The Public Open House is a very common sight on Sunday afternoons in most towns. Directional signs with balloons attached lead people to the home that is for sale. But why do real estate agents do Open Houses, what is their value and who goes in to see open houses?
I think most agents feel obligated to do at least one Open House on their listings, preferably during the first week or two that the home is on the market. Some sellers insist on frequent Open Houses, either under the misconception that it takes an Open House to sell their home, or to actually see their agent working for them.
Open Houses afford neighbors and curiosity seekers an opportunity to see what is inside the Open House home. Some legitimate buyers of interest also stop in if they have not already ruled it out after checking out the home on the Internet. With the majority of "drop-in" buyers they find that the price, condition or features in the home are not what they are interested in having in their home. Unless the agent advertised the Open House on line or in print, and the buyers did their homework beforehand, the buyers would have little or no idea what to expect when they walked through the front door.
The real value of an Open House to a real estate agent is the ability to attract potential buyers and sellers who have not yet selected an agent with whom to work. If an active buyer comes into an open house and is not working with an agent, they are a red-hot prospect for the agent hosting the Open House. A good number of buyers find their real estate agent by meeting them at an Open House. Statistics show that only about 2% or less of homes get sold directly or indirectly through an Open house.
So if you are a buyer and really want to know what a home is like before you step inside, check out the various websites like realtor.com, Trulia, and those of major real estate firms like Prudential New Jersey Properties BEFORE going out on a Sunday Open House tour. If you are a seller, be sure that your agent is spending their time doing a lot more marketing of your home than just doing Open Houses!
For more info, call Lawrence "Larry" Mraz, Prudential New Jersey Properties, 732-715-5849 (cell).