Last Friday we had a 1.5 hour training for my entire team on how to do open houses!
1. There is a web site that is free to list open houses.
2. Printed Invitations distributed to the neighborhood.
3. Printed flyers distributed either by email or in person to all the brokerages in the area.
4. Signs all the way from the main thoroughfare, to each turn to the house.
5. Color flyers in the home.
7. Baking either fresh bread or choc chip cookies in the oven
8. Home immaculately clean and shining
9. Lights on in every room - oversized wattages where needed.
10. Pets secured
11. Homeowner gone!
Remember, we put on open houses for the seller, but rarely do we produce a buyer for the property - but we do produce more listings for the agent.
The most successful open house is a brokers open with food for the agents. Cost up to $ 400.00 for catered food - most good agents should be working with from 2-10 clients at all times - if 20 agents come through your home, thats like 40-200 families that have just seen your home, in about 4-5 hours! That will generate a buyer for your property - the week end open house will almost never produce a buyer!
Have a heart to heart talk with your agent - open communications are always best!
Bill Wootan - Leader of Team One @ Century 21 H T Brown
First of all you should ask your Realtor what he expects from holding Open Houses. Open houses rarely bring in buyers for that house. What they bring in are a lot of tire-kickers, curious neighbors, pleople in need of decorating ideas and unfortunately creeps who want to see if there is anything that's valuable inside the home. Some people also will go to open houses to see how Realtors conduct Open Houses and many Realtors conduct open houses just to be exposed to new potential buyers.
Holding an open house requires a lot more time than the time spent at the property. It also requires a lot of effort. When we conduct an open house, we know that it won't work by just putting up a sign and a balloon. We advertise it, we send e-blasts to our fellow realtors so that they bring their own clients, we invite the neighbors because many sales are the results of neighbors wanting their friends to live in the neighbothood, we have plenty of information about the market, the neighborhood, the property,... There is no doubt that an open house that can't be found because of proper signage is a big waste. We have used up to ten directional signs to bring traffic to our open houses and we can assure you that the more signs there are, the more the traffic we get. Good luck.
P.S. There is tons of free info on the web on how to hold open houses
I like the common thread of the previous posts...expectations.
When you and your Realtor met, did you go over the marketing plan? Did you like what you saw and heard? What did your Realtor tell you to expect? That the buyer will come from an open house? Did you talk about how he does open houses?
There are some facts that might help you.
First of all, open houses do not sell houses. Houses sell houses. Open houses are primarily for Realtors to find buyers. The odds of a buyer buying an open house are very low. We do still do them, but is a buyer opts to make an offer based on an open house, it's a fluke.
Secondly, 90% of the time the buyer that purchases your home will see it with a Realtor. Not the Listing Agent. So although we do open houses, I would be more concerned about what we call "showing activity" Brokers showing the property. I would expect to meet with your Realtor weekly to review the showing feedback and update the CMA.
You should know within the first two weeks or so if the property is at the right price. If the marketing and preparation is good, and it's priced right, you should have 10-12 showings or 2 offers in the first two weeks or so. If you do not, then you probably have a pricing issue.
BTW, there are cities that prohibit open house signs. Personally I use the MLS, Trulia, Openhouseforum.com, and craigslist for open houses. I do think signs help, but in a buyer's maket most of your traffic at open houses is from buyer's being sent by their Realtor (at least in thie area).
If you haven't already done so, TALK to your agent. Tell him what you want him to do and what you think he isn't doing.
If you like the agent and want to continue working with him, see if he will agree to do those things that you think aren't being addressed. If so, continue with the agent ... AND continue communicating.
You have a feel for him already. If you aren't happy and don't think it's a good fit, ask him to release the listing and find another agent.
I've found that communication between client and agent is VERY important. We as agents can do what we think is a wonderful job, but have no way of knowing if our clients aren't happy or want something different/more unless it is discussed. Remember, we are working TOGETHER toward a common goal. I think most agents want to do their best and want their clients to be happy .
Ted Stewart, CRS, e-PRO
Yerman Witman Gaines & Garceau Realty
As mentioned below there are a number of different schools of thought on Open Houses, but the bottom line is, if you are going to hold one, you should host it as professionally as possible - including being prepared to have things like a sign in register, fact sheets, and 'directional signs'.
Communication with your Realtor is obviously the key, but it unfortunately sounds like this last one may have been a bit of a waste.
If I were you I would analyze the comps on a weekly if not daily basis. Any activity of similar homes in your town you should be made aware of, and that's the best way to decide if you are positioned correctly.
Good luck !