Are open houses even a thing anymore? Do they really sell a house? Are they just setups for nosy neighbors and burglars? These are just some of the questions I often get asked when it comes to open houses, so let’s break this down.
Open houses were really a way to make the public aware of a new listing. We can put a sign in the front yard but the open house draws more people in for a certain amount of time. Does it really make a sale? Honestly, open houses are more for the agent than for the owner, Yep, I said it. Open houses are a good way to showcase a new listing, but usually, the agent that sits the open house is looking for potential buyers, and not necessarily for this one home. Buyers may be looking at open houses throughout the day but if they don’t have a buyers agent representing them, this is a good way to solidify that relationship.
Do open houses really sell the property?
A very small percentage of homes sell as a result of open houses. Usually, private viewings of the home have better results and each real estate agent will give you different answers when it comes to the pros and cons of an open house. They’re not absolutely necessary to get a home sold and serious buyers will usually schedule showings to view a property on their timeframe, not just during an open house.
Open houses pose some security concerns.
Vandalism and burglary are two of the most common issues at open houses, although it’s not that frequent. I do recommend taking any and all pets and small children away from the house during an open house and locking up or taking with you any private, personal, and valuable documents and items. While I do like to browse the home with a potential buyer during an open house, multiple buyers make this almost impossible.
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You’ll have nosy neighbors and lookie-loos
Open houses are a prime spot for nosy neighbors. If the neighbor has never been to your house or even if they haven’t and just wanted to see what it looks like all staged up and ready to sell, mark my words, they are the ones who will be over. They want to compare it to their own house and of course, usually have no intention of moving next-door. While this is necessarily a bad thing, it is something to be aware of.
There are a lot of positive things that can come out of an open house. If buyers have been looking online for some time and noticed that the house they are interested in is having an open house, they will usually make plans to stop by. It’s a little less stressful and personal during the open house because buyers don’t feel stressed or pressured into buying. There simply browsing at their own pace.
As a homeowner, your open house probably will not sell the property, so you’ll need to have grace for your agent. An open house is not the magic bullet that gets the home sold, typically. Now, I’m not saying it can’t happen, but too many homeowners feel that right after an open house they should have 10 offers on the table and that’s not really the way it works. Also, most agents will only conduct one or two open houses at a time. Once a house has been on the market longer than a couple of weeks, an open house usually will not bring any more traffic.
So, keeping that in mind, an open house is a fine way to offer a little bit more exposure on a property, don’t expect it to be the end all magic cure to selling the house. There are many other factors that go into selling a home, all of which I utilize to get the highest priced offer on your home.