Thanksgiving has passed, the weather has turned out cold and everyone has their mind on the holiday season as the year comes to an end. For the residential real estate industry, that means sales go quiet.
I’m not planning to move, but I receive regular emails from my real estate broker with new listings in my area. And I open them. I forward the good ones — with stunning pictures of new kitchens and bathrooms with soaking tubs — to my husband.
I mark the date for the open houses and then I go.
On a miserable Sunday in late November, rather than curl up with a cup of hot cocoa, I dodged puddles to get to an open house for a four-bedroom colonial in my neighborhood.
I had noticed the house for years, with a handsome bay window and lush landscaping. I just had to see what was inside. Before you write this off as time wasted, let me tell you, dear reader, the visit was worth every moment spent out in the icy rain.
The living room, with recessed lighting and a coat of fresh paint, was dreamy, with a navy carpet and cream-colored sofa. Can I tell you about the kitchen? The listing described it as a chef’s kitchen. I’m no chef, but the soapstone countertops, wine fridge and that very fancy stovetop convinced me to consider becoming one. I sent my husband over next. He came home soggy, but swooning. Two fireplaces! Who has two fireplaces? We could. That’s who.
I guess you could call me an open house lookie-lou. Some people try on shoes for fun. I try on houses.
Open houses rarely bring about a sale. Most buyer's are younger in there late 20's to mid 40's and they shop the internet or they are sent listings by there agent and rely on the e mails the agent sends to them. The reason we at LIHP try to only do them if the owners want them is because you never know who your letting in the door. It is the first thing the police will ask if you were robbed and your house is on the market. We do keep accurate notes on who we let in with phone numbers and most agents will ask for identification as well at our open houses. BUT the truth is that if someone is looking in that area they already know about the listing from the on line sources. With the hourse properties we already have e mails of every horse person and they are on our newsletter list.
We sell 99 percent of the houses we list from our own newsletter not MLS.
This is just an FYI of why we do not push open.houses.