I held an open house last Sunday in Redondo Beach, and 42 people visited (18 groups; mostly couples). My seller and I received two offers on Monday. One offer was rejected and we countered the other one. We are still countering back and forth, and are now on Counter Offer #4. How did I attract so many visitors?
First, on Friday my assistant/husband and I handed out 200 open house invitations to neighbors, and 100 on Saturday morning. Why do we hand out 300 invitation flyers? Because nearby homeowners have relatives and friends who might want to live in the neighborhood, or homeowners might be looking for investment properties, or owners might want to move to a larger or smaller home. I won't slam other agents except to say that most agents don't hand out any invitations, but the ones who do will hand out maybe 25 to 50 at the most. They hold open houses to meet potential buyers of other properties. I hold open houses for the same reason, but mostly to get the homes sold, and that requires much more than opening the door on Sunday. For my Sunday open houses I spend all day Friday or Saturday getting flyers out and preparing information sheets on the property. A few days before the Sunday open house I submit my advertising to local newspapers and Internet portals. Thanks to my husband's assistance, I can accomplish all this valuable prepping.
Second, Sunday morning before the open house opening time of 1 p.m. we strategically placed 22 directional signs. I have that many signs because potential buyers drive through the neighborhoods where they want to live. So we do a blitz with the signs, which makes it easy to find my open house. I like open houses because I do them right and I get results.
Open houses are just one of many ways to attract buyers and get homes sold. Since we don't know where the buyer will come from we must promote many ways. It takes a lot more effort than putting a For Sale sign in the front yard and entering the listing on the MLS. The most effective promotion is to network with other real estate agents, because that is where 90% of buyers come from. It doesn't cost buyers anything, and good Realtors will save buyers a lot of time and money. Even the MLS entry data on the property profile sheets are very important. The entries must be descriptive, informative, accurate, persuasive, and compelling. Other ways to attract many buyers include placing the listing on at least thirty real estate portals and websites (including mine), presenting listings at weekly office meetings, target marketing, flyers, emails to agents, emails to prospective buyers, Internet marketing, and more.
To our mutual success,