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Gena Riede, Real Estate Pro in Elk Grove, CA

Do Open Houses Help Sell Houses?

Asked by Gena Riede, Elk Grove, CA Thu May 17, 2007

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I think each part of the country is very different but with the exception of new construction, I've never found holding an open house in Eastern CT a particularly good strategy for getting a home sold.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2007
I think the answer to that question depends on your local market. Generally people who visit an open rarely buy that home. Often the majority of visitors are neighbors and people looking for ideas about remodeling. However, that said, I have clients who walked into an open house 3 months ago.. fell in love with it and bought it..
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in Manhattan Beach, CA
MVP'08
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Open House is a very effective tool in exposing the home to prospective customers. As a listing agent I have strongly believed in the value of open houses. It is also a service that our sellers have come to expect of the listing broker in our area, as may be the case in other areas also. While open houses alone are no guarantee, but they do form an important part of the marketing plan to sell the listing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Some people say they do. I read an interesting article on Yahoo last weekend regarding open house parties. Some people are going to great lengths on open houses. Yoiu may find it an interesting read. Here is the address...

http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/104929/Drinks-D…
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 28, 2008
National Association of Realtors reports that 1-2% of homes are sold through "Open House" . As others have stated, most attendees are "Looky Loos", nosey neighbors or other agents. Occassionaly, the agent holding the open house will pick up a serious buyer and sell them something else. Open houses are also good advertising for the agent as other home owners in the neighborhood are exposed to that agent as they drive by and see the signs, flags, etc. Open Houses are more beneficial to the agent holding them than the owner of the home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Brady really hit the nail on the head with his answer. Open Houses can be incredibly effective tools for sourcing buyer leads, however, those buyers typiocally do not buy the home that is being held open. In Minneapolis, they are effective for homes in hot locations. However, I stess the point that they benefit the listing agent more than the home owner. However, each market is different and what works in some may not work in others.
Web Reference: http://www.webdigsblog.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Open houses may not directly sell your home, but it may have been the driving factor for that one buyer who learned about the home just from seeing your open house sign and checking with their agent. One time in my career, I did sell the home from meeting a man at the open house that did not have an agent and we wrote the offer the following day. I would also say it depends on where the open house is located; streets with great traffic and new construction does much better than a home on five acres in the country 40 minutes from the nearest metropolitan city.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
I believe yes, but only to a minimal extent. My observation has been that Realtor's hold open houses primarily for the purpose of attracting new business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Chances are slim but it does give homes exposure!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
It happens often enough that the right buyer will come to an open house and they are usually ready to make an offer right away. If you are there and follow through, you can capture their enthusiasm and lead them forward,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Open houses help to recruit buyers and additional listings in the neighborhoods.... I have not sold any homes I sat at for an open house except a new home subdivision. In that case its necessary.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
I have wrote a contract on a house at the actual open house just 1 time. Most walk thru buyers are already working with an agent. I have received offers after the fact though after they came through my open house. It just depends on the house and the area. My thought though is "It doesn't hurt to try!"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Open houses REALLY DO sell homes! I just sold a house in only 32 days in the Cleveland, OH Marketplace where the buyer came into an open house I held! While open houses aren't necessary EVERY weekend, a few well-chosen dates (First time open, after a price reduction, on a special holiday weekend) are crucial! Also, open houses help buyers (that are interested but not moving quickly enough towards a decision) MAKE a decision!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Absolutely! They are not always necessary on every home...I truly believe that homes that are very unique and are missing certain buzz works that buyers screen home with (square-footage, bedroom & bathroom counts, yard size, etc) an open house should be held on these homes. They are typically eliminated because of something simple but an open house gets a buyer to look at it at their convenience without "inconveniencing their agent"... The best example of this is a home that's on a busy road that buyer's and agents will eliminate but an open house (with a really great price) will entice the buyer to at least take a look. If it offers everything they wanted but the only limitation is the busy road, then they may make an offer if they can same 5% - 10% due to location; and they may have never seen this home otherwise without having an open house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
You never know if a buyer will walk into an open house and love the house - it's happened to me twice in the last 2 years. While I don't think it's worth doing open houses over and over again at the same house, if you time it right you can get a lot of exposure and once in a while you'll get a sale. And the buyers you meet at these open houses can filter into sales at another house you have listed, so as a seller I think you want an agent who does open houses, because it can increase the number of buyers she gets to know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
No, I do not feel like open houses sell houses. With all the pictures and tools for viewing properies available on line in todays world the sellers can decide if they want to set up a private showing or not. This has eliminated the need for open houses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
We recently had a home listed and did an open house every Sunday for the month of April. The sellers had the interior painted, staged the home inside and we were ready for open houses. After the third open house, our buyer came in. However, the buyer had an agent. We sold the home to the buyer that saw the home during an open house. It does not happen often enough but it does sometimes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
Not sure if they ever sell the house, however it does give the house exposure. If advertised correctly off the web and etc.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
I'm a strong believer in Open Houses. In fact, I sold a home from an open house. I think people like to be able to go into homes without the pressure of their agent just to look to see if it might be worth pursuing. An Open House makes a home seem inviting and desirable to just the right buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
Open houses sell homes they just may not sell your home. Working Open Houses correctly takes a lot of time and energy by your listing agent, time and energy which might be better spent marketing your home by word of mouth.

