Is there an Open House Trick??

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 150522

I have several listings that will be part of community OPEN HOUSES this weekend.  I have never felt that Open Houses have produced buyers.....but is our market changing in this aspect as well.  Does a combination of stagging and Open Houses invite a new buyer.  With the majority of buyers shopping on line (I have seen numbers from 80-90% in the last few weeks) is this the next step?

Does it eliminate the need for Buyer Agents?

Does it give you an advantage over homes that do not participate?

Do you have financing information included in the home?

Can you post Open Houses in your MLS system?

How do your promote your Open House?

What are your tricks with Open Houses?

 

Open House

 

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Rainer
131,969
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Libby - I market my open houses in print media as well as in my Internet sources.  I make it a practice to put my open house information on my virtual tours since I only have to go to one location to put this information in.  Once I do this my current opens are posted on every site that has my listings.

Apr 17, 2009 07:50 AM #2
Rainer
42,223
Wendy Welborne-Kimery
Keller Williams-Lake Norman Mooresville,NC - Mooresville, NC

Libby, I do feel that open houses are having more turnout these days.  I don't have any tricks.  I know nice weather helps.  I have had more luck with homes in a neighborhood vs homes further out by themselves.  I will usually burn a scented candle or even bake cookies (with the owners permission).  This seems to help with vacant homes.  GOOD LUCK with your open houses.  I'll check back here to see what good tips you get so I can try them too.

Apr 18, 2009 07:01 AM #3
Ambassador
1,870,325
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Libby, there is no trick to Open House's that I know of.  It does not seem to make any sense as to which ones are well attended and which ones are not.  I do provide financing information to the Realtors that I partner with for their Open Houses, and that seems to go over well.

One thing I am sure of and that is that Open Houses will not replace the need for Buyer Agents.  Buyer Agents serve a valued service that goes way beyond being tour guides for looking at houses :) :)

Apr 18, 2009 04:01 PM #4
Rainmaker
47,012
Libby Offnick
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Mooresville, NC
ABR, e-PRO, SPS

It was great weather today but very little turnout...still part of a holiday week so that could have had something to do with it.  Sellers still love them.....at least the first one.  I have never experienced sales results so maybe time and effort is better spent somewhere else. 

Apr 18, 2009 05:24 PM #5
Ambassador
979,894
Amanda and Jared Christiansen, YOUR Fort Wayne Realtors
Century 21 Bradley (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Century 21 Bradley.

I tried something different last week.  I handed out over 250 fliers out in the neighborhood the week before.  7 groups showed up.   Out of those 7, 1 person was interested in the house but was working with a Realtor already.  I also picked up a solid buyer so it was a success.  Not sure about any secrets though...

Apr 19, 2009 09:11 AM #6
Rainer
3,721
Dee'Anna Wright
RE/MAX All Points - Roanoke, VA

I agree, open houses are a hit or miss. Weather does not seem to ensure attendance. My best open house this year was in our only snow storm. I advertise sometimes, other times I just put out signs. I find the best success is actually talking to the people, some are willing, some are not.

Apr 21, 2009 01:02 PM #7
Rainmaker
169,423
Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate

I am not a fan of open houses, but I have read some great tips on here, having other agents participate in a progressive style open house was one tip, flyer to this and neighborhoods close by, balloons on the mailbox, etc.  All are great ideas when pulled together.

Apr 25, 2009 10:43 PM #8
Rainmaker
184,784
Kathleen Ann Pacheco-Corbett
(FIRST Exclusive Buyer's Office Providence-RI) - Providence, RI
Realtor, RI-MA, CEBA, Master, e-Pro, ABR, ABRM, GR

As a buyer's agent I find that open houses are a time saver for me and my client. If I am showing scheduled properties I look for open houses and we view them as well. I have had clients purchase from a house that had been open in the neighborhood they wanted.

Jun 01, 2009 02:44 AM #9
Rainer
43,056
Roseann Annis
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Camp Hill, PA

Libby, I have only sold two listings through open houses during the past three years, with the exception of new construction.  I find that most of the folks who come through open houses fall into three categories:  1)  drive-bys and neighbors just curious  2) buyers whose agents sent them to preview the home  3)  folks who are genuinely interested in seeing several properties on that Sunday. (the minority)

Our multi-list has a wonderful web site, www.centralpennopenhouse, where REALTORS can advertise open houses to the public.

