Should you have an Open House?

I just sold another house from an Open House this weekend, and am reminded of all of the articles about how Open Houses do not sell houses. Sometimes I think the articles are sponsored by agents who don’t want to spend their Sundays working 🙂

I have changed a few things that I do based on technological advances, like pricing the home straight on $350,000 for double hits, instead of $349,899 to be first to show in the mls book. But listing and selling houses via Open Houses has always been “my thing”. I have provided some online training on the subject to agents around the Country, and still there are some agents who can honestly say that they have never sold a house from an Open House. It just boggles my mind.

I have always spent a great deal of time helping the seller get the house ready for weeks beforehand, before it goes on market. Then I usually do open houses the first two weeks back to back. This weekend I listed a property, that I had already spent many hours staging,and put “No showings until the Sat. Open House and Open Sat. and Sun. 1-4 p.m.” in the mls remarks. This is less wear and tear on the seller and creates a new listing that opens up with a BANG! Lots of energy! Agents showing and people coming all at the same time. I have 6 Open house signs and those big flags that new construction people use. It’s like a big party! Sometimes I even cook Italian food and play Connie Francis and Mario Lanza…and of course FRANK! But that’s usually for Broker’s Opens. I even had agents dancing once…that’s an accomplishment 🙂

Anyway, back to this weekend. I had an offer by the time the Open House was over and another from an agent who was begging me to wait for her as she rushed back two hours from wherever she was to write it for the buyers who came without her to the Open House. Turned out I didn’t have to do the Open House on Sunday, as it was all tied up by noon on Sunday.

Of course an agent who sits in the living room watching the ball game or playing with his laptop looking bored to tears may never sell a house at an Open House. But if you love doing them, there are plenty of ways to turn an Open House into a SOLD House! I hate to admit it, but I did get a call from my friend Reidi in Florida when she saw American Beauty. When Annete Bening got to the Open House hours early in her work clothes scrubbing it down saying “I am GOING to sell THIS HOUSE TODAY!!, Reidi called me and said “Ardell, they made a movie with YOU in it! LOL I’m not quite that bad…but close.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

9 thoughts on “Should you have an Open House?

  1. Until, of course, it happens again. What you describe occurs every 100 years. And you will also have it again, in a slightly different form in 4 years — at 34 minutes and 56.7 seconds after noon on August 9, 2010, the time and date will be: 12:34:56.7 8/9/10. And so on…

  2. I completely agree, Ardell. Open houses seem to be such an underutilized marketing technique, but they can offer valuable opportunities for both homebuyers and real estate agents.

    The perception that ‘open houses do not sell homes’ is a direct result of failing to properly promote the open house event. How can anyone expect to have people show up to an event if no one knows about it? It is good to know you have that covered with the signs and big flags!

    That is great news you were able to attract multiple offers for your client after a single open house. Nice job!

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  4. ah the open house–where neighbors come to see what you have inside,
    where people come to get decorating tips between yard sales and flea markets BUT also where serious buyers come –maybe not to buy that house but still buyers who are looking. Open houses attract LEADS just like a newspaper ad except you meet the OH lead face to face and not just hear their voice. Invaluable to an agent who knows what to do. Plus it’s good practice for your people skills and let’s face it, everyone could use the practice.
    Open houses DO sell houses if not the one being showcased. Nice post Ardell.

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