Flyers, postcards, direct neighborhood mailing, agent emails, facsimile flyer sharing, and sign postings consume the time of the listing agent as they prepare for your home to be open to the public. Depending on the community involvement of your agent they may generate more interest in your home during a Civic, School or religious event where they are known and most likely trusted by the people whom they are associating with, maybe even where you first became known to the agent.

Open houses do work well for agents to develop a relationship with consumers just beginning the home search process or not yet represented by a real estate professional. So you see Open Houses do sell home, just not yours!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
They certainly can. I have personally sold a house directly from an open house, so it does happen. Usually agents hold open houses to generate new leads, but a good agent will utilize the open house to do both. She can promote herself while working hard for her seller and sell the home she is holding open. An open house also gives the agent an opportunity to 'sell' the home to the other agents who might be showing the house to their clients. It is just that one little extra personal touch that helps the process along.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
In our rural area, open houses have never been very successful and are generally not well attended
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
I suppose it depends on the market. I work in a resort market where a majority of the buyers come from somewhere else. While an open house can attract buyers, in my market it's not the best method to do so. That being said, I do believe a "broker open house" is important. We hold monthly broker open houses and set up a progressive lunch. With 6 to 10 properties on the open house tour, the brokers stop by each property and grab a little something to eat. It's a very good way for the listing broker to speak directly with 25 to 30 other brokers, pointing out the benefits and features of their particular listing. Once a broker has seen a property and is familiar with the benefits and features, chances are better that broker will add that property to the "showing list" when they encounter a buyer looking for that type of property. This works very well in our market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
I definitely recommend public open houses to our clients. Our Real Estate economy is still "adjusting" and any means to promote a property to a potential buyer is worth the effort by both Realtor and Seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Absolutely! The buyer may not actually visit your house during the Open House, but his/her friend may. Open Houses are very good for "exposure" to more people, who know more people, who may buy your house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
I believe it depends on the type of property, especially if there are limits on signage. We have had good experience in condo and townhouse developments, for example, where area renters may be interested in buying but were not aware that a property was available in their neighborhood. We also feel that word-of-mouth advertising can be helpful...MLS and the internet are so crowded with listings right now that we want to do all we can to help our listing stand out. We welcome neighbors in to view the properties -- they often have a friend, family member, or business associate who are considering a move to their neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
It does depend on the area but in my experience I sell about 20% of my listings from open houses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
NOT REALLY, BUT IT MAY GIVE YOUR SELLER(S) COMFORT THAT YOU ARE TRYING MANY AVENUES, INCLUDING OPEN HOUSES, TO SELL THEIR HOME. I TELL THEM UP FRONT THAT IT MAINLY IS A WAY FOR US AS AGENTS TO GET CUSTOMERS. BUT WHO KNOWS, IT A HOT MARKET, IT MAY VERY WELL GET A BUYER WITHOUT AN AGENT. BOB, REALTOR, HILTON HEAD, SC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
It truly depends on your location. In my market, Manhattan (New York City), they are a huge success, while in other towns they do work well at all. I would suggest speaking with successful agents in your market to get their thoughts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
