Up Front and Personal With the Hawaii Home Seller

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

This past Sunday I held an Open House in Lower-Mililani (Waipio) for my listing. Well, come to find out it was the University of Hawaii's graduating ceremony and it was slllloooowwww. Our office had two condos and two single family homes running Open Houses and we all had but just a few guests.

That's okay though. When an Open House is slow we can find a wide variety of things to do until a guest arrives.

  • Check around the home as soon as you enter and make sure all is in order (I strongly advise you to do so as I had previously gone in another home and went in the master bedroom to check out if the bed was made. It was the day after Halloween and a black g-string, fish net stockings and a whip were lying on the floor!)
  • Set out your flyers, brochures, biz cards, snacks and other material before the first guest arrives.
  • Take your laptop and work with your marketing tools to create brochures, flyers, post cards, seller and buyer presentation booklets.
  • Work on other pending or upcoming listings or contracts (organize your emails, folders for clients)

It's not always that our Open House's are slow in Mililani, so my seller sat and talked to me for a few minutes. Then it turned into an hour with not one person driving up. The seller asked if she should leave and I told her she was welcome to stay. (I usually tell them to keep busy ...elsewhere... for that time...this time I didn't)  Anyway, I have already prepped her from the beginning:

  • To instruct anyone coming to the door (on other days) to take a flyer from the brochure box and contact me.
  • DO NOT LET ANYONE IN THE HOUSE without an agent or appointment! (unless it's my public Open House)
  • To tell the neighbors to do the same as above and if they start acting all palsy walsy to tell them to call me for info.
  • To let me handle all the work (negotiations, marketing etc) as her answers may be wrong and hurt any chances for any offers.

We utilized the time that first hour going through the Seller's Real Property Disclosure and she dragged out her needed documents 'in case' we get into contract. She found the roof warranty, the old survey, and her old contract and disclosure so we could see if she missed anything. That info helped tremendously as she didn't know who, what, when, why, how and where of many things.

We had a total of three groups and a nosey lady (she's the one who said she was just being nosey....NOT ME) come in to the Open House the last two hours and during the time in between we chatted and learned more about each other. She appreciated that I didn't shoo her away and I was actually happy she stayed to watch how I 'perform' when someone did walk in. I saw approval in her eyes.

I know my stuff :)

In any event, this Open House made me realize one important thing. Spending a little "up close and personal" time allowed the seller to determine that she made the right choice when she walked into our office that lucky day and met "Sally". She now asks questions and her whole demeanor is calm....and trusting.

This isn't just a business. When taking steps to interact with my clients...it becomes a connection.





Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com



© 2008 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman, All rights reserved.

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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.






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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Thanks Suzanne! I love this work :)

William: Just for that I went and underlined that part.....leave it to you to really read my post and find that! Wait...okay, I had to check to see if anyone else commented. You see William...not all read everything ...or they would have had the same chuckle you did...and that I did writing it hahahaha!

Hey Scott: I hope so too...and thanks for your vote of confidence!

May 23, 2008 12:58 AM #26
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Thesa: Oops...almost missed ya! How are you! I see you're very busy ...you go!

May 23, 2008 12:58 AM #27
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

Sally, you are so right and did a great job...again:).  Unfortunately, open houses here are not well attended at all so we are lucky to have three groups come through. 

May 23, 2008 07:49 AM #28
Sharon Paxson
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912 - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re

Sally - great post about open houses and connecting with your client. I always take my laptop with me in case it is slow. Also what a great opportunity to connect with your client - I am sure your client appreciated your time.

May 23, 2008 09:45 AM #29
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Diane: I know it depends on the area...just as the market does. :)

Sharon: We're all about that right?

May 23, 2008 11:06 AM #30
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Sally,

I am responding to one of the comments you received but also to many comments about this subject on other posts that I have read that I feel are wrongly based. I would like to be heard once again as a skilled professional to debunk some poorly thought out response to a professional effort to properly market a property. This should give you at least another one or two new articles to write.

I have always been an advocate of ( and I limit this to me), Open Houses and when done well ( properly exposed, marketed and prepared for the ensuing guests that will see it) introduces the property to the buying and selling community and can be very useful and beneficial. For as many years I have been in the business, there are those that say Open Houses don't work. What exactly  does " don't work" mean? In my agreement to market the property for the seller, I take it to mean that whatever we have agreed to do, I should do. That includes any and all things to professionally market that property. If that means passing out flyers to neighbors and or business , so be it. What works is the agent, not just an internet or print ad, not just an open house , not just a stack of flyers in a box on the sign. If the Buyer came from a print ad or an internet ad, then all the other things that were done, could also be said to "not have worked".

The point is we agreed to market the property in any and all ways that might lead to a possible buyer and discounting one or another of possible ways one can do that is making a judgment that because one thing or another didn't work in the past or on another specific property, it has no usefulness. I totally disagree. What is and has always been a part of my efforts is that I don't limit but expand the possibilities for marketing and the harder I work at it, the luckier I become with results.