The only other suggestion I have is to advertise the Open House on www.REALTOR.comor any other Internet program where you have an acount.

Thanks for a thought-provoking blog.

Sep 14, 2009 02:52 PM #10
Rainmaker
120,224
Marie Westerman
Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate/ Wilson Parker Homes - Evans, GA
New Homes Sales Specialist Evans GA REALTOR

I have never liked doing Open Houses. But I have added it to my marketing plan this year for 2010. Not to get buyers but to get more sellers. I will be walking the neighborhood and personally inviting and asking if they know anyone that may be interested in the area. Hopefully it will create a attitude of "I have never seen a Agent work so Hard" mentality for others thinking about selling there homes. I am giving it a 4 month trial period doing 2 open houses a month.

Dec 16, 2009 03:06 PM #11
Rainer
18,972
LINDA FRANKS
Crye-Leike Realtors - Marion, AR

THERE ARE NO TRICKS TO OPEN HOUSES,JUST PRAY FOR NICE WEATHER,HAVE YOUR HOME PRICED TO SELL, MAKE SURE IT'S IS CLEAN AS A WHISTLE. SOMETIMES IT IS PURE LUCK- YOU CAN HAVE SEVERAL BUYERS COME BY OR JUST ONE, YOU NEVER KNOW.

May 05, 2010 12:09 AM #12
Rainmaker
146,814
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales - Tewksbury, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

I have been finding in generally open houses to be quite poor in attendance.  I would rather spend my time marketing the home in other ways than sit around for two hours for 2 people to come thru that arent qualified.

Jul 19, 2010 07:08 PM #13
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE THE "QUEEN" OF OPEN HOUSES.  I HAVE WORKED FOR BUILDERS IN THE PAST AND  SAT IN THEM FROM 1-7 DAILY IN THE SUMMER MONTHS.  I USED TO HATE THEM, AND VOWED TO NEVER, NEVER HOLD ANOTHER OPEN AS LONG AS I LIVE.  HOWEVER, I FIND MYSELF STILL SITTING IN THEM USUALLY 3 TO 4 SUNDAYS PER MONTH.  WHEN THERE IS NO ACTIVITY ON THE HOME, I BELIEVE WE OWE IT TO OUR SELLERS TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SELL THEIR HOME.  SO AN OPEN HOUSE IS ONE MORE OPPORTUNITY THAT THE SELLER HAS TO CAPTURE A BUYER.  I AM A CREATIVE REALTOR, I THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, AS I AM SURE MOST OF YOU ARE, BECAUSE YOU ARE HERE ON ACTIVERAIN.  I HAVE IN THE PAST, DONE A FIRST RIGHT, A TRADE, AND MANY MORE IDEAS, THAT ANOTHER REALTOR MAY NOT HAVE BROUGHT ME.  THE LAST ONE THAT I SOLD FROM AN OPEN HOUSE WAS A BANK FORECLOSURE.  THE LIST PRICE WAS $345,000, THE PURCHASER HAD A HOME TO SELL FOR $239,000.  MY GOAL WAS TO IMPRESS THE BANK FOR MORE LISTINGS....IT WORKED.  WE WERE $10,000 APART SO PROMISED THE BUYER THAT I WOULD SELL HER HOUSE FOR THE BUYER AGENT COMMISSION. SO IN ESSENCE, I GAVE HER THE $10,000 SHE NEEDED TO MAKE THE SALE WORK.  WELL DURING ONE OF MY OPEN HOUSES TO SELL HER HOUSE, A NEIGHBOR CAME OVER FROM ACROSS THE STREET.  SHE SAID MY SELLER TOLD HER HOW HARD I WORKED FOR HER, SHE WANTED ME TO LIST HER HOUSE.  BUT I STILL DO NOT LIKE OPEN HOUSES, AND NEVER WILL.  HOWEVER, I SCHEDULE THEM FROM 1-5.  I TAKE MY LAPTOP AND A PROJECT. THAT GIVES ME ENOUGH TIME TO SPREAD OUT AND DO MY PROJECT AND HAVE SOME QUIET TIME. 

