I have noticed a trend of agents who feel that open houses are a waste of time, and of clients that were previously told by an agent they interviewed that they do not do open houses because they do not feel that open houses are effective.
In my experience, I have to disagree. There are many advantages to hosting an open house. Here are five common myths:
MYTH 1: Sellers do not care if we host an open house for their home – Almost all of my seller clients ask about when I will host an open house. This is a main component of the service they expect from their Realtor. Hosting an open house for your listing is another way to show your commitment to their home sale and your marketing efforts.
MYTH 2: You do not meet serious buyers at an open house – Every open house has a curious neighbor or two, but the majority of people who attend are prospective buyers. Buyers scope out certain areas in which they may want to move to and narrow down their preferences. Some have an eye on a particular home just waiting for it to be open to the public, or have been referred to the home by their real estate agent. Most people will not bother taking the time out of their busy schedule to see a home unless there is true interest.
MYTH 3: Open houses do not provide effective advertising for a home listing – In this tech-savvy time, potential buyers now search by open house on many real estate websites. Potential buyers will carve out some time in their weekend to go to available open houses in areas and price points they are considering. If you do not have an open house scheduled, then your listing will not be in the running with these weekend warriors.
MYTH 4: Open houses are not an effective use of an agent’s time – For agents, open houses provide us with many advantages, such as showcasing our listing, obtaining valuable feedback, and meeting potential buyers and clients. Who better to show your listing than you! After lots of preparation, you are able to show a home in its best light and tell potential buyers all of the features that may appeal to them as you guide them through each room. As you meet with open house guests, there is immediate feedback with what appeals and what may turn off a buyer. That feedback will provide additional ideas for staging and marketing, and may identify or reinforce the trends to communicate to the seller. Lastly, a huge part of an agent’s success is generating leads for potential buyers and putting your name out to the public. There is no better way to advertise yourself to your target market than meeting with people one-on-one. Some of my best clients have been from open houses!
MYTH 5: Homes do not sell from an open house – Statistics may not show a resounding proportion of homes selling by open house, but many still do. My philosophy has always been “it only takes one buyer,” so whether that happens through the MLS, advertising or showing buyers the home yourself, you do not want to miss the opportunity. I have had many listings I sold to a buyer who saw it via an open house. Sometimes it is immediate, and sometimes it can turn into a second showing that leads to an offer. Even times it has been a buyer considering a move that simply fell in love with the home, which put things in motion. Either way, your seller client will appreciate that your direct efforts led to the sale of their home, and will speak more highly of you to others.
Christine Groves is a full-time licensed broker, Realtor, and Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) with Realty Executives Premiere in Wheaton who serves the Greater Chicagoland area. A top producer with total closed sales exceeding $10 million annually, Groves is experienced in many areas of residential homes sales, such as listing agent, buyer’s agent, relocation, traditional sales, luxury sales, foreclosures and short sales, rent-to-own, market analysis, pricing analysis, home improvement, staging, training and consulting.