Saturday, June 25, 2011

Opening up about open houses

Are you one of those people who loves to go to open houses?  Do you love spending Sunday afternoons wandering around their neighbors' houses to see how they decorate ... to see how much work they put into the home ... and to see how much they're really asking for the house?

If you answered YES to the above questions, don't feel ashamed.  I used to be one of those people too.  As a matter of fact, I have a long-standing relationship with open houses that began long before my real estate career.

Before children, my husband's and my Sunday ritual involved driving around to different open houses.  Sometimes we just followed the signs to see where they took us, and sometimes we got serious and mapped out our routes after scouring the newspaper for open house ads.

When we were first married, we were too dorky scared to leave our real names and contact information at the open houses.  We felt extremely guilty for walking through a house we had absolutely no intention of buying and bothering the poor real estate agent inside.  As time went on, we got slightly less dorky braver and signed in with our real names.

Fast forward -- eight years after going to my first open house, I am a Realtor.  My dad used to always say when I was growing up, "Everything comes full circle."  And now I know it's true because I get people that visit my team's Web site every day looking at homes and leaving fake names/numbers/e-mail addresses.

It doesn't bother me, because I know exactly how they feel.  They don't want anyone to know they were just being nosy and looking at houses.  But I'm here to tell you this:

"Hey!  It's OK!  You're totally not bothering me when you're just coming through looking at houses -- whether it's online or at an open house.  That's what Web sites and open houses are for.  In fact, I WELCOME neighbors and curious people to come on by to my open houses!"

Now, tomorrow I'm holding an open house.  It's not my first; it's actually my third time doing one.  I didn't get much activity at my first two, and I'm hoping that some friends/neighbors/curious people pop on over.  I will have cookies waiting!

The home is in the Brookside Woods neighborhood in Columbus (Worthington schools).  The house is in $89 a square foot, which is just a crazy good deal.

Now, if you want the address, I'll post it on Facebook.  If you're not my FB friend, shoot me a message and I'll give it to you.  (I'm new and slightly cautious about posting about being alone in a house online, because real estate agents are attacked in empty houses more often than I care to think about.  But just so you know, I will have pepper spray on me and my big strong husband close by!)

So if you want to come visit me and check out a fab deal in a fab neighborhood, I'd love to see you tomorrow.  Please don't plan on attacking me.  And please don't be afraid to give me your real name.  :)

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