I’ve been asked this questions many times throughout my career. I reply with the same answer each time as clearly as possible. “Yes… But not for the house that is being held open. Let me say it again. “Yes… But not for the house that is being held open. Open houses can be a good way for agents to market themselves and potentially meet future buyers and sellers. As for the seller, the concept of having multiple buyers previewing your home in a short amount of time may sound intriguing. Statistically, it is not a successful method to sell your home. Maybe a better way for me to answer the question would be “Yes, open houses work but not to the benefit of the seller.” In fact, it could do more harm than good
Set the Stage
Let’s take a closer look at what is involved for the seller when holding an open house. You spend your Saturday or Sunday morning cleaning and staging your home. Then you gather up your family as you will be displaced for a few hours. It’s worth it because you’re anticipating multiple potential buyers previewing your home. Surely you will have multiple offers by the time you get home. Unfortunately, open houses do not attract ready buyers. Who goes to open houses?
- Neighbors. In some neighborhoods, the neighbors make up the only people who go to an open house.
- Lookie Loos. People love looking at houses. Especially the more expensive ones. There are no restrictions or requirements for someone to walk into an open house.
- Future Home Buyers. Many first time home buyers start by touring open houses to figure out which neighborhoods they might prefer and what kind of house they might want to buy. It gives them good ideas for when they are ready. Which is not now.
- Robbers and Thieves. This is not a scare tactic. It’s the truth. We will discuss this in detail later.
- Real Estate Agents. These are the people you want looking at your home with their clients. The problem is instead of a scheduled private showing, these potential buyers are viewing the home with lookie-loos and neighbors taking the focus off of your home.
So don’t be surprised when you get home after the open house and your agent has no offers in hand. What they do have is the contact info of your neighbors and buyers looking to purchase a home in a few months. They used your home as a stage to promote themselves. So some will say the open house worked well.
Look In The Safe
Let’s paint a picture. We have one Agent that is asking a neighbor to fill out a contact info form. One lookie-loo outside looking at the pool dreaming that someday they hope to buy a home with such a nice backyard. But what about that third group that’s been walking around? It’s impossible for one agent to be able to keep an eye on everyone in the home. Are they looking for valuables? The hot ticket item people are wanting now is prescription medication. Are they going through your medicine cabinet? Let’s not forget the simple liability of people in your home. You might think if someone slips and falls it’s covered by your Agent’s company. Take a closer look at the listing agreement you signed. Your agent is not responsible for any damage or injury.
The truth is that open houses are a great lead generation tool for agents but can do more harm than good for the seller. In today’s information-age buyers looking to buy now can go online to preview a home. People are not driving aimlessly down the street looking for their dream home. This is one of the out-dated methods we have removed from our full service, flat listing fee $2500. If you are in the market to sell and would like to save thousands visit us here
written by Mike Dingman Team Leader/Owner of the MJD Group with Platinum Service Realty