As a Realtor, and an equestrian, I suspect the open house is a long shot. I spend a fair amount of time and energy focused on this market niche, and understand it well. How I ended up with the Florida and NJ licenses, and offices was entirely born out of the horsey set migration that annually takes place from the northeast to Florida. We have been hired as consultants to locate property in NC and SC by international clients. I have spent more time than I can count in VA, and sent several referrals to VA for land and horse properties. We have been researchers for horse property in Montana. For several years, I was a member of the Realtor Land Institute, but do not have a current membership. When I did maintain membership, I did it through the VA chapter, and horse and land properties in VA was the reason.
There are buyers who want horse property because they can afford it, come from the city and know little about horses, living in the country, septics, or wells. They donâ€™t know a draft horse from a thoroughbred or dressage from barrel racing. Then there are the equestriansâ€¦â€¦..they will want to know everything about paddock sizes, footings in a ring or stall, drainage around the barn, etc.
Your agent needs to reach both audiences of prospective buyersâ€¦.the true equestrian, and the city folk looking for a country estate. They are different buyers with different agendas and goals.
High taxes and special assessments are huge obstacles that are difficult to overcome. There was a property that sold last year after nearly 500 DOM, because every prospective buyer was scared away based upon high taxes. It's a tough battle. I wish I had better words for you on that, but you will face that obstacle in negotiations. Buyers who do come to the table will consider that expense when constructing their offer. Certainly, in your marketing efforts, you (your agent) will emphasize the selling points in marketing materials and presentation. The agent should be prepared for this real objection, because it will come up.
About open housesâ€¦â€¦. I am a strong believer in doing a few open houses for most properties. I suspect that in most cases, an open house at a property with acreage is not going to benefit. Open houses in an area well suited for such are good to bring the casual lookers or neighbors who might not otherwise schedule an appointment. While I have written contracts for buyers who have attended an open house, statistically the percentage is extremely low. If I have done it a handful of times, but I have greeted thousands of visitorsâ€¦.well, the percentage is low. It can and does happen, though.
I have had sellers demand open housesâ€¦.and I have had sellers adamantly instruct they do not want open houses. As a listing agent, I have done things because a â€œseller wanted itâ€ several times, even when I knew that the activity was a waste of time and money. Within reason, if a seller requests something that I firmly believe is a waste, I will often just do itâ€¦to appease the seller. So, I have withheld open houses in areas where I knew it would have been highly beneficial for the seller, and I have held open houses where I knew it held not merit in marketing the propertyâ€¦.simply to appease a seller.
In my opinion, the open house for acreage or a horse property is a long shot. You could hit the lottery and find the 1 in a million buyer who will walk in and buy your property at a typical Sunday open house. There are a lot of things you can do to target market the audience that represents potential buyers. Instead of a typical open house, hold an equestrian focused event. This can be something like an informational event that features consultants and builders of barns, rings, etc. It can be an art exhibit, featuring vendors who might exhibit at tracks or competition events and sell posters, prints, etc. Do something of interest to the equestrian community and make it a special open house event. Promote it through tack shops, local horse shows, local stables. In other words, if you are going to do an open house for this type of property, do it differently than a typical OH sign and 3 line ad in a local paper.
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group
NOW, think about this question- Who is attending these open houses? Nosy neighbors, bored people looking for new decorating ideas(really-I'm not kidding), theives who may be casing the place for later or just taking small items like your prescription drugs out of the bathroom cabinet or people who desire to buy a home but have not been pre-qualified to see if they can get a mortgage and if they can afford your house. For me, I feel LESS SAFE THAN EVER BEFORE sitting in a house for 4 hours that I have told strangers just stop on by and let's visit. Let's face it-people are getting desparate in these lean times and there have been agents injured and killed doing their job. Those same creeps may be stopping by you open house and taking note of the nice 52" flat screen TV, stereo system, etc.........
There IS an exception-one of our local title companies and a mortgage company are partnering with 100 local agents to do one big open house day in the area. The "shoppers" have to go to a designated starting point to register and to receive the list of homes that are open for their inspection. This will be widely and heavily advertised and we anticipate a fantastic response!! NOW THAT'S AN OPEN HOUSE!!! ((This will be in the Tampa Bay area June 21st if anyone reading this is interested contact me!))
My closing thought-trust in your realtor but don't be afraid to ask questions like what are you doing to create exposure for my home? Are we priced right? What is the average selling time on the market in my area? How much competition does my home have and how does it rank? The market is still adjusting and people are starting to be a little more active in shopping & buying-wait till school gets out and see if there is a little more action.
Hope this helps!! Best of luck to you!! Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you ever decide to trade in your snow shovel for a pair of sunglasses and flip flops here in the Tampa area!! :0) I spent 7 years in Bloomington, MN-I don't miss my snow shovel!!!
