The days of driving 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. According to NAR, more than 90% of buyers search online during the home buying process.
Open houses, in general, do not work. I won’t say never because in the eight years that I have been selling real estate, I have personally known one real estate agent who actually did this. You would have thought the guy won the lottery with the reaction he received from his colleagues, and rightfully so. It is just that rare. Mind you, that particular home was in a well populated area. If the home you want to sell is in a small town, you seriously should not waste your time. And I promise you, it will be a waste of time. There are so many other marketing techniques that you could be spending your time on- that actually work.
The 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 9% of buyers found the home they purchased from a yard sign or open house, but the data didn’t split out yard sign from open houses, so there is no way of knowing what the true percentage is. However, I have read other studies that believe the true number to be 2%. Personally, I do not believe it to be that high.
There is also a safety concern with public open houses. In 2010, I personally knew of a real estate agency that was part of a sting operation to aid police in apprehending a couple of criminals who were visiting open houses just to steal prescription drugs. It’s not safe. I don’t care what anyone tells you. You are essentially allowing any Tom, Dick, or Harry off of the street into your home, not knowing who they are or what their true intentions are.
Speaking of which, let’s just say you are lucky enough to be selling a home in a well populated area and you have a massive turnout. Scratch that. A decent turn out. Three couples show up at once. You have one real estate agent assisting SIX people? Do you see where this could be an issue?
In my personal experience with holding public open houses, the people that I have encountered the most are: 1.) Nosey neighbors 2.) people looking for decorating ideas 3.) people in the dreaming phase of buying but cannot qualify for a loan. They stop by because most realtors will not show homes to unqualified buyers. 4.) people who are not qualified for enough money to purchase your home.
The only thing that public open houses are good for is the real estate agent grabbing new leads AND making a Seller believe they are working hard. See #4 above. That buyer who dropped by to view your $600,000 house, but can only qualify for $400,000… well, guess what? Your agent snagged a new buyer at your open house! Does this help you??
The bottom line is that in this digital age, public open houses are not necessary to sell a home and if you are counting on this as a means to sell yours, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You could get lucky, I suppose. Anything is possible??
If you are in the market to sell and you are interviewing agents, please look for online presence and when asking the opinion of a real estate agent in regards to public open houses, do yourself a favor and ask an agent who is honest, trustworthy and doesn’t care where their next sale comes from. You will always get the best advice from an agent that doesn’t need a sale, not one who is dependent on their next commission check.
Thinking of selling your home? Call me! (803)-944-9544. I have a passion for marketing and would love to market and SELL yours!