Believe it or not but a one of my open home sandwich boards that went missing in December 2011 showed up this week! Thanks to colleague Ben Donaldson from our Riccarton office who spotted the sign looking lonely holding an open home of its own in the red zone of Avonside. It has now finally returned looking rather well-travelled and a little worse for wear. I’m still surmising whether it was a fan or foe that uplifted it that fateful Thursday afternoon (albeit in a rather affluent suburb too)..?
That got me thinking about the advent of open homes and way back in the day when I first started selling real estate (1989) they were more rare than common and one certainly did not dare advertise a property with an address as that was far too intrusive on a client’s privacy. The secret squirrel code of selling also included when meeting a client, one would politely request that they meet you on the corner of x and x street then you would drive them to the property from there. It’s not surprising that we didn’t sell many homes in those days and as we would now say “you just can’t sell a secret”. It just goes to show how the times have changed!
I guess the downside is that in some ways the role of agent sourcing homes for buyer has been reversed and open homes have become a little more like supermarket shopping where the services of the salesperson are required more once the buyer has sourced the goods themselves.
Having been in the business for close to a quarter-century, you do come across some pretty hard-case antics at open homes. I remember one of my colleagues once decided to put a couple of pairs of old tennis shoes at the front door to encourage prospective purchasers to remove their shoes before traipsing through the home. Needless to say this subtle hint didn’t work as intended when a couple of house-hunters from Japan decided to put them on before entering!
I liked this explanation on Investopedia of an open home:
Many open houses are held on weekends, with banners and other fanfare used for advertisement. The houses are cleaned and kept immaculate (for the most part) during this time to attract potential buyers. Some owners will also serve cocktails or hors d’oeurves at these events.
Perhaps this could be the new generation of open homes here in New Zealand with happy hours in clients’ homes rather than down at the local? I wonder what the REAA would have to say about that!