Your agent is closing up shop in your
home after a weekend open house. You cleared out early, as instructed, but now
you've returned home and are bursting with curiosity about the day's event. Here
are some questions you might want to ask:
1. How many people stopped by and who
were they? If the turnout was disappointing, you may want to quiz your agent
about his or her efforts to attract people to the event. Was the open house
listed in the newspaper? Mentioned around the agent's office? Did any of your
neighbors drop by?
2. When and how will the agent
follow-up with prospective purchasers or their agents? Hot prospects who
seem well-qualified should be contacted as soon as possible after the event and
asked whether they're interested in seeing the home again, have any questions or
concerns about the home or are planning to make an offer to purchase
3. What positive and negative
feedback did the agent receive about the home? You'll certainly want to know
what people are saying about your home, but don't take minor criticisms too
personally or overreact to any one person's comments. Do pay attention to
repeated criticism of one or more specific aspects of your home. You can
disregard one person who dislikes your taste in wallpaper, but if six or seven
people make the same comment, you might want to have that offensive pattern
4. Did any problems or mishaps occur
during the open house? Many open houses attract only a handful of visitors,
but it's also entirely possible for 15 or 20 people to traipse through your home
in a couple of hours. If there were any problems -- someone injured a knee on
your glass -- topped coffee table or slipped and fell on the wet grass in your
backyard-you'll want to know about it.
5. What's next? Now that the open
house is over, what else is your agent planning to do to find a buyer for your
home? Does the agent intend to continue with the existing marketing tactics or
will some new plans be put into action? Would another open house be worthwhile?
TIP: Unless open houses are particularly
well-attended in your neighborhood, you might want to forgo these events
altogether or just hold one open house the first or second weekend after your
home is listed. Some surveys suggest that open houses are more beneficial for
the agent than the home seller and that only a tiny percentage of homes are sold
as the direct result of an open house.
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