There have been quite a few posts in the couple of weeks regarding the efficacy of doing an open house, if you do one at all, that really brought a lot of comments. I'll get to that later, but most of all I want to say THANK YOU to the several agents in the Alexandria & Arlington real estate market that held open their listings on Super Bowl Sunday and helped me help all my buyer clients at once.
Let me set the stage for my thank you....
I am currently working with several buyers and like most well qualified buyers they have jobs that take up the majority of daylight hours on weekdays. Along with some having children and other obligations, they all seem to want to go look at homes on Saturday or Sunday between about 10am - 4pm. What a shock... it is about them and they want to see homes when it's convenient for them. Last Friday I received an email from one of my clients that says that they want to see 2 new listings on Sunday before they people come over to the Super Bowl party that they are hosting. They have already written an offer, but didn't get the home, so they just need to find the right property. Not a problem, both are on lockbox and I arrange make arrangements for showings. On Saturday morning, I get an email and then a call from two different buyers that want see just a couple homes on Sunday... before they go to their respective Parties for the big game.
Trying to balance multiple clients can be challenging, but I checked on the listings that each one wanted and the majority was being held open. Solution provided! I sent the last two clients that wanted to see property off to the open houses, armed with my business cards and reminder to keep a good poker face, even if they love it. Turns out that one of the couples didn't like what they saw, so they are back to their automated search and will let me know when a home pops up. However, the other client think that one of the houses is a winner, so we're headed back tomorrow when they get back into town and I will be bringing a contract with me just in case.
Now my thank you isn't about making my life easy, though they all did, but it was about them taking the time to provide access to their listings so that my buyers can view them and make an offer if they choose. There are many buyer agents here that are working with 3, 4 or more buyers and you can only put one in your car at a time, so an open house does have value.
Like everything else in real estate it is a local issue; whether by custom & relative proximity to others, there are valid reasons to OR not to hold an open house. If the property is the only one in at the end of a 20 mile box canyon... I don't care if you are offering homemade lemonade, your turn out will almost certainly be small. Whereas if there are 3 other homes at similar price points within 4 blocks of your listing and they are all open on a given Sunday, it may benefit your client to hold it open and provide it with equal exposure. Here in the Northern Virginia real estate market, proximity to other opens isn't normally a problem, particularly in Arlington, Alexandria or close-in Fairfax County.
I hold open houses and say they work! Please share any success story from your open house experiences or flops.