Robin Landis, Realtor
ERA Dennis Realty
One more thing-if you need to do the short sale-DO IT. Don't wait until the 11th hour where your foreclosure court date is looming before you. A short sale shows the debt was satisfied and will only affect your credit for the next 12-24 months. Foreclosure has way worse consequences to your credit. Talk to your lender. Try to work something out. See what your options are. Then proceed confidently and put this all behind you. You are not alone by any stretch of the imagination!
Based on the information you gave about having an acreage home, I would say an open house will be not be of much benefit. I rarely do open houses on acreage properties. With gas prices as high as they are, people don't go out for Sunday drives and stop for a "look-see" at properties. They will go with their agent when they are qualified.
Does your agent have a strong internet presence for your home? It should go beyond a listing on the MLS too! The best marketing plan to sell a home these days focuses on the internet with plenty of good pictures of the property inside and out as well as descriptions and information.
Again, good luck with the sale. Acreage sales do take time. I don't know the south Twin Cities market as well but in the north and northeast acreage sales have slowed quite a bit. No showings in 30 days could mean that you need a price adjustment.
I've been selling homes and commercial properties in the Hastings area for quite awhile. You say your home has been on the market for a month, without any bites. My question for you is, does that mean no showings? If you haven't had an open, what marketing has been done? Was your home put on the local agent tour where the agents actually give feed back on price and condition? Is your home listed according to the market your agent did? Depending on what price point your home is at, 30 days is still early.
That being said if you have a single family home listed under $250,000, we have seen some traffic on the listings in our office.
Maybe your agent would consider doing one or two opens since you feel that should be part of the marketing on your home. After that you will both know if that is a good arena to find your buyer.
I have not gotten into the short sale part of your question, because there are way too many questions that need to be asked.
Good luck to you.
p.s. never do a short sale with an agent unless they can produce a list of shortsales they have been successful with. It may determine your future.
Why are you spending all the time & gas to do what a buyers agent can do for you for FREE?? When you are working with a realtor everyday is an open house because we can take you to see the homes you are interested in on YOUR schedule. Are you a serious buyer who is pre-approved for a mortgage(or cash buyer) who is ready to make an offer or are you just window shopping?
When you are ready to buy a particuliar home, who will write the offer? The agent who is listing the home and REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF THE SELLER?? Don't think that you will get a better deal by going to the listing agent because we just get paid both sides of the deal and then have to represent the transaction. If you have an agent in your corner , we are going to help you to negotiate the best price and guide you through the paperwork, inspections, etc all the way through.(FREE TO YOU!)
You are also missing alot of great homes in your search that are not doing open houses. Get someone who will work hard for you-there are alot of great homes and highly motivated sellers out there who are willing to negotiate.
Well- our realtor did the open house this weekend. Two people showed up and told our realtor that the house was too expensive. Our realtor more or less said " I told you so" as far as opens not being successful. Well at least we tried it. Thanks again to all for the feedback!
9 out of 10 open houses fail to find a buyer. Take the advice of your Realtor . They are not beneficial .
The NAR has been shot down more times than the Kamikaze pilots in WWII .. they've been dragged into court by the Federal government for misrepresentation more times than Mike Tyson ..
The NAR is like the Tobacco Lobbyist of bygone years ... they're around, but nobody really gives them a thimble of credence that knows and understands the real estate business .. they're no longer even a viable entity anymore (unless you're an agent, grasping for straws - and - you like paying dues) ..
That all said .. you need to move a house - and it's been sitting 30 days.?
My #1 concern would be no showings in 30 days ..
Oop's, let me start over .. my very first concern would be no showings in the first week, let alone 30 days ... even slum landlords get their property shown usually inside of 15 days.
That takes us to concern #2 ... keep in mind, listing agents do what they do best "list property"... most aren't very good at selling, promoting or even writing a contract ...
I have realtor friends in Florida that will list 10/15 homes every fall, but haven't sold their first house in 11 years .. they wait for one of the other 3,217 agents in the area to bring the buyer ---- it's more common than you'd think.
Concern #3 .. based on what you've said, because of the acreage and the horses .. you have something investors call a percentage property, meaning the type and size and what it means to other buyers, it may only attract 15 or 20% of the buying market...
*But*, things have been changing in your favor, big time -- one of the growing markets has been city folks buying homes with acreage, with horses, with those moo things and the chirping birds that go with...
Look at the property sales in the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee ... our neighbor sold his 12 acre horse farm to a couple in ------ Miami ... another sold his 19 acre horse deal to a nice family from ---- Milwaukee.... and another sold his to folks from Hendersonville NC .. go figure.
The point is ... you need to reach out and touch those buyers in Milwaukee .. or.. Miami ..or.. Hendersonville NC ..or Minneapolis or even Rochester.
