Super Bowl Sunday: Good Day for Open Houses?

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super bowl sundayHome sellers and buyers expect Sunday open houses, but when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, things can get a little dicey. There are some determined buyers (and perhaps desperate sellers) who are willing to venture an open house on Feb. 6. And why not? After all, the game doesn't start until the evening, after most open houses have ended.

But some agents say the traffic just might not be enough to warrant an open house even though late January and early February is when listing activity begins to pick up in some markets, now that the holidays are behind us.

One positive aspect to having an open house on Super Bowl Sunday is that you're reaching the non-football fans. Some agents also believe that each home that does have an open house just may get a higher amount of foot traffic due to the lack of competition, since there will likely be fewer open houses on this Sunday in particular.

"Late January has always been the start of the spring market," says Coldwell Banker agent Judith Weiner, who on Jan. 30 set another agent's $524,000 open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1082 North Ave. in Highland Park, Ill., in suburban Chicago, where Bears fans are saddened that their football team missed heading to the Super Bowl after its championship loss to the Green Bay Packers.

"As we found out [with the Sunday of the championship game] people will come out to an open house that early so that they have the rest of the day to enjoy with family. Even that weekend people were out looking at homes, but just not during the football games," Weiner told AOL Real Estate.

"Sunday's are the best day to have open houses, regardless of what is going on because people
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have more time on a Sunday, and because there could be work going on at buildings during the week," says Susan Wires, a senior VP with Stribling who had the first open house for a one-bedroom condo in a doorman building at 255 Hudson Street in New York this past weekend. "Also, we cannot show apartments after hours on weekdays."


Perhaps it all depends on the market and the type of residential home. Jackie Williams, president of Sterling Realtors, in Middletown, Conn., says there are some Sundays she will steer clear of, and Superbowl Sunday is one of them. "I've been doing this for 25-plus years, and I've never had an open house on Super Bowl Sunday," said Williams. "Not because I'm a huge football fan, but no one comes out, even though the time is much earlier for open houses than the actual game time on Super Bowl Sunday. I have had agents who have insisted that their clients want the exposure, and it has been a huge waste of time and advertising dollars."

And even best-laid plans can put a damper on an open house. "The activity for high-end homes is modest at best, but it is awful at this time of year because of the freezing cold weather and difficult traveling conditions," says Williams who has a $4.65 million, 5-bedroom, 5 3/4 bedroom listing in East Lyme, Conn. "We were planning to have a Broker's Open for agents to view this property this weekend, but when we found out that yet another snowstorm was hitting Connecticut, we canceled. I don't know about other Realtors in New England, but this weather starts and stops our activity levels. It is frustrating to our clients and our agents. Just when we hoped that the new year would bring new enthusiasm for the current sluggish marketplace, Mother Nature says 'I don't think so.'"

But a little wind and snow doesn't stop some.

"Despite the dreary weather, it's actually a great time to have an open house. With concerns about mortgage rates on the rise, buyers are out in force. We've actually seen quite a few bidding wars in recent weeks, which is unusual for this time of year," says Leslie Mann of Hallmark Sotheby's International Realty in Sherborn, Mass.

Judy Greenberg of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Buffalo Grove, Ill., chose to do an open house this past weekend for the sole reason that there was no football game scheduled. "It's a no brainer," she says.

Since there was no football this past Sunday, Greenberg felt she didn't need an early slot for her 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. open house for a $836,000 5-bedroom home in Long Grove.

Readers, would you attend an open house on Super Bowl Sunday? (Click the gallery below to see Open Houses taking place this Super Bowl Sunday)

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I'm Open! Super Bowl Open House Shopping
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Super Bowl Sunday: Good Day for Open Houses?

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, but not everyone is in a sporting mood--namely, fans of the 30 NFL teams left out in the cold. Throw in a couple million bored spouses (men included) and you have yourself an army of fed-up sideliners, chomping at the bit for some action this Sunday. So why not start a new tradition this Super Bowl and visit an open house near you? The winter months are a great time to find dirt cheap prices, and anyone brave enough to host an open house on Super Bowl Sunday deserves the extra foot traffic. Click through to view the rarely seen world of Super Bowl Open Houses. 

