Answer: When you drive around your town on a weekend you see Open House signs on most street corners directing you to a home that is available to see. Doing Open Houses is a standard in the real estate profession. Do Open Houses work? The short answer is “yes.” Open Houses are for the benefit of the seller. Although a small percentage of homes sell through the use of Open Houses, you only need one buyer to buy your home and this is an excellent way to expose your property to the marketplace. One fact is there are lots of buyers who do not have a real estate agent and are just driving around looking at Open Houses. Those people find the home on their own and then either hire the agent doing the Open House or find an agent to represent them in the sale. Some people don’t take advantage of the real estate agent resource to help them find the home. By the way, some buyers don’t realize that they do not pay the agent when they are the buyer. Only the seller pays the commissions. So, in today’s market it is smart to do an Open House. There are other uses for Open Houses for the general public. Some people enjoy going to Open Houses as a hobby to check out design ideas or to just get a feel for the real estate market. Those people will not be your buyers. Open Houses are a chance for the neighbors to come in and see what your home looks like. Some sellers don’t want to do Open Houses for that very reason; however, that should not stop you from doing one. Again, you only need one buyer to select your home to buy. Another use of an Open House can be for other people who are thinking of selling their home to check out the Realtor. By going to an Open House and looking around and asking the Realtor questions this person is basically interviewing the agent to see if they would want to hire him/her to sell their home. Open Houses are an excellent way for consumers to get a better understanding of what they are getting for their purchase price. Looking online is where most people go first in their house hunt, but then they go to the houses they are most interested in and check it out in person during an Open House. At the end of the day, homes are purchased as a result of Open Houses and are important as part of the process of exposing the home to the marketplace and should be a part of the marketing of every home. They are an inconvenience to the seller but should be a part of the process to get the home sold. From our House to your House, Happy New Year!
Question: Who are the Open Houses for, the homeowner or the real estate agent? Do they really work in the sale of a home?
Answer: You ask a question that often comes up when a new listing is taken. Since Open Houses are an inconvenience to the homeowner, in many cases, they would rather not do the Open Houses. Also, the homeowners don’t like having people wandering around in their home. The thought is that it is only the neighbors who come over. The other thought is this is the way the agents get additional clients. There, I have all the negatives out in the open. How about the positives? First, Open Houses do help sell properties and it is a strategy that should be used on every home. The important word in that last sentence is “strategy.” The Open House must be advertised ahead of time in as many ways as possible. Indicate in the MLS that there will be an Open House and the date and time of the event. Second, use social media to promote the event. With advanced publicity of the Open House the homeowner can expect a reasonable crowd to come and take a look. If publicity only means putting out Open House signs the morning of the event, then the expectation is greatly reduced as is the traffic to the home. Second, many people are out looking and not using an agent, therefore they cruise around the cities they are interested in to search for their next home. In some cases they do have an agent but do not use them as they search (but that is another article). What about those neighbors that just want to see what the inside of your home looks like? Neighbors do come by, some to get decorating ideas; since they know that you have great taste. On the other hand, some neighbors have friends who would like to move closer to them and your house just might be ideal for them. Neighbors have a vested interest in who moves into the neighborhood and this is a way for them to self-select. Third, be sure that the home is properly set up for success with everything clean and picked up with the best foot forward. Also, the agent should come earlier to have all the lights turned on and the home ready to show. In conclusion, Open Houses are for the benefit of both the seller and the agent, after all the agent wants to sell the home and the homeowner has the same goal. Properly done Open Houses work very well in the selling process.