Open houses have been around since 1919 and are used to get potential buyers to visit your home in an effort to generate offers. If you're preparing to sell your house, you might be contemplating whether or not you should have an open house. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of open houses.
A well-marketed open house stimulates buyer interest, but the chance of getting an offer is low. So after all the work you did to clean, paint, and stage your home may not have any serious buyer interest. An open house may be more beneficial to an agent who is looking to generate seller leads (individuals looking to sell their home). Talk to your agent about the success they've had in hosting open houses to determine whether or not it's a good fit for your situation.
- Dangerous (theft, assault, etc.)
- Virtual Reality tours
- Broker tour
- Attract buyers
- Stimulate buyer interest
- Potential seller leads for agent
- Low chance of generating an offer
Open houses are declining and fewer people are attending them. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), observed that only 4 percent of all potential homebuyers attended open houses as their first step in finding a home to purchase. Thanks to technology, the majority of buyers prefer to look at houses online, without ever stepping foot in one. Virtual reality home tours, drone footage, and virtual staging have also become popular with buyers looking to purchase a home. It's just easier to look at homes on line instead of driving around to see them.
Other factors that have led to the decline of open houses include theft and assault. There have even been cases where agents have been killed -- an important reason why your agent might discourage an open house.
In addition to utilizing today's technology, agents are posting exceptional photos, utilizing live videos, and marketing your home on social media. Beautiful images are what people are drawn to online when looking at homes. If you can find an agent who has nailed online marketing, you may want to forget about holding an open house and take advantage of their marketing talent to get the word out.
If your agent encourages you to put your home on a broker tour, I highly recommend you take advantage of the offer. A broker tour is like an open house for agents and brokers. Generally held during the week, as opposed to being held on the weekend like most open houses, agents look at your home to determine if they have interested clients. In addition, agents provide great word-of-mouth advertising as they share information with other real estate professionals after the tour.
If you are preparing to sell your house, talk to your real estate agent about their experience with open houses. Holding one may prove beneficial but skipping it may be worth it. Consider your comfort level with strangers walking through your home, the safety of your agent, and if it's worth the time when the likelihood of getting an offer is low. No matter which direction you choose, having great photos, marketing, and use of the latest real estate technology could prove to be the winning combination in getting an offer on your home.