they want, but everyone else can correct them immediately. In fact, that's what I hope will happen.

    OK, reporters will need to post their own reviews to get access.

    I really wish there were someone to contact everyone that went to a certain open house and ask them for a review.

  14. leo707


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    14   11:03am Wed 28 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    I really wish there were someone to contact everyone that went to a certain open house and ask them for a review.

    A real estate agent may do this if they feel confident in a property.

    It might actually be a good mechanism for a sellers agent to get in contact with interested buyers that are not represented by an agent.

    Honest reviews, along with the agents comments, may generate buyers willing to consider the property warts and all.

  15. FortWayne


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    15   8:38am Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I was thinking Patrick, why not a "Realtor reviews" forum? I don't think something like that exists where negative reviews aren't suppressed, at least I haven't seen it.

  16. Patrick


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    16   8:56am Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Sure, it's fine with me if people want to review realtors as well as open houses on the same "Open House Reviews" forum.

    I'd rather not create yet another forum for it, since I already have eleven forums. Of course then the title of the Open House Reviews forum isn't quite correct, but I don't care too much about that.

  17. permanent_marker


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    17   2:03pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    What would make this viral, that is, spontaneously spreading by itself?

    @patrick
    it is challenging for a 'closed system' to go viral.

    let me give you an example. Would you think videos on youtube would go viral, if they asked "upload your own video to see this video"?.. no!

    I'd very much like to see you open up the 'open house' forum. People would add reviews if they like what they see and want to contribute for the 'greater good'.

  18. jessica


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    18   2:39pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Is there a way to search by city?

  19. APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch


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    19   3:14pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    This is a great idea.

    P.Netters can report on their own performances during open houses like finding the termites and pointing them out to everyone; exposing obvious Realtor® lies in the property descriptions; printing up records of complaints against the Realtor® and handing them out to marks; printing up records of property transactions by the Realtor® that indicate that the criminal scum bag is a flopper and that the open houses he/she/it runs are just marketing scams to mine for fresh marks, etc

  20. Goran_K


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    20   3:17pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    I think a Realtor review forum would be great, or at least a place where we can personally review realtors so others can browse the database of realtor reviews. I have a few reviews to dish out...

  21. Patrick


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    21   3:23pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    permanent_marker says

    I'd very much like to see you open up the 'open house' forum. People would add reviews if they like what they see and want to contribute for the 'greater good'.

    I did have it open in several different incarnations for several years, with disappointing results. Everyone wanted to read, but no one wanted to write.

    By requiring that people write a review to read full reviews, I've gotten a better rate of new reviews than the open version, so far anyway. Also, the option to pay to view reviews makes people feel that free access for adding a review is a good deal. I think. And maybe I'll make some money from a few paid subscribers!

    Your own reviews and the comments on them are always available to you.

    jessica says

    Is there a way to search by city?

    Good idea. You can already put a zip code or city in the search box and it would probably work OK, though not perfectly. I'm working on improving it.

  22. Patrick


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    22   3:55pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    APOCALYPSEFUCK is Tony Manero says

    This is a great idea.

    P.Netters can report on their own performances during open houses like finding the termites and pointing them out to everyone; exposing obvious Realtor® lies in the property descriptions; printing up records of complaints against the Realtor® and handing them out to marks; printing up records of property transactions by the Realtor® that indicate that the criminal scum bag is a flopper and that the open houses he/she/it runs are just marketing scams to mine for fresh marks, etc

    Welcome back! Several people were worried about your absence and missed your scathing commentary.

    Think I should require that users write reviews to read reviews?

    Goran_K says

    I think a Realtor review forum would be great, or at least a place where we can personally review realtors so others can browse the database of realtor reviews. I have a few reviews to dish out...

    People are free to review realtors in the same "Open House" forum, though I know the title contradicts that.

    permanent_marker says

    let me give you an example. Would you think videos on youtube would go viral, if they asked "upload your own video to see this video"?.. no!

    How about any subscriber can email out a free-access link to any review?

