Michael Buckman’s Blog: My First Open House

I mainly write blog articles about places in DC: neighborhoods, landmarks, and historical sites. However, as a new and up and coming realtor, I been having many firsts. I attended my first sales meeting, had my first transaction, and this past Sunday conducted my first open house. It was in one of my favorite neighborhoods-Bloomingdale and I thought I would write about my experience which for me was a new and exciting. In order for me to talk about my first open house, it is important to start by describing the process leading up to the open house. A few days prior to the open house, the property at 50 T St NW was listed in the multi-listing system. As you may recall, my last blog article was about the surrounding neighborhood of Bloomingdale so I was very excited to have my first open house there. Shortly after the house went on the market, the Real Estate team-the 2Michelles Realtors of which I am a member made arrangements with the tenants and the owner of the building to schedule an open house for Sunday June 26th. After setting the date, the preparations for marketing the open house began. First, we printed flyers for the open house. We then walked around the Bloomingdale neighborhood, knocked on doors, passed out flyers, and invited the neighbors to the open house. We also, at my request, posted flyers in local businesses on Rhode Island Avenue and 1st Street NW. On Thursday, Michelle Munro and put up a “For Sale” sign name riders and placed a lock box on the property. She and I had planned to also hand out more flyers on Thursday in other parts of Bloomingdale, but because of the threat of thunderstorms we opted to postpone the door knocking until the morning of the open house. Fast forwarding to Sunday, June 26th. At first, I was nervous going into the open house. It was my first one, and I had many questions about how an open house worked. Fortunately, I had two skilled and experienced mentors in the 2Michelles Realtors team to help guide me on my journey. Sunday was a typical DC summer day; hot and humid with the sun beating down. With this in mind, Michelle Munro and I placed the open house directional signs on and around North Capitol Street and Rhode Island Avenue, and then we door knocked the adjacent block announcing the open house. By the time we had finished doing this task, Michelle and I craved water and air-conditioning! After hydrating and cooling off, we prepared the house for the open house, ensuring that all the keys worked, window blinds were up, lights were all on, and that the air-conditioning was set to an appropriate level. Michelle showed me how she had a special program on her iPad that registered people who came into the house so we could follow- up on any leads we obtained or answer any questions. Then, at 1 PM the waiting began. By 1:15 PM we had our first visitor who was a neighbor. I was told that often neighbors stop by open houses because they want to see other comparable houses in the neighborhood. However, by 1:30 PM an agent who was a friend of my mother’s stopped by with some clients. I had not seen this agent in a long time so I was greeted warmly by her. This calmed me down a bit and settled me in for the rest of the open house. As time passed more people stopped by to look, sometimes people would walk in and simply walk right out. In fact we had one couple that we thought was upstairs for a long time, but upon looking for them we concluded they had snuck out the backdoor without saying anything. Sometimes people would stop and chat; others looked around and said nothing. Since it was an “open” you can meet all different types of people. Around 2:30 PM my high school Spanish teacher stopped by to say hello. I had not seen him in 15 years so it was a treat to meet with him. We spoke intermittently in Spanish which I am fluent as people continued to come and view the house. I was mainly in charge of showing people the basement unit. That was fine by me because the basement unit was much cooler on this hot day. Obviously since heat rises, being in the basement was a great way to cool down. By 4 PM, Michelle Munro and I were beat and I left to have a drink with my former teacher as Michelle closed up the house. In the end the open house was successful, although I wish more people who follow this blog and my friends would have stopped by. But it was a bit boring during the down time. Participating in the open house, interacting with Michelle Munro and the people who came was truly an educational experience. I hope to do another open house after the 4th of July holiday. It was a great experience, and a good first open house.

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