Is an open house even necessary these days?
In our “smart phone” world, people have the technology to take virtual tours, look at everything about a house, and even browse the neighborhood via Google maps, so is an open house even essential to the home selling process?
Buyers are checking out homes online now more than ever. Just 20 or 30 years ago the amount of information available to people online is not what it is today. I find that neighbors, lookee loos, and other non-homebuying people are the ones that actually browse open houses so is there any reason to have one?
An open house really works best when it’s a brand-new home on the market. If there are any major changes it might be a good idea to have another open house like a price change or serious home improvements. A marketing strategy combined with an open house is really building up demand on the property. The purpose of an open house is to exposure home to potential buyers but who’s really showing up?
So why do some agents push open houses more than others? Well, for one thing, it gets more activity for the sellers and it’s something that most homeowners expect, but most agents do so to gain additional buyers. An open house is a good marketing strategy for agents in a particular community, especially if they want to build their niche and solidify themselves as the agent for that neighborhood.
Open houses can create false hope for sellers. An open house is an ideal option for the first week in the home is on the market, especially in hot seller’s markets, but if the home sits on the market too long, the open house is pretty much null and void. Scheduling an open house weeks into the listing is really just wasting everyone’s time. An open house works best the first weekend the home is on the market.
Who shows up?
An open house can not just open your home up to potential buyers but negative visitors as well. Crime can happen quite a bit in open houses, especially if agents let potential buyers browse the home on their own. We always want actual buyers browsing or home but that doesn’t always happen. You’re likely to have nosy neighbors, Sunday drivers, daydreamers, buyers that simply cannot afford to buy, and of course thieves. The busier an open house is, the more criminals show up because you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in every room of the house at all times.
Additional home sellers may also show up at a property because they’re trying to get a good idea of the competition. Serious buyers typically schedule showings with their own agent rather than just browsing around it open houses, however, there are critical times to conduct an open house and then other times to avoid them altogether.
The best way to determine if an open house is your best option is to figure out the market, where you are in the listing process, whether or not it makes sense now.