    So then other people could read any review that you mail to them.

  23. Tom Stone


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    23   5:22pm Thu 29 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I am a Broker Associate in Sebastopol and I enjoy the opportunity to post honest reviews here. If anyone has a place they'd like me to look at in Western Sonoma County I would be happy to do it and report my impressions. I comment frequently on Calculated Risk and write the occasional post at "Bay Area Real Estate Trends". It would be interesting to have someone else look at the same properties and compare our takes. Anyone up for it?

  24. APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch


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    24   12:17pm Fri 30 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Business travel has been demanding. Europe, S America and points in SE Asia in three weeks time.

    Nuts.

    Requirements are always harsh with volunteer time. Better, you will feature the most outrageous stories - Realtor® a gun on you at an open house when you handed out leaflets revealing that the property had been flopped by the Realtor® and a straw, for example - on the index page with a PatNet ScumBuster Award or something.

    Patrick says

    Welcome back! Several people were worried about your absence and missed your scathing commentary.

    Think I should require that users write reviews to read reviews?

  25. Patrick


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    25   12:43pm Fri 30 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Tom Stone says

    I am a Broker Associate in Sebastopol and I enjoy the opportunity to post honest reviews here.

    You are a brave man. You've probably noticed that Patrick.net is not exactly the NAR fan club. But I welcome your reviews and the chance to comment on them.

    I'd consider living in Sebastopol. Have only driven past it though. Does it have a walkable downtown?

    APOCALYPSEFUCK is Tony Manero says

    Better, you will feature the most outrageous stories - Realtor® a gun on you at an open house when you handed out leaflets revealing that the property had been flopped by the Realtor® and a straw, for example

    I also welcome stories of realtor malfeasance, as long as they're true. Please post under the relevant address.

    All opinions and all facts are welcome.

  26. bubblesitter


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    26   1:55pm Fri 30 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    @patrick,

    I am sure you would have thought about it,but make sure your protect yourself against any crazy(civil) action from any realtor - like some sort of disclaimer on your part. I'd rather be safe then getting into any trouble. Realtors are crazy people.

  27. Patrick


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    27   4:02pm Fri 30 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    If it's true it isn't slander.

    Opinions are also not slander.

    If it's a lie, well, I can probably just delete it.

    If I didn't write it, I think my own liability is limited anyway.

    If someone actually sues, well, that's a lot of free publicity for the Open House Reviews!

  28. Tom Stone


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    28   4:41pm Fri 30 Mar 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Sebastopol has a very walkable downtown. And as far as the NAR goes, I don't know many people in the business who aren't embarassed by the pronouncements of Yun, and before him Lereah.I had to join the local association to do business which automatically makes me a member of the CAR and NAR. And as far as being brave posting here,there is a certain symmetry to it. When I googled "Housing Bubble" in early 2005 it led me here, then to the housing bubble blog and eventually to the Sonoma Housing Bubble blog and Calculated Risk. I commented frequently on the Sonoma County blog until it died and still frequent CR, I also write posts at "Bay Area Real estate Trends" on occasion. If anyone here is curious about a property in western Sonoma County I can take a look. My opinions may be wrong but they are honest, because honesty gets me the kind of clients I want.

  29. Patrick


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    29   4:10pm Sun 1 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I have added one more way to get access to the Open House Reviews: by sharing any thread with a friend, both you and he also get a week of free access.

    The general idea is that you have to give to get. You can give in three ways:

    1. Write an open house review.
    2. Share any thread with a friend who is not yet on Patrick.net.
    3. Pay for a subscription.

    So as long as you're helping the Open House Reviews forum to grow, you never have to pay.

  30. bg


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    30   4:44pm Sun 1 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I am so glad this is here. I love the discussions of properties that seemed to go on more a year or more ago on Pat.net. I think there was a database issue with those in the past.

    Coincidentally in the last three weeks I have been to a few open houses. I am going to have fun writing reviews. I love Patrick's data service!

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