The truth about open houses.
There is a longstanding myth within the real estate profession that hosting open houses is one of the key steps to selling your home. This notion stems from the fact that back in the day, the importance of open houses was much more established. Before the power of the internet, open houses were one of the only means for an agent to market your home. Today, online marketing, private showings, and networking from your agent, all prove to be much more beneficial in selling a home than open houses. If you won’t take my word for it, just look at the statistics. According to the National Association of Realtors, only approximately 2% of homes are sold directly as a result of an open house.
Why are open houses still so popular?
If only 2% of sales are coming directly from open houses, why are they still around? It basically boils down to two reasons. The primary reason for a realtor to host an open house is because they can find prospective clients. This is a common marketing tactic that most agents have performed at some point in their career. However, as a seller, this is not ideal. Your agent is acting mainly for their own self-interest instead of yours. The second reason why most agents host open houses is to appease the client. Many clients still believe open houses are one of the best marketing tools to sell a home. Agents want their clients to be satisfied with their performance so they agree to host an open house; however, the agent’s time may have been spent better by marketing online and connecting with other realtors.
Other things to consider for open houses.
Many people that attend open houses are not serious about buying the home. These people may simply be curious for various reasons. A neighbor may want to see how you live, or a prospective seller may want to see how you are staging your home so that they can imitate or stage their own house in a more appealing way.
Buyers that are serious about finding a home contact an agent they trust and that agent finds them listings. Most of the time the agent takes the potential buyers to view those listings through private showings, not through open houses. In general, people working directly with an agent in this manner are much more likely to have financing established and will be serious about making an offer.
There are also risks to your livelihood when doing an open house. Essentially strangers are entering your home. While your agent will likely try their best to be present with every prospect, if your open house is quite popular your agent will not be able to supervise everyone. There have been instances of burglary related to open houses. Additionally, if you want to keep the fact that you are moving private (like if you have not notified your work) open houses would be one of the least private methods of advertising your home.