With the Pittsburgh Steelers vying for their seventh Super Bowl trophy this Sunday, you might not expect many Pennsylvania house hunters prowling the MLS. But that’s precisely why they should. “I figured not everyone can have a Super Bowl party,” said listings agent Barbara West Adams, who is showing this bright and spacious 4-bedroom home from 1-3 p.m.  “Besides,” she says, “the Super Bowl isn’t on ‘til 6 or 7 anyway.” Curious house hunters should take note of the home’s gas log fire place, cathedral-style ceilings and spacious den—the perfect excuse to buy that 50 inch plasma TV for game day. Price: $429,900

Even sad Jets fan will get off their sofas to check out this three-bedroom condo in a spanking new 15-story building so achingly hip, it markets itself as the face of SoHa—South Harlem, to you. Just a block from the subway on 118th St. between Manhattan Ave. and Frederick Douglass Blvd., the 1300 sq. ft eighth floor corner apartment has nice light, plank floors, and spacious rooms. Morningside Park is just two avenues away, but the building boasts a 24 hour doorman, fitness and media rooms, kid’s playroom, and common courtyard, so you won’t have much reason to get off the couch for Super Bowl 46. Price: $920,000

It’s hard to believe any Chicagoan would be doing anything other than cheering  the Steelers to beat the living daylights out of Green Bay, but this 2 bedroom, 3.5 bath contemporary with a two car garage in Lincoln Park might just do it. The first floor features a three-level atrium overlooking a giant 560 foot living room with a wbfp, and second floor master suite has Juliette windows and a whirlpool. A 2006 kitchen renovated with all the latest Sub Zero/Viking appliances makes this a good value—although the $24,240 you’ll pay in taxes might make you think twice. (Also available as a rental for $5300 with a purchase option.) Sale price: $990,000

The Cowboys might not be in the big game this year, but Dallas is still football central this Sunday. With the Super Bowl being hosted at nearby Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, now is the perfect time to scout for luxe real estate. Take this wide-open, contempo home located in one of Dallas’ most sought after neighborhoods. This 5-bedroom stunner includes dramatic high ceilings, kitchen islands stocked with granite countertops and copious space for hosting your own Super Bowl parties.

The Kansas City Chiefs were on a major tear before their untimely defeat at the hands of the Ravens. Or at least that’s what you should tell your football-crazed spouse as you drag them to this three-bedroom steal. At $230,000, this banked-owned, villa community home is one of the best deals on our list for first-time homebuyers. Features include a large walk-in pantry, kitchen island and breakfast bar. And at 2,115 square-feet, it’s plenty of space to raise a family in. (Or if the spouse insists, a great option for Super Bowl parties.)

The New England Patriots gave it the old college try, but alas, came up short against the Jets in the playoffs. All the more reason for mopey Bostonites to check out this brick Victorian townhouse in Harvard Place. This four-bedroom gem comes equipped with a spacious and warmly lit eat-in kitchen, dining room complete with fireplace, four bedrooms, and master suite with His and Hers vanities and closets. What better way to sulk than in the lap of luxury? Price: $1.375 Million.  

Colts fans are still fuming over the Jets’ squeaker of a victory, so what better way to cool off than with a quiet afternoon open house? This three-bedroom colonial-style home --just a block away from the local golf club--boasts two fireplaces, a sun room, mud room, breakfast nook and fully furnished basement office space. Stop by anytime from 3-5 p.m., and you’ll still be home in time for kick-off. Price: $234,900    

If the first thing you think of when see this snow-covered house is Johnny Unitas, cancel your Super Bowl. Built in 1930, a few years before Unitas— the Baltimore Colts’ Golden Arm—was born, this 1,635 square feet, three-bed, two-bath detached colonial has lots of character, including wood burning fireplace, front porch, and stained glass. Although nearly every room seems to have been last updated around the time Johnny U was the NFL’s MVP (respectively, 1959, 1964, and 1967), the house sits on an 8,500 square foot lot—perfect for touch football with your kids. Price:$179,000

More people tuned in to watch last year’s sentimental favorites clinch the Super Bowl than for any other game in TV history. Alas, the Saints didn’t make it to the big show this time. But--buoyed by the team’s fortunes, some say--the local real estate market has gained some yardage. This $355,000 split-level cottage is as shiny as a Super Bowl ring, with stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops. And it’s green as AstroTurf, with an energy-saving tankless water heater.

One upside to getting bounced from the playoffs in a Windy City snowstorm? The Seahawks got to fly home to Seattle, where February temps average 50 degrees. That's pleasant weather for an open house too, particularly when the place has got a fully landscaped terrace with a killer view of the Space Needle. For $919,000 you also get walnut floors, a chef’s kitchen, and a spa style master bath. If that's not enough, the price dropped $26,000 two months ago -- just in time for the big game.

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