The Truth About Open Houses
When homeowners put their house on the market for sale, one of the questions we hear repeatedly is “when will you hold an open house?”. That’s when we have to bust out the truth about open houses and it’s usually a surprise to them.
Why do agents hold open houses?
There are, in most cases, only 2 reasons that an agent holds an open house.
- To meet buyers
- To make the seller happy
After you’ve cleaned the house, kenneled the dog, lit the candles and baked some cookies to make the house smell good, your REALTOR will more than likely spend the next 2-4 hours meeting buyers as they tour your home. Will they buy your house? The odds are not in your favor, since less than 8% of buyers found their home via an open house OR yard sign in 2016. But the agent will probably leave with a few new prospects to sell another home to. And possibly the name of your neighbor that’s been considering selling as well.
Making sellers happy
We all want our home sellers to be happy with our services. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you that, unless your house is pristine and in a hot, hot neighborhood, an open house is rarely worth the time it takes to prepare for. Way back in the jurassic age of real estate (the 90s), buyers didn’t have the internet as a portal into your home. They were forced to attend open houses in order to know what the interior of a property looked like. Today, with photos and videos, they can shop from the comfort of their sofa. In their pajamas. Why would they pile into the car to tour homes when it’s all online?
But wait, there’s more!
Home security is always a concern. Open houses have been used by folks to steal jewelry, medications, cash and more. Working in teams, one will distract the agent while the other lifts items from a home. If you insist on having an open house, be sure that your agent has a partner with them and doesn’t hold the house open alone.
If open houses don’t work, how can you market my property?
Good question. Remember those buyers sitting at home in their jammies, surfing the net? 51% of them found their home online in 2016. 35% found their home through their own REALTOR. Your agent should have a great marketing plan that’s designed to capture the attention of both.