Thursday, November 20, 2014

Open House ~ Yes I Still Do Them!

I am a research Queen.  Notice that I put a capital on that "q"?  I want to know all that I can about every subject that has to do with my job.  One of those subjects lately has been about Open Houses.

I have read different blogs where agents complain about sitting around for a couple of hours and nobody comes through or that it doesn't matter because "nobody buys at an open house anyways".  My opinion is that these people just aren't working it.


I understand that some sellers are not comfortable with open houses, especially if they have a lot of valuables, breakables or firearms.  I respect that.

I don't ever give my sellers the false hope that I am going to have 1 million potential buyers come through the door during that 2 hour period or that someone is going to fall in love and have to write an offer on the spot.  I have held many where nobody comes through.  That's just how it works some days.  What I like to tell my sellers is this is another opportunity to get exposure for your home.  In most cases, it would be advertised in the newspaper, Zillow, Trulia,, MLS and on other websites.  I am going to put out signs like the one listed above to drive the traffic on the day of.  A lot of times for the first open house I hold after a house goes on the market, I will send out invitations to the neighbors asking them to come to the open house.  (I know that not many agents do this because they don't like the "nosy neighbor" coming through.  I welcome them because you never know who they know!)

In my personal experience, I have had (1) a lady and her family (2) a couple of ladies come through an open house and spend almost the entire 2 hours there.  These were 2 different homes, listed at 2 different times in totally different locations.  They didn't write an offer on the spot, but they contacted their agent after, scheduled a time to walk through and ended up writing offers on these 2 homes.  As a buyer's agent, I have had 2 different clients that visited open houses and wanted me to write offers on them after.

It doesn't work every time, but it does have the potential to work.  When you are interviewing different agents that you are thinking of using to list your home, ask them if they hold open houses and just listen to their answers.  If you want to use an agent that will hold one, and actually enjoys it, you can always contact ME.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

There's Snow on the Ground...I can't sell!

So not true.  

What is true is that this will be a more difficult time to sell, but not impossible.  

Challenge 1:  Buyers will not be a ready to look, but they are still out there.  We had a shortage of inventory when the weather was nice.  Now most sellers are thinking like this and the inventory is really low.  They will still come!  Your difficulty will be that you will need to keep the driveway and sidewalks cleared off at all times so there is no safety hazard when a showing call comes in.

Challenge 2:  I'm going to have to move all of my stuff when it's cold outside!  This is very true.  But, it's also the perfect time to look into hiring a moving company to do all of the hard work for you.  As an incentive to selling your home, you could possibly offer to pay a certain dollar amount towards the buyers using the same moving company too.  This will help make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Challenge 3:  I'm going to have holiday presents and decorations out when people are walking through my house!  I understand.  I know that the title of my blog is that selling your house doesn't have to suck, but this part of it may.  My best suggestion is to not keep presents at the house, especially expensive ones.  We like to think that people are honest, especially around the holidays.  But we can't always predict what someone is going to do.

Part 2 of that is the holiday season is one of the best times of year to showcase your home.  It is usually decorated and festive.  This looks great in pictures.  Most people don't put that much effort into their home in the Spring.

Challenge 4:  There will be snow and mud and dirt on my floors after I just cleaned.  This can easily be alleviated a couple different ways.  Make sure there is a clean, cleared path to your door so that the buyers will be tracking in as little as possible snow.  Make sure that you have a mat inside your door for them to be able to remove their shoes.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting out a very nice note asking them to remove them.  If you're still not sure, your agent may provide shoe covers that the buyers would be able to slip over their shoes and then dispose of after.

One of the best transactions that I ever had was working with a young couple looking for their first home.  We had been looking a couple different times, different sides of town, and they just were not able to find anything they were interested in.  So one Saturday afternoon we were scheduled to go out and look but the news was calling for some nasty weather.  I consulted them to see if they still wanted to go look.  We all agreed that we would give it a shot and if it got too bad that we would pack it in.  At the end of our tour, it started snowing, freezing rain and visibility got horrible.  We trudged on to the last house and they found "the one" here.  We joke about it to this day.  I have since helped them sell that house and they have upgraded.  Love my clients!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Location, Location, Location ~ No More

There have been way too many movies that really stress that selling a house is all about location, location, location.  Let me be the first to tell you that is true no more!

There are still 3 things that determine the sell-ability of a home, but it is now location, price and condition.

Location is still important to a buyer and always will be.  There are certain reason that a buyer will choose a location and it is unique to each buyer.  This could be because of work, school, church, family, taxes, etc.  Most buyers are wanting to be close to something.

Price of course factors in because a buyer only has so much buying power.  They have hopefully already spoken with a lender who has qualified them for a certain amount for the purchase of their new home.  They may or may not be working with a real estate professional that is helping to guide them as well.  Thanks to technology, buyers are starting their searches online and will start their search with the price.

Condition is the third factor.  In the past when there was an abundance of inventory.  Sometimes the condition of the home was the only thing that set properties apart that were similar in structure.  Now that the market has changed, condition is what is really going to draw a buyer to your property.  Buyers still think that it's a buyer's market and they want the champagne house on the beer budget.  We are teaching them little by little though.  A great real estate professional will showcase these assets in the property description and pictures, letting the buyer know exactly what your house has to offer.

So knowing these 3 things are what really drives a buyer, you can use these to your advantage when marketing to buyers.