House #1: Open House

October 27, 2008 · 1 comment

The Corn House went on the market last week, and I’m very annoyed that in the first 7 days, my agent brought exactly 0 people through the house. It’s a fantastic house for a fantastic price, and I’m convinced that if we can get just a few buyers through, we’ll get an offer. In fact, I even bet my agent that we’d get an offer from one of the first four buyers that come through that place.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that we haven’t had any traffic, and I hate having a house sit without any potential buyer traffic. My attitude is that if buyers come through the house but don’t put in offers, that’s my fault. But, if we don’t even have potential buyers walking through, that’s my agent’s fault.

So, we decided to hold an Open House on Sunday to try to get some potential buyers through. My agent wasn’t able to hold the Open House, so my wife and I decided to do it ourselves. In terms of marketing, we put an ad on Craigslist, gave flyers to our neighbors, and had our agent email flyers to her agent and buyer lists. We weren’t overly hopeful that we’d get any traffic, and my wife made the comment that if we got a single walk-through during the three hours, she’d be happy. My expectations were a bit higher.

The bad news is that we only got two visitors to the Open House — a gentlemen in the military who was just beginning his house search and saw our ad on Craigslist. And a woman and her daughter who live in the neighborhood and got one of our flyers. At very least, it was nice to know that both our marketing angles worked a tiny bit.

The good news is that both visitors had some very good things to say about the house. In fact, when they came in, my wife was ready with coffee, apple cider and some snacks, and the people spent a good 15-20 minutes in the house, looking around, asking questions, and expressing interest. The other good news is that the woman and her daughter seemed very interested in the property, and implied that they were considering putting in an offer. I’m certainly not going to get my hopes up (I remember my this implication to several sellers when we were looking to buy our personal residence), but it’s nice that we got such good feedback.

I’m still convinced that give a couple more visitors to the house, we will get an offer. And who knows, maybe one of our Open House guests today will make an offer this week. Regardless, it’s definitely hit home how few buyers are out there looking right now; so we just need to keep diligent in creating fantastic houses that we sell for below-market prices.

One response to “House #1: Open House”

  1. Bilgefisher says:

    Some investors I work with use a rule of thumb. 9 visitors for 1 offer. Your houses are very well done, I expect that to be a pessimistic estimate for you.

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