Central Ohio open houses are not for lazy agents

By
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

Real Living ecard Open HouseCentral Ohio open houses are not for lazy agents.  Real estate agents... open houses are a lot of work if done right. I doubt anyone "lazy" would do an open house, they are a lot of work. 

Parts of Central Ohio are great for open houses, other parts?  Not so much.

ActiveRain a national real estate network has been a hot bed of debate lately about whether open houses are good or bad. Whether open houses work or do not work.   Whether agents who tell their sellers to have an open house as part of their marketing are lying to them.  The lie?  That the agent holding the open house will meet people at the open house and show them other homes, once they've determined the Open House is NOT what the buyer wants.

I think home owners are a lot smarter than that.  At least in Central Ohio.

Are agents that don't hold open houses lazy? No.  Open houses don't work everywhere. Rural areas?  Not all parts of Central Ohio are good for open houses, so I would have to assume that agents in other markets know their market...

What I don't understand is why  Revolting REALTORS®* want all agents to NOT hold open houses because open houses do not work in their market.  Or in their marketing plan.  Or their calendar.

Lowes via Rismedia and RealTown weigh in on the debate  talking directly to consumers from sea to shining sea. The debate rages on...  In Tips for a Successfule Real Estate Open House  author Paige Tepping and Lowes say to home sellers:

"The Sunday real estate open house is a longstanding ritual in the real estate marketplace, and many homes have been sold on a lazy Sunday afternoon. When used properly, open houses can be a great marketing strategy. "

Central Ohio open houses are not for all neighborhoods

Clintonville is usually a great area for open houses.  A coworker said she had 45 people at her open house last Sunday. She had an appointment to write an offer on the house with a couple who'd attended the open house Sunday. 

Worthington is usually a great area for open houses...  the older the better if you get my drift.  OK I am saying an open house in Old Worthington is usually good. City of Worthington open houses are better than open house in homes in Worthington schools, in the City of Columbus  or an unincorporated area.

Lewis Center... not so much... well I am writing this post about Franklin County so let's just ignore that county to the north for now.  Not as good an area for an open house in my  humble opinion. Given my druthers I will stay in Franklin County most Sunday afternoons.   There are areas in Franklin County that are not as good for open houses than others. I would have said Minerva Park would not be a good area for open houses before 2006. I would have been wrong.

Sometimes the open houses in Clintonville or Old Worthington can be too busy.  How can you talk to everyone?  There are people who just want to look at decorating.

Central Ohio has something that other parts of the country do not actually have.  A brokerage that has elevated the Open House via their website.  The Real Living HER Open House List is the best there is in Central Ohio... but maybe I am biased. 

The Real Living HER Open House List  (the link is to the open house list on my site, MaureenMcCabe.com)  

Real Living HER Second Sunday Open House

There will NOT be a lot of Real Living HER Open Houses this weekend. Have a great Labor Day weekend. 2nd Sunday Open House Next weekend is the Real Living's third Second Sunday Open House... there will be lots of Open Houses in Central Ohio open house country.

Is your Central Ohio neighborhood in open house country?

The image at the top is a Real Living ecard.

Columbus home SALE prices are up

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® announces...

Edit March 2011 to fix the Real Living HER Open House List link.

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This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*

Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

HER Realtors  Maureen McCabe

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email: MaureenatMaureenMcCabe.com  at = @

*Real Living HER

Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.

 


 

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Rainmaker
279,738
Gail C. Harris
Resource Network, LLC SFR, AHWD, ACRE, SMAR Board Director - Chesapeake Beach, MD
Reach the BEACH with Gail C. Harris (cell: 703.868

I love open houses and don't understand why more agents don't do them.  If you plan and advertise they can be very successful.  I hear all the time how open houses don't sell houses but bring buyers for other homes.  Still many refuse to do them. Ridiculous.

Before I beame an agent, my husband and I went to open houses on Sunday.  We actually bought one and had no intention of buying!!  However, the home was so nice we put ours up for sale and bought the new one.  Wow.  We would get decorating ideas, we had a relative that was looking and we sent them to several houses that we had seen.

OPEN HOUSES AER THE BOMB.  They bring people and people spread the word.  Then there are agents that say, it only brings in lookie loo neighbors...what is wrong with that, I have the owners or their kids hand out flyers, you never know when a relative or friend will want to buy.

