Yes, we can "preview" too. This means having to call to make an appointment and asking the seller to allow a special showing. Broker open houses are really convenient for both parties!
I personally have spent well over $100 on food only to have a handful of agents attend. (And yes, we do promote them via email, fax, MLS, etc...) So I don't necessarily buy into the idea that "if you feed them, they will come".
If the house is truly different than most on the market, we can count on seeing more agents attend. If it is similar to most in your area, or located in a condo complex where many units are similar, agents are not likely to show up due to the limited amount of time and the number of homes available to view that day.
I will always still offer a brokers open...and keep my fingers crossed. It's just one of many elements in our marketing plan.
I have always paid for the food myself and feel it is part of the marketing plan. But whether or not the seller is "obligated" to provide food depends on your agreement. But as I said, it may be a moot point depending on how well broker open houses are attended in your area.
Best of luck!
Sometimes I wish that the sellers would pay for food or prizes for an agent open house because they can be pretty expensive at times. However, that is just another piece of the agent's marketing plan and the agent should be footing the bill. That's one of the main reasons you pay a commission.
That said, there are these "discount" brokerages who have fees set up for each piece of marketing or service that they provide, so if your neighbor listed with one of them, it is a whole different ball game. Their listing agreement should spell it all out for them if they aren't sure.
Hope this helps!
ERA Wilder Realty
Communication is the key here......as previously mentioned it could be totally absorbed by the listing agent or the seller. Or it's cost could be shared.
It's best to get this on the table early so there are no misunderstandings. If it's going to be a big ticket expense an agent should look for the seller to at least share the expense
The key here is expectations. These should be discussed beforehand and may be part of the listing negotiation. IMHO if the Realtor did not bring it up, they the marketing costs are assume to remain with the Realtor. There are some Realtors that have a "fee for service" approach and you know in advance what is included and what is "extra"
This is something that is really discussed abd decided between you and your listing agent, and it may also be what is usual and customary for your locale. Where I work in Ocean City, Maryland, there is usually a contribution from both the home seller and the listing agent. If a seller has asked for a very lavish food presentation to attract a certain demographic, that seller has been willing to pay for it. We also see it very common to have monetary drawings. Sometimes it can be something as simple as gas debit cards. With the price of gasoline, driving to some of the properties for an open house may be vey costly.
Again, look at your marketplace, determine the niche buyer/agent you are trying to appeal to, and plan your event in conjunction with your real estate professional.
My best from the Beach.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Ocean City Maryland