House #3: Open Houses

January 12, 2009 · 7 comments

The Second Chance House went on the market last weekend, and by all appearances, the timing was pretty good. It seems that this weekend (just ended) was huge for Open Houses. In fact, many of the near $1M homes in my subdivision that have been on the market since we moved here (8 months ago) had Open Houses this weekend, despite the fact that not a single one has had an Open House since in the past 8 months. So, I guess the other agents expect that buyer activity is ready to pick up after the holidays and now that we’re into a new year.

Based on this, we decided to hold an Open House on both Saturday and Sunday. I went into the weekend with absolutely no expectations (my wife and I discussed that we’d be happy with a single visitor at each Open House)…and I finished the weekend thinking that there’s a decent chance we’ll receive at least one offer in the next day or two.

While our marketing was sparse (Craigslist, the FMLS, and Open House directional signs), we ended up getting about 10 potential buyers through the house in two days, with about 4 or 5 of them indicating they were very interested.

The most likely offer would be from a woman who came over with her two agents and four kids about 10 minutes before the end of the Sunday Open House. They stayed for over an hour, and according to their agents, our house was 10x better than anything they had seen all weekend at that price point, and they were expecting the woman would want to make an offer Sunday evening.

About an hour later, my wife (the agent for our house) got a call from the woman’s agent saying that after looking at houses all day, and finally finding the perfect one (ours), the woman was getting cold feet about making an offer. The funny thing is that agent apparently had already decided that he was getting this commission, as he was extremely frustrated, and practically begged my wife to let him know if we received any other offers, so he’d have something to press his buyer with.

Then, an hour after that, he calls back and asks if his buyer can come by the house again with her mother to take another look. By this time, it was about 7:30pm, but I drove over, turned off the alarm, turned on the lights, got the house ready, and left. At 9:00pm, we got another call that the showing went well, and that the woman is planning to call her mortgage broker on Monday morning to figure out if the numbers work.

Additionally, two other buyers expressed a serious interest at the Open Houses, indicating that they’d be speaking with their agents and would get back in touch with us. Lastly, we had another agent stop by around 6pm Sunday evening, and spent about 25 minutes in the house with her client. So, it’s quite possible that we could get an offer from one or more of these buyers as well.

I’m not getting my hopes up — it doesn’t matter how enthusiastic potential buyers are until they actually put an offer in writing — but I think there’s a reasonable possibility that we’ll get an offer in the next couple days…

7 responses to “House #3: Open Houses”

  1. Hakrjak says:

    Wow dude — Congrats! That us amazing getting that much foot traffic in this market.

    – Hakrjak

  2. Tom Tarrant says:

    It’s crazy how things tend to work out. A buyer who seems sure to write will dissappear then someone else pops up out of the blue. We dont get our hopes up anymore either, it’s nice when you can truly be unemotional about the sale of a house. I always say, all I need is 1 buyer. Good luck Jason, the rehab and price are good then it’s a no brainer: ).

  3. Tom Tarrant says:

    Just looked at the pics again, great job! Staging is perfect, colors are good, hardwoods look great, looks killer. I like the beadboard under the bar. Noticed formica tops? Easy and inexpensive but with the rest of your materials you still got “the look.” Hey, are those the “stain ’em yourself” cabinets from Lowes? I love it. That thing is good as gone if its priced right!

    ps. that agent is a retard. What is he doing showing property to someone who hasnt talked to their lender? A more experienced agent would have had that family writing the offer on your livingroom table Sunday night.


  4. J Scott says:

    Hak, Tom,

    Thanks for the notes and the words of wisdom!

    Yeah, it’s frustrating to have a buyer so close, and then not be able to close the deal. She’s still waffling, and I know the buyer’s agents are going nuts trying to get her to put the offer in…we still might get an offer out of her, but we’re not getting our hopes up anymore.

    Plus, given the great response and feedback we’ve gotten on this one, I’m confident it will move at some point in the next couple weeks.

  5. J Scott says:


    The cabinets are low-end specials from Atlanta Kitchen & Bath (a popular K&B store in the area). Total for the 42″ to-the-ceiling cabinets and all the formica (including the island and bar) came in under $3000.

    I was thrilled with the deal, and as you can see, it came out great.

  6. Ed says:

    I have seen the before and after pictures and you have done a really great job. Did you hire a contractor or did it yourself?
    What about staging? Did you hire a professional staging company?
    Is this house in the 100K price range?

  7. J Scott says:

    Thanks Ed!

    I had a GC handle the whole project…he brought in his guys (plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenter, HVAC, etc) and took care of the entire project, beginning to end…

    My wife actually did the staging herself. She’s fantastic at it, and is actually planning to start staging for other investors and other agents/sellers in the area…I’ll pass on the compliment!

    As for list price, this one is listed at $129,900, and at that price, is likely one of the nicest in the area. We’re expecting any buyer to negotiate some, so we’ll be happy to sell at $5-10K less than that if the rest of the terms of the offer are good.

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