Beating a dead horse: Open Houses

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty

I was just reading thru the comments on Rebecca Diamond's post about Open Houses (which I agreed with wholeheartedly by the way) and somebody here made a great point....it's not whether open houses work or not.....it's whether they work for US.

And as long as it IS disclosed to a seller that the chances of a buyer coming in to buy their home at one of these things is slim to none, and they still want to do one....well....all righty then.

But I do not like doing them, and here are just a few reasons why:Beating a Dead Horse: Open Houses

1) Security - I feel like rape bait.

2) Security - See #1. Also, is person looking at home to buy it? Or are they going through casing the house to break in at some other time? Or what if the moaning I hear coming from the bedroom isn't because the visitors are admiring the crown molding? What if they're....well....you know. I've heard that happens.

3) They're not effective in selling the home that's open. Plus, you might have to change the sheets.

4) I freak out about bathroom stuff...what if I'm in the bathroom when someone comes in? Should I go at all? What if I use the last of the toilet paper? Or what if there's hardly any left? Would it be rude if I looked for more?

5) I get sleepy at open houses....most especially when they are empty.  I bring my computer. I bring my books. But still, the sleepies set in. What if somebody shows up and I'm snoring? Or drooling? Or just in that fuzzy headed state where my tongue is half paralyzed and I have trouble putting together thoughts? How is that going to look? What about the TV? Totally off limits? Or would HGTV or CNN or the Gator game be okay?

6) What if I get hungry? Can I eat? What if I'm eating when someone comes in? Isn't that bad form? And what to do with the cheeseburger wrapper? Damn! I forgot a trash bag! Can I put the wrapper in their trash bag?

7) That Big Gulp is kicking in and I need to use the bathroom. Ahh geez.

8) Should I sit outside on the porch? It's a beautiful day. Or will that look like I'm stalking?

9) But if I sit inside what if nobody thinks I'm there? Will they still knock? Should I leave the front door wide open? A little open? A sign on the door that says Please Come In? What if I put up a sign like that? Isn't that just inviting #1?

And what about balloons? How many to put on the sign? And what if one of the balloons on the sign out front pops and the strings from the other balloons are all jacked up? Should I just leave the whole mess alone? Or should I try to remove the balloon corpse so it doesn't send a bad message about the housing market? And what if I DO try to remove the balloon corpse, and a buyer is thinking of stopping, but then sees me outside messing with the balloons? Will that scare them off? Maybe they won't want to come in. And if I'm outside messing with the jacked up balloons and someone pulls up and I left my phone inside because I needed the use of both hands to fix the balloon situation so I can't call 911 if the buyer pulling up is a psychopath? What then?

And what do I do with the balloons after the open house is over? Pop them all mercilessly? Track down a neighbor kid and hope I don't get reported for stalking? Let them deflate in my garage until they're latex prunes?

And what if any balloons get loose? How do I live with the guilt of knowing I've choked a bird or a dolphin or something?

Geez.

I'm sorry, but no good can come out of these things.

Posted by

 

 

Coleen DeGroff, MBA - REALTOR

eXp Realty


Moving to Gainesville FL?  Want to learn about Gainesville life?

Check out Haile Plantation Real Estate for neighborhood videos, free Gainesville FL home search, and info on things to see and do in and around Gainesville Florida.

 

BUYING A HOME? SELLING YOUR HOME?

Ten percent of everything I make is donated to the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation so we can build a full-service, state-of-the-art children's hospital for our kids.

 

Ten percent to the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

close

Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gay E. Rosen 08/28/2010 09:51 AM
  2. Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 512-845-4204 08/31/2010 04:01 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Realtors®
ABR-Accredited Buyer Representatives
"Whacked"!!!
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
Bananatude
Tags:
open houses

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
437,789
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

Colleen,

I did not know so many things could go haywire at an open house. Thanks for the laugh.

Aug 29, 2010 05:30 PM #92
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

TLW - Glad you liked my post. Never knew expressing my disdain for the effectiveness of open houses of generating qualified buyer leads would raise such a kerfuffle. You'd think I said that every time someone disses open houses God kills a kitten.  Oh and BTW thanks for explaining the hair growing inside my cheek. :)

Hi Suzanne! Love your preparedness kit for Open Houses. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Marilyn - Geez! I can't believe I forgot that one! The dreaded house alarm...that's happened to me as well....couldn't find the code anywhere. Great way to meet the men and women in blue, and also get a healthy shot of adrenaline. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Scott - Yep. To each his own! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Maureen - Love your reasoning for not holding your house open. Brokers' opens are so much more effective at bringing qualified buyers IMO. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Hi Christine - Glad you liked my post. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Hi Terry - You're very welcome! Thanks for stopping by.  :)

Aug 30, 2010 04:36 AM #93
Rainer
30,752
Peter Rozsa
Cupertino, CA - Cupertino, CA

I never have any worries about safety at an OH. I bring my licensed 9mm Glock with me in my briefcase (legal in California).

Have you ever seen a gun laying on a table shoot anyone? A gun never shot anyone! It's the person holding it that did the shooting. Just like a car: it never hits anyone. It's the driver that does.

Aug 30, 2010 08:08 AM #94
Rainer
139,919
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

What a funny way to look at things! Thanks for sharing!