You might need a few things .. perhaps the price needs adjusted, maybe it needs paint, pink bathrooms don't sell well, but home warranties do, how about paying for their move..? .... getting the picture.?
You need a strong MLS presence which is pretty basic nowadays - and a Virtual tour would help greatly ...
Horse publications are great, especially when you're selling a horse .. but you're selling a home -- remember the schools are getting out and most buying decisions will be made in 90 days or less. ...
I'm certainly not getting good vibes from a realtor that hasn't had one showing in 30 days -- he'd be busting bugs right now if it was my property - might be time for a clean sweep ... new idea's, new market penetration and a new agent.
Read on: excellent information for home sellers.
Sincerely, the very best luck.!
You should trust fact based information before anecdotal comments.
Fact â€“ NAR maintains the broadest and arguably the most accurate statistics on home sales. NAR reports that less than 1% (itâ€™s far less than 1% by the way) of homes are sold as a result of an open house. That is the definitive percentage, irrespective of the anecdotal comments provided.
And read articles where a number of opinions are provided, not just a single opinion from 1-side of the story. Here are a few links that you might find beneficial.
But be wary of articles where the industry side comments are trying to promote the concept of open houses, the underlying reasons are to benefit the industry, not the home owner (that is, open houses get buyers, just not buyers for your home).
Net-net â€“ if you just put your house on the market, and 30 days is in this category:
1. An open house is great for the listing agentâ€™s company to get buyer leads from â€“ is this beneficial to you at this stage, probably not.
2. There might be lots of interest from neighbors who have never been in your home and now is their chance â€“ is this what you want your open house used for, probably not.
3. An open house in some locales is an invitation for people to come and tramp through your house looking for decorating ideas, to see what homes in that area look like, but with no intent on buying your home or any home, or worse, people who use open houses to pick up a few nice trinkets (your trinkets) â€“ do you need this at this stage of selling your home, probably not.
But, if you have an insatiable desire to have one, then donâ€™t ask your agent, tell them you want one. Itâ€™s your house, and youâ€™re the one being served, not the other way around. Just donâ€™t be surprised if nothing comes of it.
Open houses don't sell houses...Houses sell houses.
The rule of thumb from NAR is 10-12 showings should result in an offer. If you don't have showings, lower the price. If you have showings and no offer, lower the price.
Regarding the short sale, you need to get an offer. Run the numbers. If you are borderline, then I would look into the short sale process...and I mean all of it.
As far as prices, it's always averaged over market .. but again, it takes advertising, you have to make sure you're not showing during a particular sporting event - and it never hurts to be watching the weather 4 or 5 days in advance.
As far as virtual tours .. they're the second bestest thing invented since the Skycaddie .. ;^)
Open houses are definitely worthwhile. We have written contracts during recent open houses. Selling a home in this market is about pricing it right and visibility tied to a comprehensive marketing plan. An open house is an extension of the visibility piece that has proven to be an effective part of the process.
It may be an inconvenience but it has the potential to pay off.
The "Eckler Team"
I have a friend back east who did actually buy thier house as the result of going to the open house. A big part of the reason why they bought it however, was because it had been on the market for a bit - and they were literally the only ones who went to the open house. They saw that and said - holy crap, NOBODY is interested in this place. Sure they liked the house, but they liked it a whole heck of a lot more knowing they were the only ones!
They used that to thier advantage, and negotiated something like 50k off an already well priced house as a result. After the abysmal showing of the open house, the sellers were pretty convinced they were not going to get ANY offers from anyone, and put up very little resistance to my friend's offer.
In otherwords - I'd say don't do it.
If you were going to do an open house sort of as an introduction to the market, it might be worth it. After it's been up for awhile, if the agent has put it out there and people know about it - an open house isn't suddenly going to turn them out. Even if you don't fall into the mental trap my friend's seller did - it's still a pretty big blow to go through all that and end up with little turnout, especailly if you're already worried about lack of interest.
Really, 30 days on the market isn't a terribly long time in most cases. Give it some time - people will come around.
It really depends on the house and the agent. I have had some success with open houses and have had several homes sell directly because of open houses so I do think they work. But I do understand other agents reluctance as it can be hit or miss.
Yes, open houses benefit the agent when looking for buyers but I have had some success with holding open houses for certain properties. If the house is in a high traffic area and in a starter home price point it could be beneficial. Many first time buyers do shop first on the internet and don't want to sign a contract with an agent. They do visit open houses and have been known to buy their home after finding at an open house.
Open houses don't seem to work so well for higher priced homes as those buyers for those properties usually need to sell their current home first. They are usually working with an agent who will show them the homes they are interested in with a private showing. If your home is in the country or is difficult to find, is might not be worth the trouble either.
