Open Houses

Open houseIt has been a hectic 5 days (2 new listings, both sold within days, whew!) so I apologize for the lateness of this posting. I had intended to do this last week.

Believe it or not, open houses are actually fairly controversial among Realtors. Years ago I worked in an office where one of the agents had a large sign he used at listing appointments. It had the words “Open House” with one of those big red “O’s” with a line through it. In other words, he let people know right up front he would not be doing any open houses. That is one side of the argument, that they don’t work. I am on the other side, I think that they do work.

For some real estate agents I think they feel it is a waste of time. It is true that the Internet is way more affective to generate interest in a house. The other thing that’s affective is correct pricing. And as someone who has spent many, many hours in open houses, it can feel like a waste of time. But I do them anyway.

Why? Because they work. Not every time. In fact, not most of the time. But they are a tool. Why not use every tool available? In 28 years of selling houses, I have held open houses for every listing I have ever had if it stayed on the market for more than a week. This means I do open houses nearly every weekend and sometimes 2 in one day. But you know what? I sell a house off of my open house efforts every now and again. I am writing this post because I sold a listing off of an open house about a week ago.

Now a word of caution. When an open house is held, the listing agent has no control over who attends. This means that the public is coming through the house. As a home owner, you need to put away any tempting items that could be pilfered: jewelry, little clocks and collectables, money, watches, and prescription medications. As a Realtor, you need to not allow anyone to use the bathrooms and you’ve got to keep an eye on the people who come through by going through the house with them and watching them.

In a nutshell, I don’t think open houses are a waste of time. Because I do them, I have seen them work. If I didn’t do them, well that would doom them to failure from the get go.

So here’s wishing you some happy house hunting on a nice, sunny afternoon like today.