Results Realty Buzz: Open house - what works for you???

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Open house - what works for you???

 I have an open house tomorrow and it has been a very long time since I have held a house open.  I think probably five plus years.  When I first got in to real estate I held houses open every Saturday and Sunday.  I did find buyers but to be quite honest I NEVER sold a house I held open from an open house.  I finally quit doing them as I decided I was getting more advantage from them than the seller was. 

I remember a lot of neighbors showing up.  In this instance the house I am holding open is a flip so the neighbor's showing up could be a good thing as they have been watching the house being remodeled and my clients did a great job on the house.  It could be a good way to get the word out.

I'm now trying to remember the things that I use to do for a successful open house.  I know that I always put out a lot of signs.  I also remember deciding that Saturdays did not work well; Sundays seemed to work better.  It seems like I decided 1:00 to 4:00 was the best time.  I had a sign in sheet which I am sure is saved on my computer somewhere.  I also ran off a one page print out of all the homes that were currently on the market in the subdivision for comparison.  I'm not sure how important that is.  Am I missing anything?

I would LOVE to break my cycle of NEVER selling a home from an open house so would like to make this a success.  Do you have any great open house advice?

Comment balloon 45 commentsMarchel Peterson • October 27 2007 09:40PM

Comments

I ask the folks if they're working with a Realtor in a buyer agency contract. This minimizes any industry conflict if they proceed with the house through your Open House efforts.

Posted by Blogger To Be Named Later almost 11 years ago
Marchel,
Sounds like you have it pretty well covered.  I do try to take a sheet of listings with a print out of homes in the same price range (same neighborhood or across town).  That way, if YOUR open doesn't suit them perhaps something else in that price range.  I actually like to take my laptop and do a customized search for people on the spot... another good way to pick up buyers.
Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) almost 11 years ago

Make flyers so people will remember the home.
Put balloons on your signs.

You're right about Open Houses being more beneficial to the agent than to the seller.  I do them to build on my data base - just another way of prospecting.

Good Luck and have fun!

Posted by Nancy Brenner, Roswell Georgia Real Estate Agent (Referral Associates of Georgia, Inc.) almost 11 years ago
A buyer is worth their weight in gold.  Just one fresh contact would make your time well spent.
Posted by Barb Merrill, GRI, Associate Broker (Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC) almost 11 years ago
I use lots of signs, lots of balloons, and I always ask them for their names and stuff and write it myself, in my own handwriting, which I can actually read!  Good luck!  Have fun!  Let us know how it goes!
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Andrew, that's a great suggestion.  I'm sure that helps to minimize problems later on.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Carol, I always took the print out of the all the homes available in the subdivison in the past.  I guess that would probably be a good idea to do again. 
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Roswell, you are right from my experience the open house has been more profitable for me than for my seller.  I would love to figure out a way to make them work for the seller; which would of course mean finding a buyer (lol). 
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Barbara, you are right it is extra contact.  This house looks great so I would love to find that special buyer for it.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

Patricia, I LOVE the idea about writing their name myself.  I can remember trying to decipher handwriting.  I had forgot about using ballons.  I think I can get them at a dollar store. 

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel...you'll do great...sounds like your all prepared.  Take something to read or work on (just in case). Take Patricia's idea of balloons (on your signs).  Also give us a report back after and let us know how it went.  GOOD LUCK!
Posted by Mary Warren almost 11 years ago
Marchel~ I make several copies of school reports (which have my contact information on it) and pass it along.  Good luck tomorrow!
Posted by Lisa Ryan, Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town (Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty) almost 11 years ago

Signs and balloons.  I like individual sign in sheets - I can write on them as we talk plus it provides better privacy for the visitors - there is no need for others to see their information.   I like having mints or small candies plus water.  Don't forget the thank you cards - fill them out after they leave & get it in the mail!  (I got a call from one today - of course the house they called on went under contract last week - but it's not over yet!).

I had one house sell via an open - my listing but another agent (ok, I could have fought for procuring cause, but my goal was to get the house sold). 

I'm starting an open house as a spec agent tomorrow - this is new to me.  I believe, I have to have opens two Sunday's a month.  They (new construction twins) better sell tomorrow or the crew better work fast in getting heat & water in there!  I am looking forward to it as they are affordable ($220,000).   I could be sitting a higher end staged home but I feel the lower price (and there are two) will sell soon.  (Plus I did the higher end home this afternoon - have a possible but probably not buyer...)

