Here in the Louisville area the traditional Open House is, for the most part, as about as effective as “Spanx” on a skinny person. People just don’t go to Open Houses like they did back in the day.
Why Are People Not Coming To Your Open House?
Well, because they don’t have to. If your Realtor is marketing your home correctly, your home is being seen all over the internet – inside and out, all over the home buying world. A prospective buyer for your home can view just about every room, and even zoom in on that picture of your cute puppy magnetized to your refrigerator.
With the exception of a few hot spots in the Louisville area such as St.Matthews, The Highlands, popular Oldham County subdivisions and other “high demand” areas where buyers literally circle the wagons waiting for homes to pop up on the market, open houses are very often a waste of your time. Unless you like cleaning your home from top to bottom to show it to perfect strangers a Sunday afternoon, or the nosy neighbor walking by and curious to see what your home looks like inside, you will want to consider better ways to get your home seen, and ultimately find the right buyer. There is a much better way.
A Much More Effective Way To Showcase Your Home Is To Get Realtors Inside
The Broker Open House accomplishes two major things:
1. In one day, several Realtors will get to see your home “up close and personal”. And they will give you an unbiased opinion of what they think of your home. Through a survey they will fill out, they will tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly, but in a productive way that will help you and your Realtor. In this survey they will answer such questions as:
- What do you think of the neighborhood?
- What do you think of the exterior of this home?
- What do you think of the floor plan?
- What do you think of the overall condition of the home?
- If you think improvements are necessary, please tell us what improvements you think will help sell this home?
- What do you think of the price? (Priced right, overpriced, or substantially overpriced?)
2. There is a chance some of the Realtors touring have a buyer that is a perfect fit for your home. That actually happened to me not long ago. I had buyers coming in from out of town who told me they wanted me to find them a home that looked traditional on the outside, but wanted it open and contemporary on the inside. I had been looking for this needle-in-a-haystack for weeks, and when I walked into a colleague’s listing at a Broker Open, I remember telling her, “I’m working with the buyers for this home.” As soon as I called them to tell them I found it, they flew in and bought it.
How Can You Help Ensure The Best Turnout For Your Broker Open?
1. Your Realtor will send out an E-Blast to hundreds of Realtors throughout the Louisville, KY area promoting the Broker Open. In addition, she will promote it heavily at her own office. She will also “Create An Event” on Facebook and promote it on other social media as well. Then she send out another E-Blast right before the event to remind everyone to come.
2. Your part in helping to make sure you impress the agents as they come through is to have the home staged beautifully, just as though you were showing it to a prospective buyer. All lights should be on, and a soft bed of music playing.
3. If You Feed Them They Will Come. Agents also expect to be fed, (yes, Realtors love to eat!) and the Broker Opens usually take place over lunchtime. Keep it simple. Paper plates and napkins and plastic silverware if perfectly fine. If your home is on a Multi-Home Broker Open, your Realtor will let you know where you are on the tour so that you will know whether your stop on the tour should include an appetizer, entrée or dessert. In some cases the Realtor brings the food, and sometimes it works best if you are able to provide the food. That can be worked out between you and your Realtor.
4. Speaking of Multi-Home Tours, I find that is the very best way to create excitement and get a bigger crowd of agents coming through your door. Besides feeding them, it is important to also offer an enticing giveaway. Here’s how it usually works: Let’s say five agents pool their resources and/or get other companies to help sponsor a large grand prize to one lucky winner. The Realtors must tour all five homes in order to be eligible for the grand prize. (Last month we had a great turnout of Realtors all vying for a chance at the iPad Mini.)
5. Let your Realtor take it from here. It’s important, just as during a showing, to be gone during the Broker Open. That way the agents can speak freely, offering tips and suggestions on how to perhaps better stage your home, and of course be able to offer their professional opinion on whether the home is priced right or if they think a price adjustment is the key to getting your home sold.
The Survey Says…
Your Realtor will review all the surveys with you, and it will be important to have an open and honest discussion about what the majority of Realtors had to say about your home. Hopefully it is all good, but if it isn’t, it will be important to take it to heart and make the necessary adjustments. She will also look for a consensus of opinions from her peers to help gauge whether price, paint colors, furniture arrangement, repairs, etc. need to be looked at with more scrutiny, and discuss what it’s going to take to get you to your goal – a SOLD sign in your yard.