Home Selling in Newtown>Question Details

Coco99, Home Seller in Bucks County, PA

what should you expect from your realtor when doing an open house?

Asked by Coco99, Bucks County, PA Fri May 20, 2011

for instance, how early should they arrive? should the open house be advertised anywhere or are street signs enough? how far in advance should it be advertised? also, our realtor puts street signs showing "open house" up at the entrance of our community early in the morning on the day of the OH, but the sign doesn't show the time - isn't that weird?

Help the community by answering this question:


There are no hard-and-fast rules. But to answer your questions:

How early should they arrive?
Early enough to make sure that everything's in good condition. Early enough to turn on the light in all the rooms, open the draperies, etc. They're not maids, but if something is clearly messed up, enough time to try to fix/clean it. Enough time to put out a sign-in sheet and other literature promoting your home. If they're going to do something like bake cookies, early enough to accomplish that. So, the question isn't really: How early should they arrive? Rather, the point is that they should arrive early enough so that when the open house begins, they're ready and your house is ready.

Should the open house be advertised, or are street signs enough?
Depends on your community. Generally, I'd say that the house should be promoted. That doesn't necessarily mean ads in the papers--which (at least where I live) can be very expensive and not very productive. I'm sure in other areas, ads work fine. But it should also be noted in the MLS. And lots of agents post open houses on Craigslist. Others--who are planning ahead--will do a postcard mailing to neighbors announcing the open house. Having said all that, if an agent has found that street signs are the most effective, perhaps that's enough.

How far in advance should it be advertised?
Again, it all depends. But maybe 1-7 days. Some people just open up their papers Sunday morning (or whatever day) and look at what's open. A postcard to neighbors--a couple of days, maybe. You don't want a big time lag, because then people may forget about it. Craigslist--regularly (a constant presence, that is) for a week. Again, those are just rough guidelines and customs, practices, and people's expectations may be different where you are.

The "Open House" sign doesn't show the time.
Most of them don't. In many areas, houses are open for some standard time frame--such as 1-4 pm. There's nothing wrong with putting on a time, especially if it's either beginning earlier than normal or running later than normal. But for people just driving around, or even those who've seen some of your agent's marketing, if the sign is up, it means the house is open. And after the open house, your agent takes down the signs, so there's no need to rely on the sign to say "time's up."

It sounds as if you have some concerns about the way your open houses are being handled. The best thing to do is talk to your agent and say: "For our open house, you did __________. Can you explain why you did _____ and not __________?" I expect your agent may have a logical explanation.

Hope that helps.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
You should expect that your Realtor has moved their office into your home. With a 2% National Average for a success rate your agent will collect buyers for other homes.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Sounds like you have a good Realtor. The key is to bond with them and be a part of their team. Your questions lead me to believe there is room for improvement in your relationship. Maybe ask them what you can do to help out. It is your home and they are trying to help maximize your net proceeds, help them do so.

I was in your area not long ago, beautiful country, Doylestown is really quaint.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
I do alot of open huses in Newtown and Yardley. The house should be advertised in the paper, zillow, trulia, realtor by Wednesday. Depending on the community there may be rules on signage. I usually put them out by 10am the day of. But a rider sign is placed at the house by Wednesday so people and neighbors that usually drive by will see it. I usually put Balloons out when the open house starts and then take them down when it ends. Most open houses go from 1-3 or 1-4 so if they don't put a time on it, most people would know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
Your agent will assess what particulars for the Open House. Different properties will need different considerations, location, development, etc.

Most signs put out on the day of the open house are directional, but also flag passer-bys. These are there during the Open House so times are not needed for those signs. There are "riders" for the top of the main sign, generally on the front yard that can placed days in advanced and indicate day and times of the Open House.

Your agent should already review in details and expectations of your property for the Open House as well as showings. The property needs to appeal to the most people to envision themselves living there. Too much clutter and personal items can interfere with people seeing the actual house.
Staging can be your best advantage, sometimes just a few changes, like a clean-up, and less furniture can have a better showing.
1 to 2 days should be plenty to advertise, when someone may start planning an open house tour....
It shouldn't take too much time for your agent to set up for the open house, most of the time will be the directional signs before arrival.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 21, 2012
Phil is correct, the national avarage of an open house leading to a succesful sale is 2% that's a low number for the time investment. I can honestly say that we do open houses specifically to attract buyers and possibly other sellers in the area that are out indirectly interviewing. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Coco99, you need to talk to your agent and reopen the lines of communication.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
It is fine to arrive at the open house 10-15 mins before the open. Signs bring in a lot of buyers but I do usually advertise the day of the open house in the local paper. Your agent probably also advertises your open on the multiple listing service and realtor.com as well. My directional signs also do not have a time but most buyers are aware that most opens are from 1-3. If I start early or end later I try to have at least one sign with the hours. You should also do your part by having the home in tip top condition and some sellers offer to bake cookies to have the house smelling great during the open. You should discuss your concerns with your agent but they do appear to be doing all the right things. Good luck with the sale of your home and remember it is a frustrating market but homes are selling.
Terry Lohrbeer
Long & Foster Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Advertising is specific to the market, however I think most people find out about open houses online or by seeing signs. On my sign in sheet I ask where they heard of the open house and I seldom get anything but signs or online. By online I mean entering it in the MLS, Trulia, Realtor.com, Zillow, and Craigslist.

I usually put it into the system a week before, however I think most people only search the day they are going out.

Keep in mind that less than 1% of home buyers find there house from an open house. Open Houses are good tools for a lot of reasons, but they are not critical for selling your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Everyone is different, but I'll give you an idea of what I do. Ultimately, when dealing with an agent, you have some leeway in making "requests" known ahead of time and discussing this before hiring that agent.. that way you know what you are in for ahead of time. Anyhow - I typically do my open houses from 1-3pm. I will arrive at your house about ten minutes prior, to set up. I advertise both by street directional signs AND in the newspaper (I feel newspaper advertising is still very impactful and do notice a different in traffic when I don't advertise, unless the house is on a heavily traffic road). As for the signs not showing the time, my signs do say 1-3pm, however there are some generic signs out there that just say "open house" .. most people know that they are typically around noon or 1pm, so they will come by and find their way, it's not a huge deal if the time is not written on there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
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