Jul 29, 2010 06:31 PM #14
Rainer
37,846
Rita Norman
Walnut Creek, CA
Your Agent in Walnut Creek CA

Libby: I have the same question. Great suggestions and ideas. it can be discouraging to sit and wait but all these comments give me hope. Yes the market has changed and we need to change with it. I'll keep looking for ideas and ticks and keep working the Open House. BTW. I have one this Sunday if anyone is going to be in Oakley Ca tomorrow. Check it out. 60 Dowitcher Ct, Oakley CA ~Rita

Aug 14, 2010 01:33 PM #15
Rainer
166,730
Mike Leibel
CIR Realty - Calgary, Chestermere, Balzac & Airdrie - Calgary, AB
Associate Broker

I'm also of the opinion I can use my time more productively promoting their listing from my office than I can from their home.  I do sit the occasional open house when the seller requests it.  We usually discuss it in advance and most don't want a bunch of strangers coming through to case the joint. For new agents it's a great way to gain experience and learn quickly, on your feet so to speak.

Nov 29, 2010 09:33 AM #16
Rainer
84,659
Scott Silverstone
William Raveis Real Estate - New Haven, CT
www.CTProperty.com, Connecticut Luxury & Waterfront Realty

I'm a fan of using many signs.  I try to hit all the relevant major intersections and turns before the house.  I will frequently use 6-8 signs for some homes on side streets.  This takes more time and planning than using just a couple signs, but I find that I will get more people to stop by because of this.  Also, not everyone has a GPS, and this helps many people who saw Internet/newspaper ads find their way.

In addition to Sunday afternoon open houses, I also hold open houses during weekday evenings - Wine & Cheese events.  This attracts a different crowd, and turns it into more of a casual event for the neighborhood.  I've had more luck getting neighbors to stop by on a Wednesday or Thursday night, and have gotten new clients from this open house format.

Mar 07, 2011 01:45 AM #17
Rainmaker
37,916
Lee Bothast
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Pasadena, CA
2nd Generation Area Realtor

Lots of signs, and work it like a party. Don't "sit" the open house, "work" the open house! Prepare ahead of time as though you are having a meeting with a new buyer, know the numbers of the neighborhood, and know the house inside out. I get about 1/4 of my business from open houses. They work, perhaps not to sell that specific house, but it does work for my business. Perhaps a new approach of working them like your hosting a party might help revive them, and remember, the more people know about them (lots of signs - I put out 12 or so), the more people will come!

Mar 24, 2011 01:23 AM #18
Rainmaker
356,598
Donna Yates Real Estate - serving
ReMax Town and Country - Blue Ridge, GA
North Georgia Metro & Mountains

Open houses are not all that effective here, if anything, it's more for the client to make them feel that everything is being done to sell their home.  I think our Realtor caravans are actually more productive.

May 14, 2012 04:52 AM #19
Rainmaker
146,814
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales - Tewksbury, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Libby- As far as im concerned, there are only a few important open houses.  The very first one, timed carefully with a listing going live as well as an open house after a major price change.  When I say major I mean in the 3 to 5% category.  Not a $5000.00 price change on a $500k listing.

I also limit my open house to an hour and a half...tops.  Anyone who is targeting that house will make it, if they are all there at the same time it makes it far more active to the other buyers.

 

Nov 04, 2013 07:01 AM #20
Rainmaker
245,216
Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I believe that open houses are beneficial for a variety of reasons. Your open house signs give you exposure, and you can advertise your open house, which promotes you and your business, in a variety of ways. It also gives you an opportunity to find a potential buyer client.

At the same time, I do not feel an open house will find a buyer for that particular home, so it doesn't really benefit the home seller. Also, if you are already busy with enough business, it could be too time consuming to sit at open houses all day.

Jan 30, 2014 06:14 PM #21
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Rainmaker
47,012

Libby Offnick

ABR, e-PRO, SPS
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