Our condo bylaws stipulate "No Open Houses" Is there a way to work around this?

Asked by mjaworsk22, Western Springs, IL Tue Jul 3, 2012

Our condo bylaws stipulate "No Open Houses". With today's housing market it is difficult to compete without using this technique. The units in the building are fantastic, and we fear units are being sold for less than they are worth or going into foreclosure. I heard if we advertise a showing as an "event" and don't post signs we can still show. What is you experience? Need to sell

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Annette Lawrence’s answer
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Jul 8, 2013
When you purchased this condo, it was not through an Open House.
In Florida, the "No Open House" rule is more the standard than the exception.
Still condos are bought and sold on a daily basis.
You do not mention if you have a professional on your side.
If you don't, you won't have access to the greatest resources available in regards to getting your unit sold.
The enforcement of the 'condo bylaws' just like the enforcement of Deed Restrictions tend to protect value rather than erode. There are MANY options, which ones are available to you depends on the choices you make. Consult with your real estate professional. They've done this a dozen times a year.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Albert M. St…, Agent, Hoboken, NJ
Thu Dec 20, 2012
Hi M. Jaworski,
Open Houses are just one way of attracting possible Buyers to your property....there are probably a hundred other good ideas that work just as well. Normally, Open Houses are great for the Realtors, simply because if they have a "sign-in" sheet...each person that signs in and gives the Realtor their information is a prospect for any other property as well. It is "hit or miss" that each person will like or even go beyond simple curiosity and touring your property. Rather than Open Houses, I always like to prequalify Buyers before they tour the premises...just to be sure they can buy and we also ask many, many questions to be sure that the property suits all their needs. If the property is marketed properly given all the website and social media connections like "Trulia" and Realtor.com..you don't have to have an Open House or an "event."
All my best,
Bert Stinchcomb
Liberty Realty, LLC, Corporate Center/Hoboken
201 538-0756
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Fri Oct 19, 2012
Right, prudent for you to at the next HOA meeting, start a Repeal of this nonsense requirement, while explaining why it is important to have Open Houses and Broker Tours.

My advice would be that you as Owner, conduct Open House and set up signs and go from there.

Good luck.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Oct 19, 2012
It is such a shame when condos put restrictions on marketing efforts that could help sell properties. We've got communities in our area that have strong restrictions on signs - for sale and open house, but I've not run into a "no open house" rule. That's a tough one. I think the "event" idea is a good one, give it a try.

The real marketplace is online - so be sure you are aggressively positioned online to reach buyers and once contact is made, make your unit very easy to show.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes
Jose Martinez, Agent, Hoboken, NJ
Fri Oct 19, 2012
You can have a Wine and Cheese Party, and invite Realtors, and Buyers.

Call me i have some good contacts that can help you...

Jose Martinez
Coldwell Banker Home Loans Hoboken
0 votes
Nicole Adams, Agent, Jersey City, NJ
Thu Aug 23, 2012
A showing event, as you mentioned, may be the best way to gather as many buyers as possible at one time. Your agent can market it as an "invitation only" event, to which other agents working with interested buyers as well as direct buyers may attend. This would be an efficient use of your time by debuting the home to many people, after which private showings can be held for those whom are serious buyers. Good luck with your sale.
0 votes
Gertrud Borc…, , Hoboken, NJ
Tue Jul 10, 2012
I agree with Albert as well. Open houses are a waste of time for the sellers. Agents do them to collect information on potential buyers and tire kickers, who may, or may not buy down the road. In a condo building you often get other condo owners who want to check out how other people have priced their property, how they have decorated their unit, etc. HGTV next door. There are many other creative ways to sell a condo to serious buyers. I am sure your agent is giving you great advice on how to proceed.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes
Joan Congilo…, Agent, Freehold, NJ
Thu Jul 5, 2012
If your complex has an open house restriction it is best to comply with their rules. You may want to bring up your concerns at the next board or homeownwers association meeting. If there are enough owners that have the same feeling maybe they will eventually lift the open house ban.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Jul 3, 2012
My experience is that if you're allowing strangers in to view the property, it's an "Open House."
0 votes
Amos Elroy, Agent, Bayonne, NJ
Tue Jul 3, 2012
i thought about that but there were objections to that from the office since there is a liability issue.How do you handle that?

Amos Elroy
CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert),
SFR (Short-Sale Specialist Certified)

Residential Real Estate Investment Consultant
Lic. Realtor Associate
EXIT On The Hudson Realty
(888) 462-6573 / (888) HOB-NJRE
FAX (888) 462-6573
Office 201-437-0411

Twitter & Facebook: HobNJRE
0 votes
, ,
Tue Jul 3, 2012
Throw a big party??? Invite friends and advertise them as a party, not open house.

It is hard enough to sell a condo must less have an HOA board that isn’t even operating in the real world. Good luck,

I linked a recent post on a similar subject for the Realtors that sell condos, feel free to use it in your blog or marketing plan.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes
Amos Elroy, Agent, Bayonne, NJ
Tue Jul 3, 2012
I tend to agree with Albert. Statistically less than 1% of homes are sold by means of Open House, which makes it one of the least effective means of promotion of properties. It is however a valuable self promotion exposure for agents.

With that said, i do realize sometimes it is difficult to convince sellers that it is not going to do much for them. Some may suspect you are just trying to get out of things due to laziness, which could be detrimental to a Realtor.

I would not recommend getting into conflict with the association, as you may need their cooperation when it comes to any repairs that may be needed on the outside of the unit, for example. If the rules say no open houses, just comply with them.
0 votes
Jillian Lopez, , San Diego, CA
Tue Jul 3, 2012
A simple way is to just do it. You have the "right" to promote your home and sell it. The worst case would be a slap on the wrist. Your open house would be done before anyone even cought on most lilely.
0 votes
Albert M. St…, Agent, Hoboken, NJ
Tue Jul 3, 2012
Hi MJaworsk22,

Some condo bylaws do protect other condo owners from large numbers of strangers, who may or may not be qualified to buy a specific property, from entering a building at random with out any
real control or supervision. This is done to not only protect all the Owners, but the public spaces
as well. Many times Open Houses are great for the Realtor, because they get the names/phone
numbers of people looking for housing, but not necessarily interested in or qualified to buy the
Open House they are visiting...Some are simply curious and/or nosy.

There are other more controlled ways to get multiple buyers to a property; by invitation; by staging appointments back to back over several hours; give not an "event" but a private party with your clients and those of other brokers; The trick is to get interest, word of mouth, and people talking
about the property..using the internet, advertising, etc....not to have an Army of unqualified people
simply "looking" out of curiosity..not out of need.

All my best,
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Jul 3, 2012
Contact the board and find out how to make the case to try to get this changed. It puts your community at such a disadvantage!

Find out what they are worried about and work with your agent to formulate a response that addresses those concerns.

Good luck - you can bet that when the board members get ready to sell, they will likely relax this.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes
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