Surefire Signs

How does a Realtor tell if a home they’re listing is primed to sell? (see also, “Listings and Pots of Water“; “Buyer Feedback:  ‘Win, Place, or Show'”).

The starting point is their own knowledge of the home relative to nearby, competing homes — as well as the Comp’s (“Comparable Sold Properties”).

To sell in today’s Buyer’s market, the home really needs to stand out, in every way:  value, features, condition, curb appeal, etc.

The next test is showing activity.

Are other agents taking their clients through?

What are they saying?

Are they coming back for second showings?

However, there’s another, less remarked way to tell if the home is about to sell:  Realtors you’ve never met call or email you to ask you if they can hold it open.

Open House “Pinch Hitters”

While I make a point of hosting the vast majority of open houses for my listings (and always host the first two or three, to get a feel for the feedback), the reality is that, with anywhere from three to eight or more simultaneous listings, I physically can’t hold open every home, every weekend.

Nor is that necessary.

In my experience, holding a home open at the beginning of the listing, then following up with successive open houses every few weeks thereafter, assures good market exposure.

But that doesn’t mean other agents aren’t interested in holding additional open’s.

Trolling for Business

One of the ways new(er) agents attract Buyers is by hosting Sunday open houses.

They won’t collect a listing commission if the home sells — that goes to the listing agent.

They may not even collect the commission offered to the Buyer’s agent (called the “payout”), if the party who comes to the open house and ultimately buys is already represented.

However, open houses offer an opportunity to interact with other, unrepresented Buyers — Buyers who may just be starting their home search and don’t yet have a Realtor.

Not a few such prospective Buyers meet a Realtor hosting an open house, feel a sense of rapport, and go on to work with that agent.

Which House to Host??

Which leads back to the question, “if you’re a Realtor looking to pick up Buyers, which house do you want to hold open?”

Answer:  the one likeliest to have the most traffic.

And which house is that? *

The one whose listing price, features, curb appeal, etc. make it likeliest to sell next.

P.S.:  Notwithstanding the foregoing, one of my favorite real estate lines (as my clients can attest) is that “the only feedback I really care about is a full price (or better) offer from a well-qualified Buyer.”

*One other criterion “pinch hitting” Realtors use to pick an open house:  choosing a home in an area where they’re trying to establish themselves.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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