Aug 30, 2010 08:16 AM #95
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Peter - Thanks for the heads up about the gun. :)

Hi Jamie - Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Aug 30, 2010 11:08 AM #96
Rainer
36,033
Ken Gramley
Cary, NC

I'll never look at a "balloon corpse" quite the same way again!  Thanks for the laugh!!

Aug 30, 2010 11:19 AM #97
Rainmaker
263,504
Michael Bergin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES - Alexandria, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Wow, 97 comments. See, that's what you get when you have terrific post. Pat Kennedy was right.

Aug 30, 2010 02:35 PM #98
Rainmaker
1,523,755
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I have actually sold a house to someone who came to the open house, but mostly I get buyer and/or seller leads from open houses.

Aug 30, 2010 03:36 PM #99
Rainmaker
1,523,755
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I have actually sold a house to someone who came to the open house, but mostly I get buyer and/or seller leads from open houses.

Aug 30, 2010 03:36 PM #100
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Ken - Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Hi Michael - Thanks!  :)  Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Sybil - Glad to hear open houses are an effective tool for your business. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Aug 31, 2010 09:06 AM #101
Rainmaker
330,507
Rosalinda Morgan
Brookville, NY
"The Rose Lady"

Coleen - Too funny!  I have sold few homes to customers who came to my open houses.  There are days when you can fall asleep but I bring reading materials.  The safety factor is a bit scary especially on a big house.  I don't really like them but the sellers want them so I do them. 

Aug 31, 2010 04:14 PM #102
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Rosalinda - Glad you liked my post! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Sep 01, 2010 07:50 AM #103
Rainmaker
588,465
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Coleen - I love open houses and I think the key is to make them fun - fun for me and for the guests.  If they aren't fun for you or you are afraid of your guests, then they will not work for you.  If you want to try them but feel insecure, how about having someone sit in the house with you?  I have written several posts about how I make mine fun and so have Jim Frimmer and Pat Kennedy. 

Now some areas might not be conducive to them apparently from what TLW says, but I have always had good luck in my part of the country.  And I have sold the house that I was holding open a few times to an open house guest.  If you absolutely don't want to do it, don't.  But if you want to, then try a few of the suggestions by those of us who enjoy them before giving up.

Sep 01, 2010 11:44 AM #104
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Susan - Thanks for the tips. If this market was conducive to them I might consider these ideas.  As it is, though, I've got lots of cool ways to find qualified buyers that don't involve having my butt fall asleep in an empty house. :)  Glad to hear they work for you, and I appreciate you sharing your ideas. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Sep 01, 2010 03:08 PM #105
Rainmaker
401,611
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Coleen, Excellent post and I can totally see why you don't like doing open houses.

I find open houses are a great way for me to understand prices in a given real estate market. Looking at MLS is one thing, but actually walking thru homes to see all of what you won't see in pictures gives me a world of information about what to expect in different price ranges.

This is useful to me as a home stager, but it's also served me well during my own purchase of 8 different homes in 4 cities. I have personally bought 2 homes that I discovered seeing them on an open house and I have also hired an agent to list two of my properties after being so impressed by how she handled an open house for one of her clients.

So I do believe they work, but I admit to being happy that as a home stager, home buyer and home seller, I don't have to be the one to do them!

Thanks for sharing your point of view!

Sep 01, 2010 05:03 PM #106
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Debra - I agree. Walking thru open houses is a great way to get a feel for the market, what's available, what you should get for the money, etc....which is why I LOVE having an MLS key! I tour homes regularly because I want to keep my finger on the pulse of the market.

Yes, open houses can also be used to get listings...generally not buyers though....and oftentimes it isn't qualified prospects who come through open houses anyway. Which is why I concentrate on techniques which help me sell homes for my clients, and strategies which help me get qualified prospects. If I'm going to take time away from my family it better be for a good reason. :)

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sep 02, 2010 04:06 AM #107
Rainmaker
1,560,756
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

This is hilarious!  Love the title, love the scenarios!  Amazing it's not featured, and yet so many comments!!  I came by thanks to Aaron's re-blog.  I'm glad I didn't miss this one!  "... until the latex prunes," brilliant!

Sep 02, 2010 05:37 PM #108
Rainer
147,192
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Carla - Glad you liked it, and I'm so thankful to Aaron's re-blog....otherwise you wouldn't have found it!  :)  I was kind of hoping to be featured but it's not a popular stance so I'm trying not to pout.  The GOOD news is that even without Featured status I've had more than 1700 views and 1400 clicks or thereabouts.....which is way fun!  Thanks for stopping by! I always enjoy your posts.

Sep 03, 2010 01:42 AM #109
Ambassador
2,137,144
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

If they work for you or they don't work for you are right! I've had success from Open Houses, but since I no longer work on Sundays, I'm left with Saturday open houses and I do one or two while my buyers agents do a couple others. We always seem to pick up a buyer or two and that is why we are in business.

Sep 21, 2010 08:04 PM #110
Rainmaker
273,620
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This was entertaining Coleen. I see why you don't like them. I for one don't mind them, but I don't look forward to them.

Oct 06, 2010 04:01 PM #111
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainer
147,192

Coleen DeGroff

Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information