Real Estate is Local, Stupid (original title)
OPEN HOUSES SELL
Recently I've noticed a change in Activerain. It's the tone of some bloggers, they're angry arrogant and hostile. Opinions and personal experiences are written as though they are facts. Commenters that disagree are attacked.
Many posts have been written about "Open Houses" on activerain during the past year. Some agents loathe them some agents such as myself love them - I love to throw a party and to work a room.
I never realized hosting an Open House was controversial. Last night I came across a blog bashing open houses which lead me to a link to another anti-Open House blog and the comments and personal attacks to the commenter's who had a different opinion. Since the posts were written over a week ago and I totally disagree with them I would be remiss if I didn't write this post.
And-YET-another-reason not to Hold an Open House The blogger uses a recent burglary in Manhattan as an argument for not holding Open Houses and links to other anti open house blogs.
Now this might be a perfectly valid reason for a REALTOR® in Orlando to not hold an Open House but an isolated incident has not stopped Brokers in Manhattan from holding Open Houses. New Yorkers are a tough breed. We all need to be more cautious and make sure our sellers lock or remove valuables. In fact it was the broker that caught the buglar red handed. The stolen property was returned. We don't throw out the baby with the bath water. We were attacked on 9/11/01, we will never forget, but life goes on.
You see contrary to this Blog and to similar blogs from the same blogger and his friends. OPEN HOUSES SELL PROPERTIES IN MANHATTAN!!!! OPEN HOUSES SELL PROPERTIES IN MANHATTAN.
The bloggers from Florida are using a 1% statistic from a NAR survey that says only 1% of homes are sold from Open Houses as their "talking point" They stay on message. They give no other information about the survey or where that number derives from. It's just fuzzy math. Anything from NAR should be taken with a grain of salt.
Since NAR doesn't have a major presence in Manhattan they don't have any numbers from Manhattan...Real Estate is Local... OPEN HOUSES SELL PROPERTIES IN MANHATTAN!
More than 70% of my sales come directly from Open Houses. I host Open Houses to sell my listed properties. I don't hold them to pick up buyers. I usually have another agent with me to watch the crowd or to escort buyers from the lobby. I let the other agent work the buyers. There have been times I've made another sale or listed another seller through an Open House but my primary objective of an Open House is to sell the home. Open Houses sell homes in Manhattan.
It would be presumptuous and arrogant of me to tell a REALTOR® in another market how to conduct their business. However the poster in Orlando advocates telling sellers to throw any agent out of their house and not to do business with any agent that would suggest hosting Open Houses as part of a marketing plan.
Open Houses are an important marketing tool. The goal of my marketing is to get multiple buyers bidding simultaneously on the property. That is my job! The price a seller gets is a function of the marketing you choose. Nothing works better to get multiple bids than orcherstrating the sale by controlling the psychology of the sale activity. Just as the auction houses like Christy's and Sotheby's goal is to get people in the room to get a higher price - get less people in the room get a lower price. My marketing goal is the same.
REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL! If I were as presumptuos as the blogger in Orlando, I would advocate telling sellers "If an agent doesn't hold Open Houses kick them out of the house because they are lazy. They are data entry clerks and not marketers. They put your listing in the MLS and wait for a buyers agent to sell it. They wait and wait. They are passive not pro-active".
In my listing agreement with a seller, either myself or an agent from my office must be present at all showings. Frankly, IMHO if an agent doesn't hold open houses and is never present during showings they are not involved in orchestrating the sale and are not controlling psychology of the sale activity. They're out of the loop.
Florida is not New York. The suburbs of New York are not Manhattan. We don't do signs and lock boxes. Manhattanites work long hours, are paid high salaries, are highly educated, sophisticated savvy buyers and sellers. Sunday Open Houses is when most buyers are available. A Sunday Open House will usually generate about 25 buyers in 2 hours. I can't think of a better way to get that many people to see a property in that amount of time. There is a dynamic at an Open House. Having buyers see other buyers that are interested in the property creates interest and a fear of losing the property. The best offers usually occur within the first two weeks of a listing.
When I list a property I prepare marketing, ads, show sheets, virtual tour, professional photographer, mortgage banker pre-approve the property and do a financial analysis, get the listing on more than 10 websites, create a buzz, send invitations to neighbors during the week. The 1st showing is always a Sunday Open House.
I've had many listings where I have received full price offers from multiple bidders within the 1st half hour. I have also taken buyers to Open Houses where we've made offers on the spot. Usually if I don't receive an offer after two Open Houses I will discuss a price reduction.
Our market can be volatile it changes from week to week. However, no matter the market condition Open Houses always generate serious buyers. In a hot market or a soft market Open Houses are the way to go in Manhattan.
Real Estate is local. For those that "Never say Never"
Some Pointers for Successful Open Houses:
2 Hour Sunday Open Houses are the way to go for the most traffic but evenings during the week work too.
- Get there early to set up, open windows, turn on lights, seller should not be home during OH
- Pets should not be home during Open House
- Make sure there are no valuables in the home
- If you are expecting a large turnout, have another agent help
- Give out show sheets with pictures and all vital information
- Give out a financial analysis sheet prepared by a lender
- Have a guest sign in sheet including name phone number email address and name of broker
- Have offer sheets available
- Know everything about the property
- Know everything about all the other comparable properties
- Display Fresh Flowers