Foreclosure: The Untapped Niche for Open Houses Generating a Huge Success!

Real Estate Agent with Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes




Holding an open house is considered a tactic of that “old time Realtor” by the young and techie in the industry, however, there is still a number of buyers that enjoy that casual face to face interaction delivered during an open house; especially if that open house feeds the curiosity of those seeking to explore the potential of a foreclosed property.  Current media hype, investment property home shows, and consumer awareness have created a niche for open houses untapped by most Realtors- Foreclosures.



                                                        foreclosure for sale Colorado Springs



Every neighborhood has them so the options are endless for Realtors to choose good subjects for the open house.  Preview the home to make sure it would be a suitable property for visitors.  I tend to choose those properties that clearly just need some cosmetic overhauling, with good access, and in areas that have increased activity or unique features that would attract the masses.




                                                      investment properties for sale Colorado   


                                                     investment properties for sale Colorado           



There are multiple resources for FREE advertising including Craig list, Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and Linked In (this is where the “old timers” mesh with the tech savvy young’uns).    Let the public know it’s a Foreclosed property and watch the curious start to arrive.  Invite the neighbors and engage them in the opportunity to find a new owner for the home.   


 I advertised my most recent endeavor with “Foreclosure Open House Weekend”.  The simple addition of foreclosure brought in more visitors than just the mundane ad “open house” My approach was to sit the same property both Saturday and Sunday for short durations letting the Saturday visitors know I’d be back Sunday and asking if they would invite someone they knew that would enjoy viewing a foreclosed property as much as they did.  This simple call to action proved to be my best marketing tactic and did in fact bring in Sunday visitors. 


Business generated from this weekend included buyers that were actively out looking for homes for sale in the Stetson Hills area as well as several Fort Carson military relocation referrals from the active duty neighbors that dropped in for a visit.  Those few minutes of interaction allowed the opportunity to build credibility with my market knowledge for the Stetson Hills area, my experience with military relocation, and introduce my personality building a face to face relationship that could take months on the net.  Taking advantage of market trends and consumer interest in foreclosures is a practical method for prospecting for future clients in today’s market place. 


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Andrew Lamb
The Andrew Lamb Team - - Vacaville, CA
Search Vacaville Homes For Sale - Vacaville CA Real Estate
Marge, that's good to hear! I hold REOs open pretty much every weekend and get 25+ families through the door every time. My very first sale came from a couple I met at my very first open house! I got their contact info and what they were looking for, followed up the next day with properties that matched their criteria, and a week later had them in contract :D Thanks for giving away my best kept secret, Lorraine! :P
Sep 08, 2011 04:08 AM #41
Mike Bell
Mike Bell, REO Broker - Realty World MBA - Santa Clara, CA

Great idea, and it works.  One of my associate brokers has been quite successful holding my REO listings open.  It's not just a great way to prospect for buyers, but for listings as well.  A lot of the traffic will be neighbors, and some of them might be waiting, or even ready to list.  Default and short sales have changed the landscape.

Sep 08, 2011 04:26 AM #42
Ben Yost - 303-587-4297
First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval - Denver, CO
FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De

Open Houses with foreclosures are great: If done right you can get 30-150 people thru them on any week-end.


See a little of how we are doing it below.


Have fun!


Sep 08, 2011 04:36 AM #43
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Great idea. Also depends on the condition of the foreclosure. Here it is not always the case.

Sep 08, 2011 04:56 AM #44
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It's called marketing and you're doing a great job promoting yourself, having fun and making an income opportunity from the event.

Sep 08, 2011 04:59 AM #45
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

I would like to put together a "tour" of foreclosures on the weekend, instead of just sitting inside one house for the open.  I know there have been "foreclosure bus" trips done by some agents, but I wouldn't go that far.  My husband is now licensed and we could leapfrog the different properties and have several lined up for a day.  I was going to do this for my own regular listings but just haven't set it up yet, and my personal listings are spread out more than what I would do with a foreclosure tour (only set them up in the 2 or 3 towns I now work in the most).

What I was planning for my own listings was to put up signs the Monday before detailing the time that particular property would be "open" on Sunday (I still need to figure out the amount of time - I was hoping 15 minutes per property viewing).  Those signs, along with some advertising, would hopefully get people accustomed to our tours at some point and the signs would also direct people to the website page I'd have set up for the next upcoming tour.

I don't think listing agents would want my signs in front of their homes for a week, so I'd have to rely on my website and advertising for a foreclosure tour.

Sep 08, 2011 05:28 AM #46
Jim McCormack
Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343) - Murfreesboro, TN
Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure

Good idea.

Sep 08, 2011 05:42 AM #47
Seana Yates
Thrive Homes and Estates - Encino, CA

What a great idea.  I'm definitely going to do this in my area.  My firm has a huge foreclosure inventory that I can choose from.  Thanks!

Sep 08, 2011 06:00 AM #48
Tamara Inzunza
RE/MAX Executives - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

Glad to see that you're making it work for you.  If you're getting a lot of traffic, it would make sense to have a lender there with you to help you prequalify the leads.

Sep 08, 2011 07:15 AM #49
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I'd rather not work with just the 'curious'. People look at foreclosures like the old time freak show of the circus. I think you should stay home with your family on Sundays and let the open houses die out.

Sep 08, 2011 08:01 AM #50
Paul Armstrong
Realty Network - Laguna Hills, CA
Serving Orange County & The Long Beach Area

Open houses do work if you have the time.. I don't always like doing them but just last month I held an open house on a well priced listing of mine.  2 people called me the next day to write offers and I'm in escrow with one of them.  The more you are out in the field, the more business you will get!  : )

Sep 08, 2011 08:15 AM #51
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

Open houses are also still a good way for a new agent to obtain clients...I read about ten years ago that only 3% of houses sell by an open house, but it is a good way to attract buyer clients

Sep 08, 2011 08:52 AM #52
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I just closed on a fabulous foreclosure today. I wish all my transactions went this smoothly. My buyers got a great house for the fraction of the cost. This gives me an idea...

Sep 08, 2011 01:50 PM #53
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

I have heard of this technique from two other sources, one being earlier today! It is a way to get new clients and show other houses later if they don't like the one you are currently showing or decide foreclosures is not for them. 

Sep 08, 2011 03:54 PM #54
Digital Digital
Alachua, FL
full service

Hi Lorraine,
Thanks for sharing!
This sounds like a really good idea.
I like it alot....

Sep 08, 2011 04:49 PM #55
Ruby Lee Sweeting
Darville Wong Associates Realty Bahamas
Your Bahamas Agent for Relocations & Second Homes

Lorraine my associate and I discussed how we might re-approach this niche market earlier today - we focused a little bit in this area about two years ago and became frustrated with the red-tape from the various mortgage agencies involved; your ideas brings new perspective to our discussion.  Thank you very much. 

Sep 08, 2011 05:02 PM #56
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

It's a very credible strategy and I commend your effort.  Folks will, after all, walk right by a better home that is well priced to buy a foreclosure.   

Sep 09, 2011 03:05 AM #57
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Sounds like a plan.  I like the idea of advertising it as a Foreclosed Property.  It says I am a bargain and excuses the minor problems.  Something we cannot do on other Open Houses.

Sep 09, 2011 08:46 AM #58
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Great tactic if you can get it to work.  I've had even better luck on auction properties.

Sep 10, 2011 07:53 PM #59
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Lorraine this is an excellent idea!  It is amazing how a simple call to action or word change can increase visibility.  Thanks for sharing this tip.  I will certainly make use of it when time permits.

Oct 02, 2011 09:20 AM #60
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Lorraine Sayer

Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX
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