Posted by Judi Glamb, Associate Broker, ABR (Coldwell Banker Hearthside) almost 11 years ago
I'd run to Craigs List and quickly advertise the open house, if  you haven't already!  Sounds like you've got it covered.  Is the house furnished?  If not, I'd bring a chair!  Just call me silly!
Posted by Natalie Langford, Winchester, VA Real Estate (Realty Negotiations) almost 11 years ago
Five years for an open house.  It appears you need to get up and going with the market.  I get plenty of real Buyers fron Open House.
Posted by Gary Bland (Century 21 All Islands) almost 11 years ago

I have not done them in a while either for the same reasons as you...well.. some bright balloons...those who are interested will find you..

Posted by Konnie Mac McCarthy, Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!" (MacNificent Properties, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Mary, it has been a long time so I'm not feeling extremly prepared but glad I made this post it is helping.

Lisa, school reports are a good idea.  We have a GREAT school district.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

Judi, what all do you have on your individual sign in sheet?  I have the sign in sheet I normally use somewhere saved on my computer.  I'm not sure if I will have time to come up with an individual sheet but it does sound like a good idea.  When I was first in real estate I use to do open houses for a builder in his spec homes.  I found quite a few buyers for his homes, actually they mainly built from raw land. 

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Natalie, I did not even think of Craigs list, that wasn't that popular when I was doing them way back when.  I wouldn't have a clue how to go about putting it in Craigs list my husband usually does that.  I can see if he can get it in early tomorrow.  I will definitely keep that in mind for next time though.  Thanks for the suggestion!!
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

Gary, I did get buyers when I use to do them but I never sold the house I held open and I started feeling like I was taking advantage of my sellers so I got out of the habit.  This has been the first time that someone has really wanted one and since the house is vacant I don't feel like I am chasing them out of their home so it looks like a WIN, WIN.

Konnie, I will try the bright balloons.  I'm not sure where to get them but I will try the dollar store first.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel, maybe for next time, send out fliers or post cards to your neighborhood or farm area to let them know about your open house so that you get more buyers to come by.  Good luck.
Posted by Thavisak Lucky Syphanthong (Lucky Star Realty) almost 11 years ago
Hello Marchel, I did an open house today and only had two visitors.  One wants me to list her property, the other may want her property listed a little farther down the road.  That's pretty much what open houses do for me.  And, who knows, you might just get that one special visitor who needs your property.
Posted by Robert Monk, Florida Real Estate (100% Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago
Open houses may bring you action, but they seldom produce a buyer for the property where the open house is held, at least in my experience.
Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) almost 11 years ago

I sold one house to someone at an Open House (they called me and I actually sold them a different one).  Not all Open Houses provide buyers, or even "lookie -loos", but it is a good time to network, and get to know the property even better.  I just did one where I learned how difficult it was to raise the shades in the rooms, and saw a few things I hadn't seen earlier :)

**Be nice to the neighbors, they might know someone that wants to move to the neighborhood.

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 11 years ago

Marchel,

If anyone will do it right, prepare and work to draw traffic, I know YOU will... 

When we talk about "maximizing exposure" of a property, I think that an open house falls into that category.

I offer to do open houses at listing appointments, making it an option for the seller, under the assumption that the Seller is preparing the home properly for market and pricing it right. 

Yes it is a long shot, but... It only takes one person to buy.

Sell it!

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) almost 11 years ago

Marchel,

Craig's List has been mentioned by a couple of folks and it does attract Buyers. There is another site which I would post to first this site is ListingVue.com. ListingVue.com allows you to post a much more attractive ad on their site, they then provide you a link to use on Craig's List which will provide you with an ad far superior to any ad you can create within the Craig's List site. Here is a link http://providence.craigslist.org/rfs/449497166.html to a Craig's List Ad I created using ListingVue.com.

 

Good luck with your Open House.

Posted by Larry Morse, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO (The Larry Morse Group/Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago

Thavisak, I'm not too big on print advertising but I'm always willing to try something new.

Robert, it sounds like you had those neighbors but it also sounds like you might get some future business from the neighbors.  Maybe I will get that special visitor who needs this property today.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

Erik, your experience has been my experience which is why I got away from doing them.

