Open-House Crossroads

With the California Department of Public Health allowing open houses now, it would seem that we are getting back to normal.  The industry has done open houses for 100 years, so taking a few months off shouldn’t inhibit the practice from coming back.

Or will it?  It will.

Why? Because the covid-frenzy has condensed the selling process into a weekend. We only show homes by appointment now, and many listing agents demand that buyers show proof of ability to purchase just to see the home. It makes for a clean and tidy 5-30 qualified appointments over the first couple of days on the market, and then pick a winner. Job over.

Listing agents will resist having to work any harder. Instead, they will adopt the appointment-only plan, and then convince sellers that they don’t want random people wandering around their house.

What are the benefits of open houses? Why would we want them to come back?


The main reason to do open houses is to create real or imagined urgency – the fear of missing out.  There is nothing better to motivate a buyer than to see other competitors roaming around the house at the same time – it makes them think that they will lose out if they don’t act promptly.  Sellers deserve this benefit.

While demanding to show proof of ability-to-buy sounds good, it eliminates those legitimate buyers who do have the ability to purchase, but don’t want to show their financials just to see a house. We want to include these buyers who are currently shut out from the process. I know there will be agents who will scoff and declare that any buyer who is unwilling to show their underwear just to see a house isn’t a serious buyer anyway. But it’s just an excuse – the minute the frenzy is over, you’ll be back to showing homes to anyone with a pulse.

Interacting with buyers in person helps agents keep their chops up.

C.A.R. will be releasing more open-house guidance tomorrow. They will insist on booties and masks, and they might include a modified registration book where attendees state that they don’t have covid.

But don’t be surprised if agents are slow to adopt the old-fashioned open house techniques.

Happy Sun

Every sunset is different – I try to get as many as I can!

We had 70+ people attend our Del Mar open house today, and buyers were very engaged. Two other homes for sale nearby went pending in the last 24 hours – this one was in original condition:

Mar Scenic

This was also in original condition and listed for $936/sf….and had multiple offers (our list is $673/sf):

La Amatista

My listing (open Sunday 12-3p): 13604 Boquita Dr., Del Mar

Solana Open House

The best open house this weekend will be down at the sand in Solana Beach, where the weather will be in the mid-to-high 70s. Check out our Old-Spanish bungalow, go surfing at Tabletops, and take a long stroll on the beach!

506 Pacific Ave., Solana Beach

Open 12-3pm


I’ll be there for the full three hours today!


NSDCC Open Houses This Weekend

I went through the NSDCC open-house list and these are my favorites based on price, location, DOM, and agent. They start in La Jolla (four on the oceanfront!) and go north up the coast as you scroll down.

Let me know if you’d like me to create a personal collection for your search!

Working the PQ

I had 100+ people attend the open house today, which is a great response.

One of the attendees asked how I did it, and I said that I’ve been here before. When the market gets soft, you have to have both a good-looking property AND an attractive price.

Most of the houses you see for sale has one or the other. This property has both.

When buyers see an attractive listing online, they come running. I literally inputted this listing onto the MLS about 8:30 this morning. At noon we had three couples waiting.

There’s nothing wrong with the market – it’s fine! What’s wrong is your price or condition.

Baja Carmel Valley

Are you looking for a quiet and private culdesac home with white kitchen and new master bath?

Then check out my new listing in RP! This 4br/3ba, 2,394sf house is 900ft above sea level and gets gentle breezes daily!  Open floor plan, 3 full bathrooms, low-maintenance yard, central air conditioning and whole-house fans. The house and yard are great…..but wait until you see the dazzling new master bath! Great curb appeal too – with putting green in front yard!

13973 Mennonite Point, San Diego 92129


Open 12-3pm Sat & Sun September 28 & 29.

Open House Report

A guy yesterday said he was going to wait-and-see how the drone bombings in Saudi Arabia are going to affect the market.  But isn’t there always going to be something?

Won’t there always be a headline that makes you wonder?

Regardless of what actually does happen, the government is much more involved with interfering with the natural market forces, so the likelihood of dramatic swings is remote.

Either your life is on hold, or it’s not.

Lock Up

Yesterday, I whipped into the City of Carlsbad maintenance yard where they have all the realtor open-house signs locked up.  They have been diligent in their enforcement efforts!

When the city first threatened to do something, we realtors didn’t take it seriously and failed to get out in front of it.

As a result, the city imposed a rule that requires our open house signs to be inside of the right-of-way, which is tough around Olde Carlsbad where there are no sidewalks and in many cases, no place to put signs that are ten feet from the street.

Not only are they collecting the signs every weekend now, but their driver has an attitude too, especially when he is on patrol with his girlfriend – which has to be against city policy for her to be riding along.

I asked about political signs.

They explained that those have a ‘special’ permit so they can be put anywhere. Politicians give themselves special treatment!

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