Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Open House

I held my first Saturday open house today at 11 Onondaga Street. It won't be my last on a Saturday.

Some background here. Saturdays were always the day that open houses were held in the Syracuse metropolitan area, I've been told. They are still the day in many other places; we noticed them particularly on the Cape. (We never go anywhere, so I have limited experiences...but that's okay.) But many years ago - probably in the 70s, Mary McNeill (our former broker/owner) who might have been with Eagan Real Estate then, began holding her open houses on Sundays. As the tale is told, the other agents had to fall in line because she was so successful.

The current situation. The owners of 11 Onondaga asked if we could have the first open on a Saturday because Sundays were reserved for family days. I thought it over, and realized that I had at least one other house coming on that would require an open as quickly as possible, and so agreed. I knew that the house and the price would be an attraction in and of itself, so the day shouldn't matter. I did a few quick line ads in the paper and a picture ad on Saturday morning, but the majority of interested buyers would be Skaneateles people anyway. They would see the sign and the flyer in the window and with word of mouth I thought we'd do well.

Another agent from another company also had her signs out for two opens the same day. I asked her about her success rate, and she said that in the past she had been quite happy with the response. She reasoned that out-of-towners would be in the village on Saturday and leave Sunday afternoons. That made a great deal of sense - flights home would require drives to the airport and early arrivals, or mid-afternoon leave-takings. These people would be less likely to go to an open house.

Cutting to the chase, because dinner (asparagus and spinach salad with walnuts blended with a blue cheese dressing...) is on the horizon (thank you Bob!) - I had people non-stop from 1:00 to 4:00. I finally had to go get my signs because the owners wanted to come home!

People came in with agents, without agents, on walks around the village, purposefully to see the house and others just out of curiosity. I had an agent call her clients and tell them to pack the kids in the car and hurry before I left! I haven't had such a successful open house in a while - and this in a market that has by all standards, slowed.

The house and grounds are spectacular, the presentation all but flawless. Problems with the home were corrected (e.g. the ceiling raised in the kitchen) and other issues confronted (e.g. no tenant in the carriage house.) The price is competitive. The weather was changeable - sun then rain then wind and rain then sun again - but the day was spectacular. Yes, I think Saturday, at least in Skaneateles, will be my preferred day.