Are Open Houses Worthwhile?

Are Open Houses Worthwhile?

Are Open Houses Worthwhile? When I list a home for sale, I often get asked if open houses are worthwhile. My answer varies, depending on the property. There are a lot of reasons why open houses can be a great marketing tool. There are also some reasons you may not want to have your house open to the public. First, there are two types of open houses. Broker open houses and Public open houses. Broker open houses are for real estate agents. Typically, a listing agent will have some sort of food or drink and invite other agents to come view the property. These can be as simple as coffee and pastries for a two-hour period or as elaborate as an evening event with cocktails, servers, and a band. I have found that these can be very effective for high end properties. I will let you in on a secret. When I was a brand new agent, my mentor advised me to go to as many broker open houses a week as possible. Not only was I getting market knowledge, I was getting free food! With that in mind, don’t be fooled into thinking that every agent that attends a broker open house has a potential buyer for the property. They may just be there for the food! Pros: Other agents can give their feedback on your property and may save you from making a mistake. An agent may come and realize that the property would fit one of their client’s that they would not have thought of, based on the written criteria alone. May be a safer alternative to a Public open house. Cons: You have to have your property in immaculate shape. Agents are the worst critics. You may have to be out of your property for an extended period of time. Depending on the time of year, time of day, weather, etc. there may be little to no attendees even despite the amount effort or money spent. Public open houses are typically held during the day on the weekend. These are advertised to the public in a variety of ways. A listing agent may put signs out to direct passersby to your property as well as advertise on the MLS, publications and/or mailers. This type of open house invites anyone into your property. This is a great way to get a lot of exposure for your property if the property is in a hot location or a location with a lot of drive-by traffic. Depending on the size of the property, you may ask that more than one agent is present for safety of valuables. Pros: More people view your property in a concentrated time period,...

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting…To Sell Your House

What to Expect When You’re Expecting…To Sell Your House

  Ever wonder what happens after you list your home with a Realtor? Here are a few things to expect when you’re selling.   You may get calls to show your house at a moment’s notice. This can be disruptive in the middle of Sunday dinner or when you have just put the baby down for a nap. Besides remembering to make your bed every day and keeping the house neat and clean, it may be helpful to keep a plastic bin by the door. This can be used to toss things in when you get those last minute requests. Simply take it with you when you leave the house.   People will look in your closets and built-in cabinets and drawers. Buyers need to see how much space there is for clothing and other items. If there are things you don’t want to be seen, store them or go ahead and pack them for the move. It is also a good idea to hide medications. We never want to think a Buyer would come into our home and take things that don’t belong to them but, we can’t be too careful.   Buyers or Buyer’s children will touch things. If you have breakables or valuables, put them out of reach or put them away. Realtors do their best to corral little ones but when there are too many of them, the parents are asking questions about the house and there are toys in the house, sometimes it is inevitable that items get touched and moved.   Lights may be left on or turned off. You may like to leave a light on for your arrival home after work or you may want every light in the house turned off to save electricity. No matter how you like it, it may not be that way when you return. The agent may not get the instructions. There are some homes that have multiple panels and switches that work the same lights. Most people do their best to leave it the way you had it or turn off most of the lights if you have left them on for the showing but it may not be perfect.   Doors may be left unlocked or doors that are meant to be unlocked will be locked. It is unsettling to think that someone could leave your house and not lock the door behind them, but it happens. Front doors are less likely to be left unlocked than back/side doors. Agents have locked doors only to have Buyers go behind them and open them again. On the flip side, if you do not lock the door from your house to the garage, a good...

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5 Simple (and cheap) Ideas to Make Your House Inviting

5 Simple (and cheap) Ideas to Make Your House Inviting

  Having a party? Dinner guests? In-laws coming in from out of state? Or maybe you are getting ready for an open house? These simple tips can help make a lasting impression – and not the wrong kind.   Clean – especially the entrance. When people come to your home, they will inevitably be outside the door for at least a short period of time. You don’t want them ringing the bell through spider webs, knocking on a dirty door or walking to the door over dirt and leaves. It’s simple, get a broom and a cloth and do a quick cleaning. Of course, once they are inside, you want to make sure things are tidy as well, but, depending on the occasion, you may not have to do an entire Spring cleaning.   Light bulbs – I had a fluorescent bulb in my closet that was flickering and was dim. It took several seconds for it to flood the room with light. Then I bought a new bulb. WOW! It’s amazing what good light will do for a space. Those places you want to be a bit warmer – try lower wattage or a soft glow bulb. You may want to try three-way bulbs for lamps. It gives a soft glow on low, more ambient light on medium and you can read by the high setting. If you want to get a bit more advanced, put a dimmer on specific switches. I have installed them myself but if you’re not sure, it’s always best to consult a professional.   Fresh flowers – We were at some friends’ house for dinner a couple of weeks ago and there were fresh flowers in vases tucked in various places. It wasn’t overwhelming. The scent wasn’t overpowering. The colors fit the décor and I found myself drawn to them, wanting to touch and smell them. Fresh flowers is not a luxury most of us often have on a daily basis. Buy a couple of bunches or pick some from a field. Don’t spend a lot of time arranging, just put them in vases, jars or bowls around in a few rooms. It will really add something special.   Turn on music – While this is something near and dear to my heart, I think every home can benefit from some sort of music. I like to create playlists for the event but you can even just turn on a smooth jazz station to be in the background if you don’t actually want people getting up to dance. There are plenty of online services that you can use without commercials or the good old CD. If it’s a party, turn it up and...

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