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On the day of your open house, your agent needs to do more than babysit the sign in sheet and hand out business cards.
For the final installment of our 3-part open house guide for sellers, we put together this round-up of best-practices advice so you know what your agent ought be doing on the big day.
Your agent should:
• Arrive early: Even being five minutes late is a problem as “there is ALWAYS someone waiting.” -- Mary Lou Currier, Century 21 NY Metro.
• Have an assistant there to escort potential buyers to and from the apartment if the building requires an escort. If your buyers are waiting 15 minutes in the lobby for an escort, they will not be happy. - A Manhattan real estate junkie who has visited hundreds of open houses
• Bring neat, preprinted show sheets and non-homemade sign-in sheets – Malcolm Carter, Rutenberg Realty. (Note: Judging from the number of similar comments we received, there are far too many agents out there armed with nothing but a handmade sign-in sheet.)
• Know the property so that interested buyers will have instant information and not have to wait for a call back -- Josephine Liascas Podolsky of Fillmore Real Estate
• Specifically, be able to describe the approximate size of the apartment, the directions it faces, the number of floors in the building, amenities, whether pets are allowed (including how many and what size), the tax-deductible amount of the co-op maintenance and the percentage down required, recent comps in the building, the recent capital improvements in the building and what needs to be done (eg elevator, roof, boiler) -- Karin Posvar Picket of Corocran
• Not send a substitute broker or assistant unless he or she is well versed in the facts listed above -- Karin Posvar Picket of Corocran
• Be friendly and welcoming -- no acting bored or focusing on other things like a sports event on tv, a book, or phone-- Malcolm Carter, Rutenberg Realty
• Be as warm to other brokers as to potential buyers, especially if there are other similar apartments for sale in the building: “I would be way less likely to bring my customer to an apartment if that broker was a jerk to me at his or her open house” -- Kathryn Swift of Barak Realty
• Post instructions on the intercom system on how to get into the building if there is no doorman – Mary Lou Currier, Century 21 NY Metro
• Dress appropriately for the neighborhood and the apartment. “Jeans in the Village can be fine but not in a $2 million spread.” --Malcolm Carter, Rutenberg Realty
• Not stalk customers who want to be left alone – Malcolm Carter, Rutenberg Realty
• Not stereotype customers according to their clothes: “A little while back, I sent a customer to an open house on the Upper West Side. The broker refused to give him her last showsheet, and with him in cutoff shorts and an old t-shirt, she felt he wasn’t serious. Well, our customer had already built and sold two companies by 33 and was moving to NYC to ‘retire.’ He refused to even consider that apartment and ended up buying a similar unit in an all cash deal.” -- Jeffrey Schleider, Miron Properties
• Stick around to talk to buyers who show up right at the end – Jeffrey Schleider, Miron Properties