Trulia poll: What's everyone's take on open houses? Good or waste of time?...

Asked by Jenifer Garcia, Saint Louis, MO Sun Jan 27, 2013

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20
Patrice Emory, Agent, St Louis, MO
Sat Feb 2, 2013
BEST ANSWER
I love open houses. I once sold a condo to a jogger who was simply running by the property. The condo was across the street from the school that her daughter attended. She closed within a month. Her companion, whom I also met at the open house as he was jogging by her side, also purchased a property from me several months later! Every opportunity is what you make of it! I do 3 open houses each month.
0 votes
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Jack Bazzell, , Saint Louis County, MO
Wed Feb 6, 2013
I am having great success with them in regards to finding new clients. According to "NAR" 65% of current home buyers are first time. I agree about the non-luxury homes. I like a price point between $150 and $300.
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Jan 27, 2013
well, I always bring a good book along - that way my time is never wasted, even if no one shows up!
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sun Jan 27, 2013
Jenifo,
Just have Mack run yer Open House!
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Jan 27, 2013
I don't know how they can be a "waste of time." If nobody shows up, that is valuable information. If people show up and aren't interested in buying, that too is valuable information.
1 vote
Jeff and Kaye…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Fri Feb 15, 2013
I think they are great. It is unusual to sell that particular home and I am very honest with my sellers that there is a low chance that I will sell their home this way. However, it does bring exposure and sometimes the attendees will tell someone they know about the house. I make sure I am very prepared and know my stuff on that house and area homes for sale. When I first started in the business I did a lot of htem and had great success picking up both buyers and sellers. I don't do as many now and it does seem that less people go to open houses but I try to get the most people stoppying by to make it effective. I post signs ahead of time, I send postcards to the neighbors, I post on all available websites and the MLS. Occassionally I will put an ad in the paper but that is not nearly as useful as it once was and for the money it usually doesn't make sense.
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Fri Feb 15, 2013
I think it really depends on the community you are serving. When I hold open a house I come with my laptop and mifi so I am able to work if no one shows. Many of my best clients have come from open houses and last month I sold 2 houses from people who came into the open house (and in both cases they bought the house I was holding open--definitely not the norm but it does happen).
0 votes
Charles Rori…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Thu Feb 14, 2013
As mentioned by several people before, open houses may not necesarily be good for the particular seller, but they are usually always good for the agent.

Regardless of geographic location, the agent holding the open-house will be handing out his/her cards to people that come through. This agent will be getting lots of face time with potential future clients and this can work out great for the agent....

Seldom, have I sold a house through an open house. Most people that show up are just out to see what's out there or to see what the competion is. Serious buyers, for me at least, have usually come from private showings.
0 votes
Antoinette (…, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Thu Feb 14, 2013
I am a REALTOR with an independent, innovative St. Louis City based company. While we always look into new ways of marketing one’s home; we have found that holding open houses is, without a doubt, a tried-and-true method of showing many people, at one time, what a home has to offer. I highly recommend representing any listing with as many open houses as you can.
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Chappaqua, NY
Fri Feb 8, 2013
This question should be posted in agent to agent section.
0 votes
Catherine Do…, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Fri Feb 8, 2013
My experience with Open Houses has been very good. It's a great way to meet people in the community even if you don't sell the house. I have picked up a buyers this way and have increased my business. If no one shows up I still use the time to plan for the following week or work on advertising so I never feel it is a waste of time. I agree that you have to select the right home - one that has been staged or shows very well in order to get the best bang for your time. Also, you should know the home and the neighborhood and schools in order to answer questions. It's a great way to build your business!
0 votes
PollyAnna Sn…, Agent, Bozeman, MT
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Open Houses are fantastic - built our original business along the Orange County coast in SoCal with them and am doing the same in the beautiful city of Bozeman, MT now as well. It's a great way to build a database and dothem in the communities and areas where you will find the potential types of clientele you'd like to work with, of course. Any time you are extroverting, you are not wasting time a sa pro in the industry. Best!
0 votes
Susan Raimon…, Agent, St Louis, MO
Mon Feb 4, 2013
I also built my business on open houses. They are a great way to meet purchasers and the neighboring community. It is very important that you know the area and school dist. where you will be holding the open house. Remember you are the expert, so be aware of the market actives and sold's.
I think open houses work best for non-Luxury homes.
0 votes
Paul Sager, Agent, St Louis, MO
Sun Feb 3, 2013
I built my business on open houses. I can always pick up a buyer and usually a seller when I hold opens. But it takes more than just putting a sign in the yard, it takes your knowledge of the area, the comps, the actives and positioning yourself as an expert.
0 votes
Dan Brassil, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Thu Jan 31, 2013
I have never had someone attend one of my open houses who ended up buying that particular home but I have picked up buyers at open houses who bought another property with me. What better way to pick up buyers without paying for a lead!
0 votes
Roger Wood, , Saint Louis, MO
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Open house attendees could include possible buyer for your property. Also, they could include future buyers for properties in the neighborhood. Some could be preapproved and be seeking a buyers agent. They also are a way to build your SOI list for ongoing contact.
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0 votes
Dana Tippit, Agent, Chesterfield, MO
Mon Jan 28, 2013
I agree they can and usually are a waste of time for the agent.

However, here are some other thoughts:
Don't do an open house if the property is in poor, undated condition, because the buzz in the neighborhood will be negative.
DO an open house when the property is in good to great condition to create a good buzz!
Market, advertise, promote and use as much signage as you can to bring in as many peoplepossible.
Bring work to do using time as effective as possible.
Ask your sellers what they think of open houses. THEY may not want them. If they DO want an open house, obviously host one.
Combine an open house with asking for a price reduction...so you have something 'new' to promote at the open house.

Good luck. Dana
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon Jan 28, 2013
I have had great success finding buyers to work with and also selling a few homes through open houses. We all know it only takes one buyer to buy a home and we never know how they will find us. Another pet peeve of many agents is the nosey neighbors that attend open houses. You never know who knows someone that is looking to buy in that neighborhood, I sold a home this way. I owe it to my seller to exhaust all possib ilities when I am hired to market and sell their home.

Chris
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Jan 28, 2013
Open house?
Are you referring to that 1982 dinosaur many real estate agents do? Yes they are a waste of someones time. The very statistics the agent quotes translate to "I love wasting my time."
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However, such activity can be extremely useful. To be of any predictable use, they must be "re-purposed." The resulting reassignment liberates the creativity of those involved and contributes to the community in multiple dimensions. "It ain't 1982 anymore." But from looking at most open houses, the message has not gotten out.
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Now, if your question is inspired by observations not related to 1982, please make that distinction.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
0 votes
Gregg Sharpe, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Mon Jan 28, 2013
Hi Jenifer. We don't do them. Only time we open up units is for the downtown loft tours. Other than that we don't on single family homes.

Gregg
0 votes
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