So many have the wrong idea of what marketing is, what it can do and what the possibilities are. And we are dealing with possibilities here. The greater the effort , the more likely we will have a successful result. I have always stated that 90% of any good marketing plan is getting the price right for the property. The other 10 % includes, staging, advertising, Open Houses, proper counsel to prepare for contingencies and the work ethic that increases the odds by exposing the property in all possible professional ways . That includes showing off the property and the pride of ownership, how the property is currently used and what the possibilities are for other ways of utilizing it. We can do that hands on, as in the Open House.

My clients work very hard as I do to do detailed and careful preparation and when it is ready, I am proud to represent it and "show it Off". What my clients get in return for their hard efforts and correct pricing are results. To show that to the community is leading by example. And I get the honor of being the spokesperson for their hard efforts.

If that is not the scenario a professional is dealing with, they are not getting the sellers and the property to its best and natural optimization. As much as many may not like this answer, perhaps they are not the best agent for the sellers or the property. If the situation and personalities are NOT working together, there is a wrong match for the agent seller and property.

But, if the agent, seller and property are working in sync as a team effort, the results are amazing. There , I am done preaching now. Thanks for allowing to me to comment further. I should have written this as a post instead of a comment,lol.

May 23, 2008 11:28 AM #31
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Our business is all about relationships.  It also is good for the seller or buyer to observe first hand all of the work and professionalism you bring to the process.  Have a great weekend.

May 23, 2008 11:40 AM #32
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Sally, the system is sending duplicates and quadruplicates of comments right now. We had the problem once before. I got credit twice and had to delete.

May 23, 2008 11:44 AM #36
Harold "Hal" Place
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL

Hi Sally,

I will limit my reply to a comment rather then a post. Meaningful time spent with a client is always an advantage. Both to the client and ourselves. Building trust and confidence is what our business is all about. Yes, listing and selling pays the bills, but the reputation we build it worth its weigh in gold.


May 23, 2008 12:30 PM #37
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

William: I have long since 'debated' about Open Houses. For one it depends on the market...for another ... I agree with everything you said here. Why discount another's choice to do an Open House when we're thinking in the best interests of the seller?

Joan: You must have been commenting while they were working on everything or they just got it back up... lol! You're right...we are all about relationships.

William: I'll delete duplicates as soon as I'm done commenting...that's okay...I really read em then haha.

Hal: It sure is Hal...and giving them the attention and showing effort will surely give us the reputation that our business requires.

May 23, 2008 01:00 PM #38
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Military Relocation Expert

Great Celeste,

I think time spent with the seller is time well spent.  It will surely lead to more referrals in the long run because they are able to tell you love what you are doing.

May 23, 2008 07:14 PM #39
Richard Schardt
Keller Williams Realty - Kernersville, NC
Triad NC Real Estate

Sally, Thank you very much for writing this post, I was able to get some beneficial ideas! Actually, I have enjoyed reading all of your blogs! Thanks for helping a newbie.

May 23, 2008 07:34 PM #40
Jeff Graves
Maui Realty Associates - Wailea, HI
Dream it, plan it, and live your Maui dream.

Sally...you're right...what a good opportunity to deepen the relationship with your seller...there are sooo many benefits.  The become;

  • more understanding of what you do and how you spend yoru time
  • they will give you the benefit of the doubt should something come up
  • they'll have more patience...since they trust you more
  • you'll get more referrlas

It's a win,win,win,win...

May 23, 2008 07:55 PM #41
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Latonia: Yup...most important...I like I how I feel at the end of the day...remembering the look on the clients face...no stress :)

Richard: Oh, you're welcome! Thanks for the compliment!

Jeff: What a great add on! Thanks for the input and your positive notes!

May 23, 2008 08:15 PM #42
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I think the unseasonal hot weather and the volcano vog from the big island kept people from coming out also.

May 23, 2008 09:56 PM #43
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Two comments for you on this one Sally. I have had that nosiness extended to me by another Realtor while I was sitting an open house because his Open House down the street was so slow he stopped by mine to see if mine was as slow. I said no. The secret was balloons on the sign, and my magical self in the house of course : ) The other point you made that was right on the money is it is all about connection. You never know what setting a connection can be made. We have conflicts on Sundays with Dallas Cowboys games. Then you have ZERO people stopping by. Need to put a rider out front say come on in to watch the game on big screen TV : )

May 24, 2008 02:06 PM #44
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Gary: Now that you mention that....I went to an Open House with my buyers....the agent asked "can you watch my open while I run two houses down to look at another OH?" and before I could respond...ran out of the house. My buyers came out from another room and asked, 'where's the agent?"  uh, .....   and then people started coming in and I told them to pick up a flyer the agent will be right back.... I couldn't believe it!

May 24, 2008 03:17 PM #45
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

What a great use of your time - and 'getting to know' each other...going over your contracts and getting her organized......wow.....I  probably just would have  just had a gabfest!  :-)

May 26, 2008 11:40 PM #46
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
International Properties and Investments LLC - Wellington, FL
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale

Sally- Business is all about connections. That is the way of today and the future. Sale people who think it is about the sale will always struggle for they are on a misguided path.

May 27, 2008 01:06 AM #47
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Sally - a great list of things to get accomplished on a slow open house day!

May 28, 2008 04:23 PM #48
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