I think i will do my 4th blog tomorrow about Open Houses.  :)  Thanks so much for the post.

Sep 03, 2010 11:57 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks Gail I can not say that I like open houses... I believe I went to one before I became a real estate agent.  A little brick cape in Kettering Ohio... Dayton area.

Sep 03, 2010 12:09 PM #23
Rainer
14,778
Paul Durney GRI
Watson Realty Corp - Lake Mary, FL

Maureen,

Great post. Properly run open houses are definately not for "lazy" agents.....come to think of it ,this entire market condition is not for lazy,unethical,or part-time agents. It would be nice to see across the board professionalism return to our industry.

Sep 03, 2010 12:22 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks for the comment Paul.. this is more about geography and population density than about "professionalism."  Perhaps my title is sneaky... sorry.  It is about neighborhoods and open houses. 

Open houses take work, especially in a buyers market but we are lucky to have a market here in Central Ohio where agents who want to hold open houses can see the people, while the people are seeing the houses.

I am not saying anything about local agents to local consumers.  The "Revolting Realtors" are other real estate bloggers (on ActiveRain ) who don't want to  hold open houses and want NO ONE to hold open houses, and perhaps that is not lazy but I had already used 'Revolting Realtors'  as a post title.  Open houses work in parts of my market.  Personally I don't really blog about "professionalism or ethics."  I think to "open house" or not to "open house" is a matter of personal choice for the agent and the seller.

I am sorry to hear your take on our industry...

 

Sep 03, 2010 01:27 PM #25
Rainer
136,154
Brent & Deb Wells
RE/MAX Four Corners - Prosper, TX
Your Collin County Realtors

Maureen - I love open houses, it generates business, lets the homeowners know we are working to sell their home and gives me a chance to learn more about the neighborhood. I meet some of the nicest people doing them and get lots of new business. Do they sell homes? Rarely, but it does happen.

Sep 03, 2010 01:33 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

You do learn more about the neighborhood don't you? And you meet people who might be the buyer for the house you hold open a month or so later... if they've signed in with a real name and contact info... or whom their real estate agent is... We have lots of buyers attend open house who are represented by a buyers broker, the agent is not with them.

Sep 03, 2010 01:53 PM #27
Ambassador
663,222
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Like Rich said in #5 - the key that you highlight is to 'know your area' ! And what works best !

I think too many think that if they hear that something doesnt work in one place, then it wont work in their area. Never know unless you try - or at least research :o)

Cheers Maureen !

 

Sep 03, 2010 02:11 PM #28
Rainer
27,393
David L. Montgomery
MULAMONT REALTY, LLC - Pontiac, MI
David L. Montgomery

I'm tepid on open houses.  They haven't worked in my farm but have worked well outside of my area.  But, since sellers tend to like them I like them.

Sep 03, 2010 03:21 PM #29
Rainmaker
911,024
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

When people talk about open house being truly wonderful for the seller and not just an activity for an agent to get more clients I always go back to one very simple question...if there was no open house held wouldn't a serious buyer call to make an appointment to see the home?

Sep 03, 2010 03:24 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

"if there was no open house held wouldn't a serious buyer call to make an appointment to see the home?"

perhaps if they knew that house was the house for them they would call. I think I saw you say that on one of the posts that is a debate about open houses.   This post is not part of the great debate.

I had clients last year walk into a friend's Old Worthington open house.  It would not have come up on the search I set up for them, it was too small.  They did not buy it at the open house, my friend called me and the buyers and I talked on the phone during the open house. She (buyer) told me it was cute but small.  When we looked at homes that matched their criteria with his parents, I think second showings and something new that came up they kept talking about the house they saw at open house so I scheduled for us to go back to see it and we wrote an offer on it.  If they were not out walking around the neighborhood and attended the open house they never would have seen it.

Again this post is not part of the debate. I will take your word for it that, that would never ever happen in your market if that's what you are here to say, ; -)  but really you have to start wondering WHY someone would have to debate it here, there and everywhere...    why can't open houses be good for sellers in remote markets?  Or perhaps your point is something else... and I am not going to debate that here...

Not part of the great debate

because this post is for consumers in Central Ohio...

 

 

 

Sep 03, 2010 03:52 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Oh my goodness Sheldon and Michael... I did not even see your comments. I just saw red when I saw Bill with his same old tired line. 

