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2014-10-13 10:59:17
10 Ways to make an open house successful

Are you about to sell your home or condo? If so, be sure and study this article about open houses. When you pick your REALTOR ® have that real estate agent read this article too.


10 Ways to make a “real estate” open house successful


I write about this topic because most REALTORS® will tell you that open houses don’t work. They may say that holding an open house only find buyers for them, not for your home. While there is some credence to the suggestion that they find buyers for other homes, open houses can work. This article is to provide ways to make it work for you.


First consider this, why do builders have site agents for their developments? If it didn’t help considerably why would they go to the expense of a model home? Why would an agent take less commission to sit a site? Why would they advertise their hours of being open? I have seen statistics that suggest only 2 to 3% of homes are sold via open houses. Even if the numbers were that low I would want to find that buyer that found the home that way. I have done several studies of our local Salt Lake City home sales numbers. Surprisingly, each survey I have done, in several different price ranges, show the number of homes sold by the listing agent to be about 11%. I’ve shared that finding with other real estate agents. None seem to believe it to be accurate. A closer look indicates that I was including builder sites in the survey.


Builder open houses are not always all day, seven days a week. The hours are often limited to the highest likely traffic times.


My suggestion, my approach is to treat an open house for your home to be as important to you as it is to a builder to have site agents.


The push back you might feel as an REALTOR® or from your REALTOR® is logical for a few reasons. First, they may have several listings, how can they promise a lot of open houses under these conditions. Second, they may truly have had enough experience to feel it doesn’t work well, is a waste of time. A few months ago I sat a Saturday open house for a colleague and no one came, what a shame. It was a spur of the moment arrangement in a close to downtown Salt Lake City home. I didn’t implement all of these ten suggestions I am offering now to make your homes open house a success.


  1. Advertise your open house in the local newspapers. In Salt Lake City that would be in both The Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. There is a section in both for that purpose. The ad shown below was on back to back open houses I held last Saturday. The traffic was non-stop the entire day and most of the visitors to these two condominiums were carrying the ad in their hands. For you Salt Lake City residents one was for two condominiums in Canyon Road Towers and the other was for an awesome condominium in Garden Towers.


     Open House Ad., Condominium, Salt Lake CIth, Downtown, Utah Real Estate


  2. Advertise on a sign an upcoming open house. Such as open house Saturday 1PM to 4PM.

  3. Use a lot of signs. I have seventeen signs and place them to attract people from higher traffic locations.

  4. Be willing to hold a mid-week open house. The purpose of this is to catch the attention of people who pass by the home from work or shopping. I have had great success in from doing mid-week open houses. One Wednesday created 3 buyers on the same day for the same home. My experience in Salt Lake City has had the best midweek results on Friday.

  5. Have 3 or 4 signs up on the same corner, if it is a close by corner. These three condos in the above ad have two corners nearby that I do this to. On one corner I place three signs on another I place four. It is an attention grabber. A block away I make sure I place signs visible to alert a passerby before the major exposure on the nearby corner.

  6. Make the client comfortable when they walk through the door. No one wants to be pounced on. New visitors have no idea if this home is a fit for their needs and desires. I intentionally place myself where I can see them enter but not in their face. I have a come on in and look around with no pressure approach.

  7. Have a handout that is not related to the home you are selling. In Salt Lake there are magazines about downtown Salt Lake City and about the Salt Lake Valley that people like to pick up.


  8. Have some mortgage information and local information on a table they will pass and in a location you are not near. This is my ice breaker, I get them talking once they have seen the home. The mortgage info is always interesting to them. They always want to talk about what rates they are. An easy way to connect is to see if they have already started the mortgage process. If they have questions you get to answer them or or promise to get an answer from a trusted source.

  9. Without being in their face connect with them. I have always resisted the “my client wants you to sign in” approach. It seems insincere even if the client wants it. My way is almost always successful, I send out a quarterly newsletter. Almost all welcome the opportunity to receive a newsletter about real estate and the local market.

  10. After they are comfortable ask them if this home is what they are looking for. Do they have any questions? Save something to tell them that isn’t obvious. In a condo there might be a swimming pool, game room, social room, or tennis court. In a home there may be something interesting, or something interesting nearby like a library. 'Did you know' or 'would you like to see' adds to your opportunity to connect with them.


It is my experience that real estate agents, even those that don’t relish holding an open house, believe you are expecting to have yours held open. Hopefully this article will help it be successful


by Larry K Cragun, REALTOR®
MediaOne Real Estate
4770 S 5600 WWest Valley City, UT84118
Phone: 801-204-6000 URL of Map


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