The Open House Circuit Isn’t For Everyone

A South Bay man accepted hundreds of offers from open houses. But the homes weren’t for sale… they were for bidders.

That’s what happened to Christopher McBride, who’s lived in the South Bay for 15 years. And he was on an open house sale circuit this year when he received an offer that he couldn’t refuse.

“I was like, ‘You can’t get me out of this now,'” McBride recalled. “I could get out of it.”

So he did what any good South Bay man would do. He ignored the open houses and instead traveled to other neighborhoods in the Bay Area and the country.

“And I ended up with hundreds of cash offers that were rejected,” McBride told NBC Bay Area.

It’s this kind of behavior that’s been plaguing him for two decades — buyers looking for their own. And he’s not alone.

There’s a widespread practice among the Bay Area’s real-estate buying public, and it’s been going on for a while. It’s called “offering open houses for the purpose of selling the homes rather than for sale.” It’s known as “the open-house circuit.”

Real estate agents and home sellers agree that the practice helps attract attention to the homes they display.

Some real estate agents call it the “open-house circuit.”

That sounds like a good practice, doesn’t it? Well, the thing is that it isn’t — at least, not for everyone.

The practice can lead to a variety of problems.

The real-estate agents say that the open-house circuit can be used for more than just advertising.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to introduce the community to a property that may not otherwise be identified or to introduce the property to buyers who may not otherwise be identified,” said Jennifer Chirnside, a real-estate agent and president of

“Open houses are a great way to attract people to a house,” she said.

But some of the worst effects of the open-house circuit on buyers are the ones that cause the most concern to

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