Open Houses: It is a Love/Hate Relationship!

By
Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645

At certain times of the year, and in certain price ranges, and in certain neighborhoods in my city of Cedar Rapids, open houses can be a great way to both showcase a home that is listed for sale AND a way to attract buyers to you as an agent.

All over the country, there are THOUSANDS of agents having houses open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  It is not without peril, there are safety concerns to think about, timing is very important, marketing and signs, and a lot of preparation.  But obviously, in some areas, for some agents they work!  And you cannot deny it, since some agents LIVE for open houses!

Agents that LOVE open houses, continue to do them because they work! 

Reasons they are loved:

Extra advertising for your seller, be it in the newspaper, the company website, Realtor.com, or wherever you advertise these types of events.

Potential to have more buyers come through the house after a price reduction or update has been made to the home after it has been on the market for a month or longer.

They make sellers happy!  An open house shows that you are making an effort to market their home to the largest pool of buyers.

It allows you to research the neighborhood and know more than anyone else that walks in the door.  You can be the neighborhood expert with a little preparation and a great attitude!

Agents that HATE open houses, do them occasionally, but don't want to.  It is the wrong attitude to have I think. 

Reasons that they are hated:

Seen as a waste of time.  If no one comes to the open house, you just wasted a couple hours of your time!  And we all know what time is worth today...

It is an opportunity for the neighbors to come snooping for decorating ideas.  They have no interest in moving nor do they know anyone who is interested in the house.

Sellers get stressed out preparing for an open house and get Fido and the kids out of the house, and then NO ONE shows up.  Talk about frustration!

Safety concerns and possiblity of theft.  This is a very real danger.  Having a vacant home open is like advertising to would be criminals that here I am from 2-4 and no one is coming home....come get me!  Also, there is a fear of theft of not just valuables, but prescription drugs as well.  You cannot be everywhere at once, be careful!

Either way that you look at it, attitude and preparation are the key.  During the listing presentation, you should discuss these expectations with the interviewing agent.  This will allow both sides to determine what is best in your market and to come up with the best marketing plan for your home!  If the agent firmly believes one way or the other, and you are not sure you agree, now is the time to decide if that agent is the best one to market your house. 

Open houses can be a love/hate relationship, but either way that you look at it, attitude and preparation are the key!  I prepare for an open house in advance by sending out cards to the neighborhoods surrounding the house, I email the agents with the buyers, I put up lots of signs with balloons to draw attention, I offer door prizes or some refreshments, and advertise in every medium, with all that, you are bound to get traffic.  And if I don't, I can make some calls to clients that might be in the market to move to the area and get them out of the house,  or call and catch up with an old friend.  It does not need to be a complete waste of time!

Keep smiling!

Karen

 

 

Posted by

 

Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403

Email: karenfeltman@gmail.com

Mobile  319-521-0701

www.KarenFeltman.com

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Melissa McKinney 01/11/2011 12:12 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Iowa Linn County Cedar Rapids
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Realtors®
Iowa Real Estate
Addicted to Active Rain
31 Days of January - New Years Resolution
Tags:
open houses
listing expectations
searching for homes in cedar rapids

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Rainer
80,896
Gary De Pury, ESQ.
Bay Vista Realty - Land O Lakes, FL

Can't think of a better way to sum it up.  I don't even see sellers asking for open houses these days.

 

Gary De Pury, SFR

Jan 11, 2011 09:55 AM #1
Rainmaker
4,109,689
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Karen, great post!    There are many sellers prefering NOT to have open houses due to the possibility of theft, and the general public going through their homes without being a buyer, or being pre-approved.     If you need more than 5 signs, generally not a good location either.    

Jan 11, 2011 11:37 AM #2
Ambassador
337,120
Melissa McKinney
McKinney Realty Group - Fayetteville, NC
Realtor, www.LivingFayetteville.com

Karen~ Great points..on both sides!! But I think a necessary part of our job.  I always schedule someone to be there with me of some use to the clients, loan officer. Thanks for putting it all together, suggested!

Jan 11, 2011 12:09 PM #3
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Gary-In the winter months, the number of open houses here is definitely less.  No one wants to leave their house on a cold snowy day and have people tracking through their house, if anyone shows up. 

@Joan-I think that theft and safety are a real concern right now.  It is best to have someone else there with you at your open house.

@Melissa-I agree that it is a good idea to have a lender there with you, you never know if a buyer may walk in that has not yet been pre-qualified.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Jan 11, 2011 12:41 PM #4
Rainmaker
601,332
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Karen - As an MLO, I LOVE OPEN HOUSES!!!  Because I am a CA DRE licensed agent as well as an NMLS licensed MLO, I've been doing open houses for most of my eight year career.  Most of the Realtors that I've done them for, love the opportunity to either have me there with them or to actually do the open house for them so they can take the day off. 

After eight years, I've never had one where no one showed up (guess I'm lucky) and while there were some where we only had a few visitors, that was ok too because it only takes one buyers to love the property enough to want to make an offer on it.  Besides, the lulls let me get some work done or in some cases, a little reading.  Busy or slow, I don't mind and I enjoy the time I spend there.  :)

Jan 12, 2011 08:38 AM #5
Rainmaker
601,332
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

On another note, I love talking to neighbors (looky loos or otherwise).  You can learn sooo much by talking to the neighbors.  :)

Jan 12, 2011 08:39 AM #6
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Donne-I think that you are lucky if you always have at least one visitor!  In the harsh Iowa winters, it is a common occurence to be skunked completely!  I agree that I can get things done at open houses whether I clean out my email box or make calls to catch up.  The looky loos can be fun too and you are right, sometimes you learn a lot more than you would like to know from the neighbors.  TMI!!!   LOL

Jan 13, 2011 02:18 AM #7
Rainmaker
443,472
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Karen, You covered both sides very well. IMHO if one is on the negative side, then they are better off not doing them. I believe that if an agent hates to be there it will show and do more harm than good.

Jan 13, 2011 01:56 PM #8
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Tom-I agree.  You need to have the right attitude.  I actually prefer having other agents' listings open instead. It eliminates the dual agency factor, which I personally avoid like the plague!

Jan 13, 2011 02:33 PM #9
Rainer
71,580
Kevin Nash
Shorewest Realtors, Metro Milwaukee - Germantown, WI
ABR, CSRS

Very good article. I don't do as many open houses and perhaps I should. I do think you are right however. If I go into it with the wrong attitude, it truly will be a waste of time but if I go in mentally ready, boom, score, sucess!

Jan 13, 2011 02:39 PM #10
Rainmaker
528,812
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Kevin-I think that sometimes having listings other than your own is the key.  It reduces the pressure of performing for YOUR seller.  Try that one!

Jan 13, 2011 02:42 PM #11
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Karen Feltman

Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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