What do King County and Snohomish County have in common? They both have realtors committed to finding new and successful ways to help buyers and sellers.
In 2007, the Snohomish Association of Realtors initiated a county-wide open house. King County took up the banner and eventually Washington State joined in 2009. The interest generated by this resulted in a nationwide event in 2010. The first statewide event saw over 5,000 homes open their doors to the public. This year, the numbers will be bigger and better with hundreds of thousands of open houses across the nation and currently in 13 other countries.
One key to selling a home is advertising. Having a nation-wide advertising campaign brings attention to the fact that this is a great time to buy. Radio and television ads will be flooding the airways. Newspapers will see full page spreads.
If you’re selling, the weekend of April 28-29 offers a big opportunity to showcase your home. If you are interested in buying, the two-day event is a great time to not only see a wide variety of homes, but also to have non-stressful discussions with real estate pros about market conditions, financing options and smart home improvements. If you are thinking of selling, why not take advantage of the excitement generated by all of the advertising and take the first step in listing your home?
Low interest rates and more affordable home prices are bringing more buyers into the market. With the Multiple Listing Service reporting a 1,000-home decrease in new listings in March 2012 over March 2011, multiple offers on many properties are increasing. Many long term renters are assessing the value of homeownership. Prices are bringing local as well as foreign investors into the market.
Realtors are the key to making this weekend a success
Just placing a sign in the yard advertising the open house will not generate a sale. Sellers and their realtors need to do a little work preparing for the Open House. Homes that have been on the market for a long time sometimes may need a little freshening. Is now the time to lower the listing price to generate a sale?
Realtors need to provide an atmosphere that makes prospective buyers want to stay in the home longer to experience the value of the home and learn about the advantages of purchasing. Information on the amenities of the neighborhood, community profile, inventory analysis, etc., can make a home more appealing. Coordinating with other realtors in the area by mapping all of the neighborhood listings could generate additional leads. Freshly baked cookies leave a lasting impression. And, providing activities for the children so that parents can concentrate on the value of the home is essential.
The Realtor Open House Weekend brings buyers and sellers together. This is a great opportunity to showcase your home. Talk to your realtor about additional advertising and ways to take advantage of this nationwide event.
Today’s rates (April 13) with a cost of one point:
30 yr. fixed: 3.75 percent
15 yr. fixed: 3.00 percent
5 yr. ARM: 2.50 percent
Joan Probala is the managing broker for Issaquah Windermere and has 30 years of experience in real estate and is president-elect (2013) of the Seattle King County Association of Realtors.