• Find something that characterizes the home you are selling and create a theme around it for an open house.
  • If you operate in a small town, it's a good idea to plan an open house around town events as that can provide better buyer traffic.
  • Always use social networking to leverage your marketing efforts.

The stars were aligned for Rosie Carroll, an agent with BloomTree Realty in Prescott, Arizona, when she decided to decorate her open house in a 1920s theme.

It made sense; it was a picture-perfect, well-located Spanish colonial built in the 1920s. The owner was an antique shop owner, so he had some good props. “He also used some of his mother’s things,” said Carroll.


All she had to do was borrow a vintage car from a kindly collector in town — “We have so many car clubs here” — dress up in a suitably ’20s-style outfit, invest in some good advertising and she was all set.

Carroll also worked hard at promoting the story on social media, doing a lot of networking beforehand.

At each of the open houses, she put appropriate music on and had an apple pie perched on the range.

And the response was phenomenal. In a town where open houses typically attract 8 to 10 people, Carroll had 100 go through for each of the first two open houses.

“We had huge traffic,” she said. It helped that a community event was taking place on the first weekend of the open house, so some out-of-towners went through, too.

It’s a good idea to plan open homes around town events because there are more people around, she said.


“This house was in a very popular area close to town — just ten minutes’ walk away,” she added. And houses rarely come up for sale on this street.

Carroll said the home is under contract to a Californian couple who had family go through at the last open house.

“We sold it in 20 days,” she said.

“When it closes, it will be the highest-sold property in that area for a very long time. We got an excellent price. The seller is extremely happy,” she said.

“The buyers loved what so many people loved; the character of the 1920s, most of the house had original features, flooring, and the fireplace is just darling.”

An equestrian fan, Carroll says she has a turn-of-the-century house coming up that might suit a horse and carriage — but she realizes she would have to get permission from the city.

After this experience, though, she feels like she is on a roll.

This year, she will have sold up to 13 homes, and next year it will likely be more, she said. She expects to have more listings after the recent publicity.

“I would do it again. I think it’s just a great idea — our jobs can be so difficult at times. This was really fun. And it all fell into place,” she said

Email Gill South.

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