Excitement is building for the REALTORS® Nationwide Open House with 81 percent of those responding to IAR’s Web poll saying they plan to host at least one open house April 10-11. The open house hoopla is happening in over 33 states including Illinois and neighboring Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky. We’ve heard from REALTORS® from Chicago to Rantoul, Geneva, St. Charles, Country Club Hills, Palos Heights, Champaign and Savoy.

“I’m excited about backing it; we have to think out of the box and join with all REALTORS® to help each other,” says REALTOR® Judy Gibbons of Re/Max of Barrington who’s hosting an open house in Lake Barrington this weekend. “There’s power in numbers if all of us have all these signs and balloons. It’s another way to talk about real estate. This is our version of a meet-up!”

Spring is definitely in the air with warmer temperatures and weekend sunny skies predicted (as of this writing) at www.weather.com for Chicago and Springfield and all the way south to Metropolis. REALTORS® are reporting increases in traffic as we head into the busiest season for real estate sales in Illinois.

Buyers do need to make a move if they want to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time buyer or $6,500 long-time homeowner tax credit (both expire April 30) and low mortgage interest rates. The clock is ticking!

“I’m very excited about this event and have promoted it to my contacts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook,” says REALTOR® Dawna Watson of Re/Max All Pro in Bloomingdale. “A mortgage broker is creating financing sheets for each property I’m running open houses in and she’s actually going to sit those opens with me to answer any financial questions buyers may have.”

Jada Lutterbach, a REALTOR® with HRM Residential in Oswego says in the age of virtual tours “the feeling of warmth, love, and comfort that you experience when you are actually inside a home will never be duplicated.” She plans to feature five of her listings on the open house tour with balloons and refreshments.

Says Lutterbach: “A mortgage professional will also be on hand to assist those buyers immediately with any questions that they may have in regards to obtaining a loan in today’s marketplace. And of course I will have plenty of purchase contracts available for those eager first-time home buyers that are ready to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit!”

So go out and look for those blue balloons and find an open house in your neighborhood this weekend! You just might find the home you’ve been searching for.

And REALTORS®, it’s not too late to join in the groundswell. Find the logo and promotional ideas at www.illinoisrealtor.org/nationwide. If we haven’t heard from you, take the poll and write to us at iarnews@iar.org to share your plans for this weekend’s REALTOR® Nationwide Open House!