An open house is an opportunity to walk through a house that's for sale without the need to bring along a realtor. It is a common practice for real estate agents to hold open houses but is it actually an effective way to sell a house? Here are some things to consider before having an open house.
Who does an open house really benefit?
The primary reason real estate agents have open houses has less to do with actually selling your home than it has to do with connecting with new potential clients. Because most of the people going to open houses are not working with an agent it is a perfect opportunity for a real estate agent to try to connect with someone who may have a home to sell or need buyer representation.
Do open houses actually bring qualified buyers?
According to the National Association of Realtors, just 4% of buyers visited open houses. Many of the buyers who attend open houses aren’t working with an agent so most of the time these buyers won’t be very far along in the buying process. Many times they aren’t pre-approved by the lender so unless they are a cash buyer they aren’t prepared to purchase a property.
Who really comes to open houses?
Open houses are open invitation this means anyone can come into your home. It could be a nosy neighbor or someone completely unqualified to pay your asking price. They don’t even have to be in the market for a home.
Open houses can increase your chances of being burglarized
Unfortunately, there is no screening process for open houses. Yes, sometimes the agent will have people sign in but this doesn’t stop people from coming inside. The threat of someone stealing from you during or after the open house is real. This is something that your real estate agent will never tell you about.
How often do open houses really produce buyers?
The 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 9 percent of buyers found the home they purchased from a yard sign or open house, down from 15 percent in 2001. The fact is this may have been effective in the past but modern home-buyers don’t need to go to open houses.
Open houses cost money
Time is money so the longer it takes to sell your home the more expenses you will incur. Then there are little things like snacks and drinks. Plus the air conditioning or heat may have to be on longer which means a higher utility bill. This would not be that big of a deal if it helped sell your home but unfortunately, it does not.
The internet kills open houses
According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of buyers start their search online. Thanks to the Internet, the days of driving around from one open house to the next are over. Buyers do most of their research online, narrowing down their options before they even contact a real estate agent.