The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 7 - November 5, 2008

REAL ESTATE

Open houses offer effective exposure

When your home is on the market you have to accept that your life is practically an open book. First, real estate professionals will be trailing through to check out what’s new in the marketplace so they can partner your home with one of the buyers they have been working with. Then come the buyers, scrutinizing everything from your choice of kitchen appliances to the organizers in your closets.

But the event that every homeowner will inevitably find the most trying is the public open house, a day that will place your life on display for total strangers to judge. As unnerving as they can appear, public open houses are an effective way to get your home exposed to the most number of people in the shortest period of time.

There has always been a good measure of controversy within the real estate community surrounding the positives and negatives of public open houses. Some professionals say there is no way to prequalify the prospective buyer coming through the door, or know if he is a serious buyer or just a tire-kicker. Some say, that the best way to filter out that qualified buyer is to expose the property to the most number of people as possible.

I tend to agree with the latter, if you don’t get the message out, no one is going to hear you. The nosy neighbor who spent an hour admiring your drapes and eating your cookies may tell her bridge partner about your house. The partner may in turn tell her son or daughter, who is actually looking for a house.

The key is to network your property, and public open houses are one piece of the marketing puzzle to get your home sold. However, in order to have a successful open house, you need to do more than just stick a sign in your front lawn and hope for the best.

The single most important thing you can do is advertise the open house. Advertise on line, in print on neighborhood signs and even target mailings. Adequate signage on the day of the open house is crucial, especially if you’re tucked away in a hard to find spot or in a condo with multiple buildings.

Getting back to the nosy neighbors – why not invite them in for a pre open house preview? Make them feel like they are not really nosy neighbors but a great resource base of potential buyers. Believe me, everyone will come.

It’s always nice to give away something to those attending. Simple food can work, but providing a piece of valuable information works better. A report on current market conditions and other properties available for sale in the area not only gives them something to take away but will help them remember your specific property.

If you’re finally convinced that an open house can be helpful, you may want to ask your listing agent to participate in the Progressive Island Realtor Tour on Saturday Nov. 15 between 1 and 4 p.m. This event is part of the Bridging The Gap offerings and will include not only properties for sale listed by local real estate professionals, but also contractors, shops and related home suppliers. And if you’re a buyer who wants to take advantage of some of the well priced properties on the Island, this is something you don’t want to miss.

The faster your home sells the less time your life will be on display. Public open houses may be just the thing you need to close the book, and stop worrying if the laundry is building up.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between July 14 and Aug. 16, 2008

Anna Maria

827 North Shore Drive       Single family       $1,350,000
511 Loquat Drive        Single family        990,000
157 Crescent Drive       Lot       750,000
604 Jacaranda Rd.       Single family        700,000
620 Rose St.       Single family        539,900
316 Hardin Ave.       Single family        425,000

Bradenton Beach

2200 Gulf Dr. N.       Hotels/Motels       $2,925,000
2500 Gulf Dr. N.       Duplex        2,500,000
2100 Ave. A #A        Duplex        415,000
2409 Ave. C       Duplex        330,000

Cortez

3840 Mariners Wy #525      Condo        $550,000
4203 W. 126th St.       Duplex        330,000

Holmes Beach

509 75th St.       Single family        $695,000
304 65th St.        Condo        630,000
211 83rd St. &n      Single family        602,000
625 Emerald Ln.       Single family        585,000
314 63rd St.       Condo        570,000
4703 Third Ave.       Condo        570,000
3311 Gulf Dr. #2       Condo        397,100
303 64th St. #A       Duplex        390,000
2805 Ave. E       Single family        381,000
7205 Gulf Drive       Duplex        380,000
6200 Flotilla Drive #286       Condo        315,000
6300 Flotilla Ave. #89       Condo        250,000
3607 East Bay Drive #111      Condo        250,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office


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