I also don't think opens work if another agent holds the property open for the listing agent as they don't know enough about the home to answer questions.
If a client wants me to hold their home open, I will try one open for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon on a once a month schedule. About 1/2 of my clients want the open houses, the others don't. Sometimes I can have 7-10 families come through and other times nobody at all.
Not really an exact science.
Here's a post from my blog on the subject of Open houses in a buyers market.
Hope this information was helpful!
It seems that you have a unique property that is requiring a innovative marketing situation and has some specific drawbacks also with the assessments. I think that it is going to be more difficult than just puttin it on the web and posting a few flyers around.
The best post in this is Deborah's. You need an agent that understands the motivations of the potential buyer and how to get them to notice the availibility and then to present it as the best option for them.
You know what you're looking for, you're taking your time and you know your market ... it's the perfect combination.
This from 60 minutes:
I'm spending the time looking at properties because I feel I need to in order to get an idea for what is out there. I guess I don't understand how an agent can see what's on the market for me, I need to see it myself. Sure they have knowledge of an area and what's there, but I have to see it for my own eyes. For myself, I have no time pressure as I have no imminent need to move. So doing my shopping on my own works great for me. I don't have some sales person's time (buying agent) that I have to worry about "wasting" as the last poster mentioned.
Yes, I am a serious buyer. I am currently in my second property that I've bought newly built. When I bought the home I'm in currently, it was under the same premise that I'm working under now. I was not necessarily "looking" to move. But, I went down to checkout a new development and liked it. I went to lunch, talked things over with my wife and went back and put down our earnest money which later turned into a purchase agreement.
Don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that I don't think that buying agents serve a purpose, they do serve a great purpose. Not everyone wants to "waste" their time looking like I do. Also, there are folks on a deadline or people that don't know the area. In addition, buying agents have access to information especially when it comes to writing an offer that regular old people like me don't. But, also I don't think I'm the only internet shopper out there that prefers not to work with a buying agent. In fact, I know others and one that just recently closed on a house in the past few months. If I have a question on a property, I will just contact the listing agent directly. This is why I like trulia.com and realestateopens.com. They are both allow agents to expose direct listing agent contact info instead of hiding it like most of the brokerages (except for their agent's listings of course).
Once I've found the single family I'm ready to move on, you better believe I expect a break on the fee. If all the agent has to do is write the offer and walk me through paperwork. I know that's a lot less work then showing some indecisive buyer around town for months. I'm more then willing to pay for their expertise, but to pay the full amount when you've used a partial service seems silly to me. Maybe not all agents will, but I know for a fact that there are some agents out there that will do this. In fact, see the reference article from almost 2 years ago.
Our realtor called us last night and said he would hold an open house next weekend but also did warn that the property taxes are probably keeping folks away since we have been assessed for sewer and water and a paved road. Truth be told, these assessments are hurting us financially since it raised our escrow quite a chunk. These assessments obviously influenced our decision to downsize and sell. However I believe there is a way to market this home despite the property tax issue.
Thanks again to everybody for all of your feedback!
In other areas maybe no one is out looking at houses so open houses don't work. They sure do where I work. Not having open houses to me is like screaming KEEP THE BUYERS OUT!
I think that if you feel that your agent isn't doing enough or cares enough about helping you then you should take the listing back and give it to someone else. When I take a listing I guarantee that if you aren't satisfied and if you give me the opportunity to set the situation right I'll give you back the listing.
But Iâ€™d also have had a conversation with you at the start about what to expect with your property based upon market knowledge and the asking price that you set. If the market is slow then you will have to motivate buyers to come and see the property. Three things to look at location, condition, price. Canâ€™t change location, can you or does you need to have the condition changed and is your price attractive?
We have not had not any showings yet. Since we have acreage our realtor has advertised our home in horse publications and has been putting the word out to land developers.
A short sale does hurt your credit, no matter what you hear. Are you listing it at a price where you will ne zero? If so, I'd think about the short sale option. Many banks are very willing to work with you on that.
Best of luck, Todd Norsted
I will have to say, Robin Landis is a funny one ...
Properly done - properly timed and properly advertised - they work - period ... I've sold a dozen plus homes that way and I'm not even an realtor.
Doing them on St Patricks Day or Christmas eve, no advanced notice, no advertising and no Pizzaz gets you what you put into it ...... n-o-t-h-i-n-g
My answer will be a study: Source 2007 National Association of Realtors for Minnesota.
"Where Buyers Found the Home They Purchased in 2007 (Staewide)"
Real Estate Agent 30%
Yard sign/open house sign 15%
Home builder or their agent 6%
Friend, relative, or neighbor 6%
Print newspaper ad 3%
Directly from seller/knew seller 1%
Home book or magazine 1%
Hope this helps!