Kathy, this home is a flip home but they did a BEAUTIFUL job with it so maybe some neighbors will come and know someone that needs the house.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Mike, I always leave the open house option open but I do let them know that usually it is more business for me than them.  In this case the sellers do want me to do the open house and you are right it only takes that one person who wants the house.  It has been quite some time since I have done one and it has been great getting all these ideas.  Some I use to use and just forgot about like the balloons but Criags list was a new one, 5 years ago it wasn't such a big thing.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Larry, my husband listed it bright and early this morning on Craigslist with our point2agent site.  It also gives a beautiful presentation.  I will keep ListingVue in mind however for the next time.  Thanks for sharing it!
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel - Good luck on your open house.  I truly do hope you have a good turnout.
Posted by Candy Henthorne, Spring Texas Real Estate (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marcel - I like to have bottled water available, sometimes a snack.   Good Luck on you open house.
Posted by Cindy Saling, Smooth Saling with Cindy Saling (Award Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel--I have sold homes at opens but mostly just sit and read a good book. I still do them because those neighbors can be helpful or might need a home sold. So it is a good place to connect to your base and get the word out on the home. I have had showings on the home the day after open houses so all the drive bys of Sunday turn into showings on Monday. Take the brochures out of the box so they have to come in...Watch by the window to see them before they walk in the door. And be yourself, friendly and helpful....Don't push the house as houses sell themselves. But if they look like they are interested, answer any questions about the home you can. Good luck!
Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel, Reading your blogs, I can tell YOU are an outstanding realtor. If anyone can have a successful open house it is you.  I agree with you - in 34 years, I have never sold the house that was the OPEN HOUSE but have sold others. I don't do them anymore except to please the seller.   Great blog, as usual.
Posted by Kay Perry (Kay Perry, Broker) almost 11 years ago
I always take Sarah's candy bars too.... but since it is Sunday and almost 1 your time you do not have time for them.  I think you got it Marchel -sell that house
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

Candy, I hope the turn out is good also, it is a BEAUTIFUL day so hopefully lots of people will show up.

Cindy, I guess it it too late to get enough bottled water cold and there is not a frig so maybe next time.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Teri, I'm taking lots of stuff to read.  This is a good time to get caught up on all those Realtor magazines that come in the mail.  I was going to take a book but decided to opt for the magazines.  I'm a huge reader and it is hard to tear me away from a book (lol).  Thanks for your comments.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

Kay, I would just have to ditto your comment. That would be why I have not done one in so long; at least this time I am not chasing anyone our of their home.

Thesa, what are Sarah's candy bars?  That sounds like something I NEED to know about.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Hey, thanks I just learned something......"take the fliers out of the box so they have to come in." Thanks Teri.
Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel - I so hope your open house was a success,I read your post late.  I too have never sold a house as a result of the open house but I have picked up buyers who purchased other properties.
Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 11 years ago

I want to thank all of you for responding.  I had a VERY successful open house!  I had 9 different groups of people go through.  Some were neighbors but quite a few were not.  I actually think I have some people that are interested in this house; which was really my GOAL for this open house so that was great.

I did get the balloons. I went to the dollar store after Church and got those metallic looking balloons that said "For Sale" and they were in bright red and yellow.  I thought about buying 4 and then threw in an extra one which was a good thing because I lost the very first one trying to tie it to my sign. 

My husband put the listing on Craigslist early this morning and I had already put it in the public side of our MLS.  Most everyone came from all the signs I put out but I did have one that came from the public MLS.  Next time I will remember Craigslist earlier.

I REALLY appreciated all the comments; it really helped me to get back in the groove of doing an open house!

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Well, I probably won't be much help, because I've never sold the house I'm holding open.  Actually, my husband has done it several times over the years, but I am now reluctant to do it with potential agency problems.  I take promotioal material and a good book.Karen
Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) almost 11 years ago
Marchel, my open house over the week end produced a very likely listing, and a potential listing in the near future.  And who knows, sometimes the curious neighbors who visit want to choose their own neighbors and may send you a buyer???
Posted by Robert Monk, Florida Real Estate (100% Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Good Job, Marchel!

Generating traffic is the first step to finding a Buyer.

I hope you do!

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) almost 11 years ago
Marchel  (I see that you already had your open house but wanted to share this anyway) - this may have already been mentioned but I always print off in a nice manner all the homes in the area in the same price range - this way you can offer to show them all the other homes they have interest in!  They can take home the listings and have your contact info all over them.
Posted by Kim Carpenter, Lake Winnipesaukee REALTOR -Lake Winnipesaukee Real Estate, NH (Coldwell Banker) almost 11 years ago

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