Washington Redskins Headquarters

Most real estate open houses are held Sunday afternoons. Local real-estate pros were asked by the Sun Gazette if it makes sense to still hold open houses at that time during the football season, when the Washington Redskins and many of the other National Football League teams are playing.

Here are their thoughts on how NFL games impact open houses:

Dee Murphy, Long & Foster: “It’s a real phenomenon because Redskins fans are die-hard. During RGIII’s first season when the team was winning, open houses were a ghost yard. The way I counter it is I put out snacks and advertise and invite people to come and stay a while and watch the game on the flat-screen TV in the home’s media center or family room. You can turn that into a selling point. It can be a practice to see if a buyer likes the house.”

Joan Stansfield, Keller Williams: “When we host opens during football games, we make a point to invite neighbors (in particular), as well as our huge social-media blasts to advertise and let them know we’ll have the game on so they can see the home, grab a beer and not miss the game. This typically results in a great turnout. It generates a buzz for the listing, and we all know neighbors are often the best people to market. Since our area is so transient, there are lots of Giants, Cowboys, Ravens fans, and others. So if the Redskins are playing, many in our area don’t care- and we still get great traffic.”

Eric  Ritland, American Realty: “Sometimes a lot depends on the bigger games. They can have more of an effect. But sometimes the people who show up during those times are the more serious buyers. I don’t like to, but sometimes to avoid that situation I have switched an open house to Saturday. You certainly don’t want to hold an open house on Super Bowl Sunday.”

Karen Briscoe, Huckaby, Briscoe, Conroy Realty Group: “It can go both ways. A lot of people don’t watch football. A lot of things go into Sunday traffic at open houses. But we hold open houses and don’t try to analyze it, because it only takes one buyer or the right buyer to show up.”

Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “Real buyers come during Redskin games, snow, sleet and hail. I had 70 visitors come to an open house in the pouring rain, held an open house on both July 5 and the Sunday after Christmas. The only no-go days in my book are Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. Everything else is “open” season. To clarify, open-house traffic is made up of neighbors, professional open-house visitors, lookers and real buyers. The traffic may be down for everyone else, but real buyers, the only important visitors, are unfazed by outside influences.”

Karen Close, Century 21: “Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. The Realtor and public perception is that it probably does, but I don’t know how you would do a poll or something to find that out. I do know sometimes agents will make adjustments to stay longer if someone wants to run in after a game at the last minute. But if people are serious buyers, that shouldn’t be an issue.”

Kelly Tierney, Re/Max Distinctive: “It does affect the flow. But after their last game [a lopsided loss to the New York Giants] that’s probably not going to be a problem. Often I will have the game playing on TV at the open house to encourage people to stay around a while and watch.”

Rob Ferguson, Re/Max Allegiance: “The last time the Redskins were really good was in the ’90s, so we definitely saw a drop-off back then. Now, so many fans are more apathetic about the team, or they can pause or video the game and watch it later, that I don’t see any drop-off.”

Betsy Twigg, McEnearney Associates: “During Washington’s games, I do hold open houses and they do have a slight effect. But those buyers might not be the real motivated buyers, anyhow. I only want motivated buyers.”

Gloria Adams, TTR Sotheby’s: “If the Redskins are having a winning season, open houses are generally affected, for sure. If they are having a losing season, people show up. A good idea around that is having an open house on Saturday.”

Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Yes, there is an incremental drop-off, but the more motivated buyers will still get out. It’s not a reason not to hold an open house during a Redskins game. That might be different if it was big playoff game.”

Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “I do think it decreases the traffic. So we try to be creative and hold them at different times, like for a brunch, in the evenings or Saturdays to help avoid that situation.”

Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “I think there is a Redskins effect, but more on Sundays when they play a division rival like the Cowboys or Eagles. But those really interested buyers have probably already seen the property well before the open house.”

Laurie Mensing, Long & Foster: “It can be an absolute crapshoot, but the Redskins’ playing can definitely affect open-house traffic. But it does not affect the serious buyer. Still, you hold your open house regardless.”

Billy Buck, Buck & Associates: “I think it has an effect on the quality of people at open houses. People who are indeed serious buyers will show up, come at halftime, or at least a husband or a wife will show up. But those games should never be a reason to cancel or change an open house.”

Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Typically, when the Redskins are doing well, the traffic flow is lighter because people have parties or plan their days around the game. But come midseason when they aren’t doing well, it’s not a factor. But real serious buyers will DVR the game and watch it later. I try to keep the game on TV at open houses. That can generate some conversations and keep people around. Twenty years ago, if the Redskins and Cowboys were playing at 1 on Sundays, you would never hold an open house.”

Steve Wydler, Long & Foster: “I would say it mildly affects open houses. With the owner’s permission, I’ll have the TV on if the Redskins are playing. There are so many other distractions, but the serious shoppers are always there. The serious buyers will come out.”

Terry Belt, The Belt Team, Keller Williams: “When we hold open houses, the Redskins game does not deter us. Our area is so large and diverse now, there are plenty of people that do not watch football, and the people that attend are often more serious because their need to find a home is more important, even if they watch football. Glass half,full.”