Thanks for the comments guys.  I don't particularly like open houses Michael but they work in my market, sometimes.  In some parts, sometimes.   

Sheldon, thanks real estate is local... 

 

Sep 03, 2010 04:07 PM #32
Rainmaker
481,100
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

I agree with you Maureen and I have often chimed in on these discussions. I do open houses but I can't say they are a huge benefit to my sellers. I think they are or can be a great benefit to the buyer, as you noted in your example above. I think it is quite rare for a home to sell directly from an open house, but when it does it's obviously a win-win for the buyer and seller.

Sep 03, 2010 04:13 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,170,278
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

In this area they are great for new construction but very quiet for resales is my observation.

Sep 03, 2010 04:19 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Barb I think in our market open houses can be a huge benefit to sellers.

I have had homes sell directly from an open house.   A number of them.  Would all of those homes have sold eventually to another buyer who scheduled an appointment?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  Two hours away from the house for the seller or three more weeks (months)  of keeping the house clean and gathering up the kids and dog for showings at a moments notice... "we are sitting in the street in front of the house."

 

Sep 03, 2010 04:26 PM #35
Ambassador
1,098,958
Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

Open houses are a great way to get business but a busy one can be overwhelming.  You just have to pick who you do and don't talk to, remember you can't talk to all of them, and do your best.  Sometimes I'll talk to 2-3 unrelated people/groups at a time if they all want to hear the same points.

I had an open house this spring for a hot listing in Los Altos.  It was a nicely updated rancher, good location, price well, and I have about 200 people in 2 days.  Out of them all, I got one good lead.  A lot of work but worth it.

Sep 03, 2010 04:59 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks Bruce, this post is not about getting busiess for RE agents.  That's the debate, but the debate is elsewhere... I believe open houses can be good for the seller in my market.  Not that they have to have one.

 

Sep 03, 2010 05:20 PM #37
Rainmaker
433,743
Stanley Stepak
Howard Hanna Gold- Avon Lake, OH - Avon Lake, OH
Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake,

Locations I agree are different even here in northeast Ohio. 

Sep 04, 2010 12:04 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Location, Location, Location!

Sep 04, 2010 12:14 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,079,229
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Maureen, you are spot on with this post. It depends on the Location & the Market! I have sold a home, second house north of Hollywood Blvd(busy street) on Nichols Cyn (busy street) with a  Shared Drive Way with neighbor's home. One of the commenters #31 would never have called to see this house nor his client...the buyer wondered in and fell in love with the house and even told me if it would not have been open he would never have considered it.

I also can't say enough I love your candid style. Have a great Weekend.

Sep 04, 2010 08:03 PM #40
Rainmaker
1,393,896
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Endre thanks

I think Revolting Realtors who

  • have too many listings to do an  open house for a particular house
  • have a family that needs them home on Sunday afternoon
  • have something else that needs their attention on Sunday afternoon
  • are in areas where open houses don't work 
  • agents who don't like open houses

should chill it with the NAR statistics, it just makes them look dumb. Of course a small percentage of homes sell from open house... Open houses are not that  common, there are lots of areas where the wide open spaces make them impractical.  There is a large group of agents who would never consider doing  an open house.

For some Revolting Realtors if the buyer is not going to make the call, schedule the appointment, another buyer will. That may be true in their market.   Not necessarily true in this market.   We have a large % of expired and withdrawn listings in our market, even in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.  Probably many were over priced and open house would never have helped.  A small % if listing agent and seller had made the effort, done open house  the story could have ended differently, not all in our market do open houses. 

I had a listing in 2007(?) that I sold at open house, the buyer had a buyers agent.  The buyer had a pre-approval letter.  The buyers could not get financing.  Another house in that community in 2006 I held open a bunch of Sundays the couple who bought it came through three or four of the open houses.  They were the third contract on the house.  The second buyers saw the house at an open house too.  Both contract # 2 and #3 had a buyers agent.

Central Ohio is more buyer focused than some markets.  A large number of the buyers at open house are represented by a buyers agent. Buyers like open houses, buyers who are actively looking, buyers who don't want to be tied to an agent, buyers who do not know they are buyers yet. 

 

Sep 05, 2010 08:08 AM #41
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