Why I love Open Houses for both Sellers and Buyers

By
Real Estate Agent with Compass

I've been reading many posts about Open Houses, I can see why they might not be effective in many markets.

In Manhattan we do not have lock boxes or keys available to show a property. In Manhattan the listing agent is almost always present during a showing. An appointment has to be made with the Listing agent at least 24 hours in advance to show a property. Scheduling appointments for buyers is one of the most difficult tasks we have as buyers agents in Manhattan. When working with buyers we are at the mercy of the listing agents time. Setting up itineraries for a buyer is very difficult. Many agents do not always return phone calls or answer emails. But they all do Open Houses. Sometimes an Open House is the only opportunity I have to show that property to my buyer.

Sometimes I have to show up at the Open House with my buyer after fruitless attempts to get an appointment. If my buyers are interested we leave and discuss a strategy.  I often go back to the Open House by myself and feel the agent out. I always like to talk to the agent first before I make the offer.

I must admit there is a whole new attitude since the market has cooled. Agents with buyers are more popular these days.

I can usually show a buyer every property in their price range and neighborhood in a few hours on a Sunday. Make offers that afternoon and the negotiations take place during the week.

For sellers they don't have to be kicked out of their house every minute. By having an Open House many buyers can see the property in a short period of time. Often offers are made right on the spot at Open Houses.

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Rainer
14,113
Christopher H
REAL ESTATE - Shelby Township, MI

Hello Mitchell,

What is reason no one is using lockboxes?  Is that just the case in Manahattan?  That makes your job much tougher.  Is most of your business done on the weekends?

Aug 20, 2006 07:38 AM #1
Rainmaker
599,330
Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Hi Chris, It's just Manhattan, in the suburbs they use them. It is a security issue I guess. The listing agent is responsible for the property. Even when it is an empty apartment to show without the listing agent present you have to fax the agent your credentials, the agent then faxes it to the buildings Managing Agent, the managing agent then faxes it to the building doorman. Some buildings are so strict I have to leave my license with the doorman while I go up to the apartment. Some buildings require escorts, so one agent has to be in the lobby to escort them up one at a time while the other agent is in the apartment. I work all week but most showings are on Sunday.
Aug 20, 2006 08:07 AM #2
Rainer
510,057
Jacqulyn Richey
Prominent Realty Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
I can see why you do open houses then.  That must make it really tough to move a property. No wonder you work a lot of weekends.
Aug 20, 2006 09:33 AM #3
Rainer
474,958
Teri Isner
Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes - Orlando, FL
GRI, CRS, CIPS
You have a different way of doing business there and different price points to boot.  Makes doing open houses a bit more of a necessity.  Interesting to hear how things are done in your neck of the woods.
Aug 20, 2006 10:07 AM #4
Rainer
276,816
Ken & Mary Deshaies
SnowHome Properties - Breckenridge, CO
My first broker poo-poohed open houses, and I adopted that attitude for many years - until I had my own brokerage, and one of my agents did an open house (against my best advice) and sold THAT house THAT day to the first buyer who walked in.  That's an anomoly, I know, but open houses are a regular part of our business, and much is generated from them.
Aug 20, 2006 12:08 PM #5
Rainer
98,622
Christopher Smith
TREGO REALTY - Cedar Rapids, IA
I had two Open Houses today, and got two clients to work with.  They are a major pipeline of leads for agents here in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area.  It's interesting to read how Opens are conducted in other areas of the country though, good post!
Aug 20, 2006 02:03 PM #6
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Rainmaker
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Mitchell J Hall

Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
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