Category Archives: Open House

Open House Saftey

Anytime you invite strangers into your home there is a potential for crime.  You have to be smart about it!

Just this past week an agent and a client were robbed during an open house in L.A., no one was hurt but it can happen anywhere to anyone.   We don’t hear much on this in Rochester, NY but not to say it can’t happen.

For Sale By Owners have to be diligent when doing open houses, be smart!  This article discusses some safety tips to review before opening up.  Take a look.

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What about grouping your showings?

I was talking to one of our clients this afternoon and she was concerned because she had a showing set up tomorrow at 5:15pm and another agent had just pushed his way in the door at the same time.

At first I could understood her concern, but after a second to process this, I thought it was great!  It brought back memories of me showing my apartments across town to perspective tenants all at 6pm so I didn’t have to make a million trips.  What happened, if they all showed up on time, was a competitive feeding frenzy.  Tenants competing for my rental apartment.  I loved it.  Still do it today.

Years ago I helped my brother in-law sell his home in Irondequoit.  I remember pricing it high for even a good market.  When we had our first Open House, there were lots of buyers in the house at the same time, so jokingly I told them we were looking at offers at 7pm.  Sure enough, we had two offers that night.  It was a scramble.  The first offer was at list price and the second was 5K over.

Hmmm, wonder which one we accepted.  This is more psychological than anything else but guess what?  It works, sometimes.  Think about it.

What the heck is a Brokers Open?

Think of it like an Open House just for sales agents, except filled with smoke and mirrors.

OK, so here’s how it works.  Broker’s will tell sellers that they are going to ‘expose’ the home to other brokers as a way to gain exposure and educate them on the homes features and benefits.  Sounds logical doesn’t it?

So the listing agent will send out an email to all the agents and brokers advertising their open house,  and to get them to show up, they tell them that there will be a free lunch or there will be some drawing of some prize.  The next hurdle is getting someone else to pay for that lunch/prize, so they will grab a mortgage broker who wants to get exposure to new referral sources (agents) to supply the goods.

The hungry agents come for free goods, talk a little shop, eat…talk a little more shop, pound some desert and oh yeah take a look around and leave.   But before they leave the listing agent asks them if they can make any RECOMMENDATIONS…Most agents will suggest reducing the price or staging or some combination of both, like they just solved a mystery.  “hmmm, you should think about dropping the price 5 or 10 thousand dollars and see how that works”

Then the listing agent goes back to the sellers and tells them how successful the open house was, and that 8 out of 10 agents suggested a price drop.  That way it was a third party suggesting the price drop, not the guy who told them he could get a million dollars for the 200k home in return for signing that 6 month listing agreement.

Very clever, but Brokers Opens are not effective in selling homes.  There is no efficacy here at all since most brokers and agents have very very little control over their buyers today!    Buyers are telling agents where to go, not the other way around.

 

 

Open House safety tips

10 Tips for Holding a Safe Open House (Written for Realtors)

Open houses can be a great sales tool—but hosting one also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. Take these steps to stay safe:

1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.

2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.

3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.

4. Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.

5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and e-mail.

6. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.

7. Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.

8. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.

9. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.

10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

(Sources: Washington Real Estate Safety Council; City of Mesa, Arizona; Nevada County Board of REALTORS; Georgia Real Estate Commission