Over the years I have held and attended hundreds of open houses. Some are fantastically boring and others are incredibly fun - depending which builder is giving away the wine, catered food and bizarre entertainment. I once witnessed a guy who stayed in a frozen position for 10 minutes at a time. He was painted completely bronze. He wore a cowboy hat and stood there like an idiot in the blazing heat. I still don't understand his purpose on that day. Inside another model home was a man and a woman who spoke to each other telling jokes while concealing their bodies behind a painted canvas. This was entertaining & fun as we were treated to sundaes, dessert wine, gift cards and all sorts of stuff. We left full, happy and very distracted. To be honest... I couldn't even tell you the name of the builders. But these open houses are amazingly different than your average open house that's being resold on the market.
What exactly does your Realtor do for 3, 4 or five hours during the open house?
Here's what I do...
1. I sit as close as I can to the front door, usually in the study or formal dinning room. This allows me to see who is coming so I'm not caught off guard drooling from a nap on the couch. This also allows me to be standing up by the front door to greet a potential buyer for my seller - with business card in hand. A good professional welcome and handshake is always appreciated by the visitor. If the people pulling up look like pshyco paths then I can actually take my plea-sentries to the front yard. Me beating them to the lawn aids in my safety.
2. I bring my laptop, chargers and briefcase. This occupies my time so I can conduct real estate business while in your home. I can service other clients, take calls and get as much work done as possible.
3. I make sure every light in your house is on. All the blinds are adjusted and the house is lightly picked up for presentation. If you left a toilet lid up, no worries... I got it!
4. When potential buyers come in I make the experience ALL about your listing. I make sure I know about the schools, the local builders, the taxes, hoa dues and much, much more. I also make sure I am fully aware of the neighborhood competition.
5. I come prepared with a registry sheet that I require all buyers or visitors to sign as this allows me to do my very best to track who is and isn't in the house. If I feel like it's going to be whopper of an experience then I'll bring reinforcements (my loan officer or colleague) to help with the traffic.
6. I make sure to the leave the home EXACTLY how I found it.
Here's what I'll never do...
1. Lay on your couch with my feet propped up on your furniture as I thumb through your magazines, books or family photo albums.
2. I won't attempt to log in to your wifi. It's not my house and your home isn't Starbucks.
3. I won't play with your pets, sit on your counters, lounge in the backyard or ignore the front door.
4. I won't bring friends or family to keep me company.
5. I'll never wonder around outside and engage in personal conversations with your neighbors about you or anything else. My business is to sell the house and not listen to the neighbors talk about you or your kids.
6. I won't use your glasses to serve people water. Your home is not a hotel or cafe.
7. I won't leave your home unattended while the home is open to the public for any reason.
8. Under no circumstances will I turn on your television on to watch the game. I have NFL Game Pass on my mobile. I'm self-sufficient if need be.
9. I'll never help myself to the fridge or pantry.
10. I'll take any trash I create with me.
11. I'll try to use the bathroom before I come.
12. I'll never adjust your air-condition without your permission.
13. I'll never light your candles, use your sprays, or use any of my own sprays.
Open houses should be inviting, professional and productive. There's no need for too much fluff or bizarre selling tactics. REAL buyers show up for information and a product the want to see with their own two eyes. Too many parlor tricks will distract them and maybe even confuse them. Your home isn't an amusement park or day care. It's a product.