Ever host an Open House and have NO ONE show up? I have. Sitting in an empty house alone for hours makes a person question; Are Open Houses worth the effort? Why bother? I still host open houses. I think they’re important and even effective. That might sound a little crazy when we know we’ve made very few sales off of an open house. But here are a few reasons why I think
Open Houses are a key marketing element: Natural Selection An Open House can help separate the serious shoppers from the curious. ‘Tire-kickers’ can check out the property without having to call you later for an extra showing. This is especially helpful for unique homes. I recently listed a one-of-a-kind octagonal house. I’ve never seen one like it, and neither had anyone else in the area. That was the busiest Open House I’ve ever hosted! Everyone was curious to see the inside of the ‘round house’.
Advertising I know you know this one already. An Open House event will get your face and your client’s home in front of people. Advertising is about maintaining presence; staying on people’s mind.
Give ‘Em What You’ve Got Clients expect their REALTORS® to host an Open House. When we don’t, they may wonder why we’re holding back our services. I want to give my clients everything I’ve got. It’s part of the stellar customer service I recently posted about. Open Houses are part of the complete package. As a bonus (for me) some REALTORS® believe Open House events are a waste of time and refuse to do any. To my clients, my available services then becomes more attractive.
Then There’s The People Thing And, because the Real Estate biz is really about people, we can’t forget that Open Houses also afford us a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. That’s the part I love. It’s not about meeting new clients necessarily, but I get to make that initial connection that maybe down the road becomes a friendship, a client, a collegue… we never know what seeds we’re sowing. And yes, there are the odd ones where no one shows. Even those are useful though. Those two hours are the only ones I’ll get to myself all day! So I soak them up. I’ll sing, read, message, make phone calls, or just enjoy the property. (One time, I sang myself nearly hoarse in a vacant house. The acoustics were irristable, and I had the time, so I gave ‘er.) Whether people come to your Open House or not, it is not a waste – you’re sowing some important seed. The challenge is enjoying the process.
Warning: Sarcastic humor ahead. Do not read if you are easily offended. Proceed with caution. (and perhaps also with tongue applied to cheek)
Generally, I share helpful tips and advice on how to sell or buy, and otherwise traverse this Real Estate industry. Today is no exception. If you are determined not to sell your property, there are things you can do – even when it’s listed – to make sure your sale is dead in the water.
Fill your house with animals. Especially snakes or huge poisonous spiders. Add a few chickens to really unseal the deal. This way, people will completely forget your home and remember only the animals who live there.
Forget baking cookies and lighting candles. Pleasant smells only attract unwanted buyers. Instead, fill the house with pungent wafting odors sure to curl their noses. Don’t empty the litter box for a week. Let the garbage overflow just a little. Cook with lots of garlic and onions just before a showing. Also consider curry.
Be present for showings. Buyers get nice and uncomfortable when stared down by a homeowner. Garage sale guilt may set in. Use that. Fold your arms while staring constantly. Follow them around. Look paranoid.
Get with the times; other times. Send your home décor back in time by about 10-20 years. Put up satin or lace curtains, dress end tables with doilies. Cloak every piece of furniture with Great-Grandma’s afghans. Double points if you still have panelling or green shag carpet. Buyers will see your disinterest in modernizing as money they will have to spend updating. You’ll have them fleeing in minutes. Well done.
Get Personal. Sometimes it’s in the details where we win the biggest points. Ignore the constant barrage of advice to hide personal belongings. Show them who you are! Hang a ‘Go Away!’ sign in your entry. Leave a photo album open on the coffee table. Showcase the worst photos. Don’t hide calendars or posters of ill repute. Let them turn the stomach of all who enter. Every effort counts when fighting off unwanted buyers.
Planning is key. The more forethought you can afford, the better. If possible, months before, resist the urge to oil squeaky doors. Try not to wipe sticky or greasy handprints from the walls and doorknobs. Let it cake on. Again, these details will grate on the subconscious of passers-through. They may not even know why they become more and more irritated the more they see of your house, but they will.
Get Creative. This list is hardly exhaustive, though I trust helpful. There are endless ways to sabotage your sale and maximize distress to both the REALTOR® and the buyer. Your success is limited only by your imagination as they say.