Save Search

The Benefits and Draw Backs of an Open House

The benefits and draw backs of an open house

Our grandparents and their real estate agents used open houses to get the word out that their home was for sale. It was an invitation to the public to visit the house and “try it on”. The open house was usually preceded with an advertisement in the local newspaper and on the day of the event street corners blossomed with open house signs with arrows to assist navigation. The listing agent or their apprentice would sit in the home for hours making nice to visitors and talking up the home’s qualities. Owners were encouraged to leave but not before they baked cookies.

The Multiple Listing Service and the internet changed everything regarding open houses in the 1990s. While the boots on the ground stayed the same during the open house the advertisement evolved through the MLS. The system would broadcast the open house and the listing agent could invite anyone and everyone to come and take a look-see. This system then morphed into brokers-only open houses which were intended to educate the real estate agents in the area to become familiar with said house and bring in their buyer.

Open houses have two sets of goals, one for the seller and one for the listing agent. Ultimately the goal is to sell the house. However, the real estate agent’s secondary goal is to acquire new leads into their portfolio for future business.

Reasons to Have an Open House.

Buyers can relax and explore the house in a relaxed state of mind. They can get a feel for each room that internet pictures cannot provide. They experience the yard as well as the neighborhood. Questions such as which way does the sunlight enter? Is the property pitched towards or away from the house? How tall is the basement? How close are the neighbors? By the way, those neighbors have a swimming pool!  Goody, new friends.

A top professional agent will ask for the visitor’s opinions of the house. This feedback (good, bad, and ugly) can be helpful to the owner in helping to make minor adjustments that can produce a quicker sale or a higher price. By the way, if the owner is sensitive to criticism regarding their home think twice about how and what to share.

In a busy market like we are experiencing today open houses can be an effective use of the agent’s and owner’s time by limiting showings to the open house time slot. Time management is critical for all of us.

Reasons to Hesitate to have an Open House

Let’s go back to your grandparent’s era and method of selling a house. Open houses were a viable way to get exposure and begin a transaction. Today open houses result in less than 3% of home sales. . Simply stated, open houses do not sell houses.

Open houses are invitations to some less desirable to the non-desired people. We have heard nosy neighbors checking out your personal stuff to unqualified buyers imagining living in a “house like this”, to being a form of entertainment on weekend afternoons for families.  Sadly the bad guys (thieves) case open houses for future misadventures.

The Swinden Homes Team uses several strategies regarding open houses.

· An “EBlast” sends personal email headlines and information to the best agents in the area promoting that your home is on the market and recommends that they should make an appointment to come see it! This has been an effective tool for us.

· Virtual open houses hosted by the listing agent with their cell phone creates interest in the house and neighborhood. It’s fun too.                                                                                   

· Professional virtual tours walk potential buyers through a house without them leaving their couch. This is a great time saver.

Summary                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let the seller decide if they want an open house. It is their property after all.

Storytime: Laura and I listed a house on Monday and it sold with a cash offer on Wednesday. The owner was thrilled until she learned that we would not host open houses on Saturday and Sunday. She was looking forward to showing off her castle! Geesh.

Additional Articles

Sell Your Home Without An Open House :

Making The Most of An Open House :

I Need To Sell My Home But It Is Too Inconvenient To Show It :

What Buyers Should Know About Real Estate Open Houses :

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Related Articles

If you are thinking about selling and are still on the fence - read this article! Don't miss the opportunity to sell your home in a hot market!

Mistakes to Avoid when Homebuying

There are many things to consider when buying your first home. It’s a huge investment, and you want to make sure you’re making the right