I’ve never been a big fan of open houses. The fact is, very few houses are sold to an open house visitor. Open houses are great for real estate agents to get buyer clients as many people visit open houses without agent representation (which is a very bad idea).
Last weekend, a “Mega Open” was held in some Gilbert, AZ neighborhoods. A mega open is one where multiple agents hold opens at the same time. The theory is that holding many houses open in close proximity will bring in more traffic. Many times the mega open will be “sponsored” by a real estate related entity, helping to offset some of the agents marketing expense.
A year ago, you rarely if ever saw open houses in the Gilbert area (or anywhere in the Metro area). Houses simply weren’t on the market long enough to “need” an open. Now on the weekends, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an open house sign.
So was the Mega Open a success? Depends on who you ask…. Looks like several agents may have found potential buyer clients. But alas, there were no contracts know to have been written as a result of the Mega. And trust me, any agent that got a contract from this would have sung it from on high.
Combo open house draws call for another
David van den Berg
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 18, 2006 12:00 AM
Home sales are down in Gilbert, but prices remain up.
Experts, real estate agents and some potential buyers say Gilbert is still a place to be.
Developers and real estate agents are getting creative as they attempt to attract home buyers to Gilbert in the face of a challenging market. The town’s first Mega Open House was held last weekend to attract potential buyers.
“We have been bombarded with requests to do it again, in fact we’re already planning the next one,” said Christina Ballesteros, a marketing representative with The Talon Group, the company which coordinated the event. “I did see agents pick up a lot of good buyer leads.”
Jay’s Opine: Hmmmm. Bombarded with requests from SELLERS, or the listing agents? Oh, the answer is right there — “I did see agents pick up a lot of good buyer leads.” And this benefits the sellers how?
So far as she knows, Ballesteros said no contracts were written at the open house.
“This event wasn’t to sell houses, it was to bring exposure to the listings,” she said.
Jay’s Opine: What?!?!? The event wasn’t held to sell houses?!? WTF? It was to “bring exposure to the listings”… well check me if I’m wrong Sparky, but isn’t the reason you bring exposure to a listing so you can SELL the house? As stupid as all this sounds, she’s actually right. Every one of those agents knew darn well they wouldn’t sell their open that day. They did it for two reasons: 1) to appease their sellers, and 2) to line up a few prospects. The exceptionally astute agent would have realized they might get some additional press out of it. Sure they all HOPED they’d sell teh open house that day, but any agent worth a flip knew that had odds not far off from winning the lottery.
The article goes on. I can’t take it any more. But there are some interesting numbers in it.
You can read the rest of the article here
Jay Butler, director of the Arizona Real Estate Center, said events like the Mega Open House are common in down markets. Butler said interest needs to be created in homes in this kind of a market.
But, while Butler said such events don’t happen in good markets, he said Gilbert has some things going for it.
“My feeling is that Gilbert, because its such a family community, may be more of a stable kind of thing,” he said. “It’s a pretty good community, the schools are well thought of. It’s well located relative to freeways, etc. It’s got the retail in there and getting more.”
Ballesteros said 28 families showed up to get maps and listings.
Not all of them stopped by the vacant Lago Estancia home Peggie Simmons was showing. But quantity isn’t everything when it only takes the right one.
During the entire open house, she said three parties showed up. But one of those, a renter across the street, wants to buy it.
“We don’t know if it’s going to come to fruition because she just signed a one-year lease,” Simmons, a real estate agent with Re/Max Anasazi Realty in Tempe said. “The market in Gilbert is very quiet right now. There are pockets where homes are sitting and there are pockets where homes are selling.”
The median price of existing houses in Gilbert in July was $335,000, according to the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University Polytechnic. That’s up from $315,000 in July 2005. However, the number of existing houses sold in Gilbert has dropped to 315 in July from 650 in July 2005.
Steve Burton, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Integrity First in Mesa, also showed buyers around a Lago Estancia home. Burton said he had about seven parties visit the five-bedroom home.
Burton said the market is going through a correction, but also said it’s worth remaining involved in. Home values have soared 21 percent from June 2005 to May 2006, he said.
“The Phoenix real estate market is an incredible market still for people,” he said. “That would include Gilbert. The East Valley, in general, is the fastest growing region within the Phoenix metropolitan area. The values tend to follow the growth.”
Damaris Besaw of Queen Creek visited a Lago Estancia home during the Mega Open House. While she said she wasn’t seriously interested in that home, she said she is interested in the Gilbert area because she wants to live closer to her job at Avnet, and said she hopes to move in the next couple of years.
The problem, Besaw said, is that she’d have to sell a home in Queen Creek.
“The chances of selling a home out there is slim and none at this point in the market,” she said.
Lago Estancia, Neely Farms and Candlewood neighborhoods were included in the Mega Open House.