There are lots of ways for home-buyers to find properties for sale, but regardless of whether one finds their prospective dream house online, sees a “For Sale” sign in a building, or gets a hot tip word-of-mouth, at some point buyer and property need to meet in person, as it were. That could be why open houses have long been a staple of the sales process in South Florida condos and HOAs.
For the real estate novice, an open house is basically where a gaggle of prospective buyers descend upon a property and mill around, looking it over and picturing themselves living there. Open houses are a great way for realtors to connect buyers, sellers and other realtors—but they can pose certain concerns for boards, property managers, and neighbors in terms of safety and security, nuisance, and traffic.
According to Laura Steinbruckner, a realtor associate who heads up the Jackie Teplitzky team at Douglas Elliman in Miami Beach, the key to holding a successful open house is all in the presentation.
“It’s all in the way you present your open house,” she says. You always want to entice people with food, music, flowers and good marketing material. For example for every one of our listings we do a brochure. Depending on the building we’ll do the brochure in Spanish, English and sometimes Portuguese and then we will include square feet and square meters and the basics about the building, and parking. We always want to have what I call ‘leave behinds’ so people will have something they can take away with them even though we live in an age of technology. You want to present a warm environment in an open house. We try to adapt to the building for the open house. Sometimes we will have food catered from a kosher restaurant or there is this place that everyone likes called ‘Healthy Empanadas,’ that is usually a safe bet.”
Carol Staab, an associate broker in the New York office of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, reminds you also need permission from your client before conducting an open house. While it seems like a no-brainer to help sell a home, not everyone is inclined to do so.