Industry Observer

I was so excited to host an OPEN HOUSE for my fellow Agent this past weekend... But, my joyful afternoon ended with a huge Homer Simpson "D'oh!"


Don't get me wrong, I have done my research and attended enough Open Houses to craft my "ideal image" Open House ~ I've developed what I consider to be a GREAT Open House spread!


I have a cute basket with all my supplies neatly arranged and ready to go at a moment's notice and I have my set-up routine down to about 15 minutes: 


  • Booties with my welcome sign by the front door
  • Brochures and sign-in with cookies and water in the kitchen
  • Beautiful flowering plant for the kitchen table (with thank you card that I leave for the sellers)
  • Quickly tour the house turning on lights and fans and opening curtains/blinds
  • Closing toilet seats ~ with room spray in hand, if necessary
  • Being ready to tuck and fluff and clean to make a great first tour impression!
  • Lastly, I run out to place the balloons and sign directionals
  • Now smile ~ it's OPEN HOUSE time!


Uh-umm, not so fast Mrs NEW Realtor®...


This particular afternoon, the townhome I was hosting open was the last of 8 townhomes in a row so parking was limited; the garages all opened towards one another so it was a dead end with walls of garages and no guest parking anywhere in sight.  


I drove around and found that the closest parking spot was about 200 yards away by the community office and pool... "Humm," I thought, "Where will I have everyone park?... More importantly, where the heck is the front door?"


After deciding to park my car here by the office and walking back towards the townhome, I found some stairs - 12 stairs to be exact - at the other end, completely opposite my Open House.


Then, at the top of the 12 stairs, there was a walking path at the front side of the units about 100 yards long, and ANOTHER 5 stairs to the front door of my Open House unit.

(Not too bad of a walk or too many stairs you might be thinking, but let's keep going...)


I navigate the combination lock and successfully let myself into the unit and begin my set-up routine ~ looking at my watch, I'm only about 10 minutes behind schedule.


I quickly run around, turning on lights and fluffing where needed, putting down the toilet seats and setting up my display on the kitchen table... WITH PINK FROSTED AND SPRINKLE COVERED DELICIOUS COOKIES that my daughter insisted I buy for my Open House this morning ~ she knows I typically come home with a few extra and she REALLY wanted the PINK FROSTED AND SPRINKLE COOKIES...

(sigh, the delicious - pink - frosted - and - sprinkle - cookies)


Then I have a brilliant idea, as I ran down to the basement to fluff and tuck, to solve the open house parking situation by positioning myself in the garage!  I would open the garage door and sit down here as the welcoming committee where I could direct guests to park in front of my unit's garage instead of making the trek back and forth from the community office parking area!


Brilliant!!... So, I run back upstairs...


I close and deadbolt the front door, grab my phone, a book and a chair and run back down to the garage...

Ready for the Open House!


Guests arrived and I would direct them where to park and then welcome them into the townhome to explore it EXACTLY as if this was their garage!  


I mostly welcomed younger couples, some arriving with their parents and others viewing with their real estate Agent.


As I said thank you and goodbye to each group, I'd run back upstairs to quickly check the front door to ensure it was still shut and the deadbolt was locked - a few times it was not so phew, it was good decision to double check!


Then I'd run back downstairs to the garage.


This lasted 4 hours until I decided to close shop and shut the garage door.


I walked back upstairs to begin the task of taking down the balloons and sign directionals and...


I get out the front door, down the 5 stairs from the unit, walking the 100 yard long path to the 12 stairs that bring me to the 200 yard walk to finally get into my car.


(Oh yes, poor feet - sooooo many stairs! But, keep going!)


I grabbed all my directionals and drove back to my parking spot (which thankfully was still available!),  where I yet again was the lead competitor in what I creatively decided to call the "REALTOR® HIGH HEEL OBSTACLE COURSE" as I made my way back to the townhome unit...



Townhome #8 at the END of the high heel obstacle course... with 17 challenging steps to navigate in high heels...


(*ouch* my feet are beginning to hurt, but gotta keep going as the owners will be home soon!)


I get back into the unit and this time, (Aaaaah!) I kicked off my shoes at the front door as I prepared to dismantle my Open House BUT, OUCH I look down and BLISTERS!... But, I can't do anything about them as I have to keep going... 


I ran upstairs, bouncing because my feet feel better out of my high heels, turning off the lights and checking the windows.


I run back downstairs and check the rooms leading into the kitchen, and, humm, I'm suddenly feeling something smooshy on my foot?




O - M - G 

As I enter the kitchen, there are SPRINKLES all over the table AND THE FLOOR? 


But only adults came to my Open House!!?


O - M - G

Mortified - I run back to the front door, throw on my high heels (ouch!) and run back down the obstacle course to my car because *THANKFULLY* I am prepared for ANY Realtor® emergency!  


In my car, I have a Realtor® Box-O-Necessities where I keep a battery operated mini vacuum!  (Thank you fellow AR member who gave me that idea!)


With mini vacuum in hand, I run back to my Open House - the end unit #8 - at the end of townhome row - at the end of the high heel obstacle course...


Quickly, I clean up all the sprinkle evidence and continue to dismantle my Open House now at LIGHT SPEED - I'm double checking lights and windows, sweating to get everything completed before the owners return... AND I DID IT!


As I closed the front door and returned the key to the lockbox, I turned around for my LAST walk down the REALTOR® TOWNHOME #8 HIGH HEEL OBSTACLE COURSE and back to my car...


I was totally hobbling and grunting with each step, just as the owners drive around the corner! They smiled and waved at me, mouthing "Thank you!" as they pull down garage door row to their end unit...



I took a deep breath, smiled and waved back at them, trying to standing tall and walk as normal as I could ~ then I couldn't help but laugh as my Fitbit watch begun to have its "10,000 step celebration" on my wrist! 


Oh, what a day ~




(I'll be sure to pack some running shoes!)

Comments (2)

Theo Shaw
Baird & Warner Residential Real Estate - Evanston, IL
Serving Evanston, IL & Beyond

Sellers have no clue about how hard we work for them behind the scenes.  Great story!

Aug 30, 2017 08:38 PM
Katie B. Cullum

Glad you enjoyed the story - have a great rest of your week and Labor Day weekend!

Aug 31, 2017 11:30 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Way to combine a workout with an Open House. Loved the story and the only thing I would have done differently is wear a pair of running shoes. Lol.  D

Jan 22, 2018 09:55 AM
Katie B. Cullum

Hi Debb ~ 

You are sooooo right! Now I wear tennies and bring the heels in the open house supplies :~)  Thanks for commenting and have a great afternoon!  ~Katie

Jan 24, 2018 12:51 PM

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