As Real Estate Professionals we are in the business of "meeting and greeting" people. Holding an Open House is one way to practice your people skills but not a great way to sell a home! I do find that other potential Sellers from the neighborhood will attend and do an impromptu interview! Buyers will do the same but generally do not buy during the Open House. A good way to jump start your business and collect more contacts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Traditionally, Open Houses are not an effective way to sell the specific property being featured...Open Houses make it easy for the general public to view properties, especially for potential future home buyers who are just beginning their search but are very early in their respective process...Also, the Open House, by its nature, is "open" to allow access to anyone to view a home (not necessarily qualified, motivated potential purchasers!), and for this reason they are far less effective than other marketing efforts targeted at both serious home purchasers and the real estate agents serving them....A "virtual Open House" consisting of aggressive online marketing, additional property photos, and a professional virtual tour (all available "24/7" to the public) are the preferred methods of creating public interest that leads to inquiries, showings, and eventually a sucessful sale for that particular property....Like many other "low cost, less effective" measures that linger in our industry, the Open House remains a staple of most agent's marketing programs, if for no other reason than to satisfy an owner that "everything is being done" to market and sell their property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
You have received some great answers. As you know 80% of all homes are viewed on the internet first. Working with a national company that can put your on multiple websites with a virtual tour is the open house of today. My company also has an open house showcase on cable TV that reaches 9 counties. We advertise our listings as having an open house 24/7. This is the best open house because people are not tracking through your home and we only hear from buyers that are actually interested in YOUR HOME.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
While it is true in most of my past cases the Open Houses did more to attain buyers for other properties, I am now promoting a gated community with additional new construction components. I have found that advertising an Open House has increased my traffic for the weekends at the times I advertise which is 2-4. I believe I would not have the traffic to the property to see this property and gain potential buyers for this property without the Open House signagae and avertising.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
I personally do not count on open houses to sell a home, usually open houses bring neighbors that are bored on a Sunday. I believe that marketing the home properly, advertising techniques and prospecting all play a major role in selling a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
It may depend on the condition of the home. If a home is staged and presents well, it can't hurt. If a home has issues such as dated decor or unpleasant odors, buyers tend to get annoyed and may blame the listing agent...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
The percentage is around 3% of homes that sell from open houses. There are pros and cons to having them as a seller. You might be one of the 3% that sell. Problems we have experienced , although not frequently, are items stolen, prescription drugs stolen, people intentionally falling on the property and try to claim an injury suit, and assults on female agents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Frankly I have wasted many hours and much needed funds on Open Houses that do not work. I can't tell you how many times I have ran ads, sent out emails, put out signs with balloons, had food and drinks available when not a single buyer walked through the doors. I know that there are some folks that say that they do help sell homes. In my opinion they are held for the sellers benefit, and a giant waste of my time and resources. I have stopped offering them to sellers as my time and funds are better spent elsewhere.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Not typically. They're used to a tool for the agent to meet and possibly ocnvert buyer prospects. Occassionally you'll get lucky, but usually you're getting nosey neighbors and unqualified buyers....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
A lot of people who show up hadn't the slightest clue about what they were going to see, and often b/c of that it ends up not fitting there criteria/needs. Open Houses allow agents to bring in a good handful of unrepresented buyers for them to scoop up. 'Oh your not interested in this property? Give me your name/phone# I may have another home you might like'. If the property really is a gem, ya you might get an offer, but if its that nice you prob. would have gotten the offer with or without the open house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 13, 2008
In the silicon valley market in general open houses do more to promote the agent than the listing. However, the last three homes we sold were brought to the attention of the buyer's agent after they attended our open house. The use of virtual tours, photos, and extensive advertising on the web helps bring the right clients to the open house. When I inquire as to how a visitor learned about the open house, if they say they viewed it on line or their agent sent them , then it is more likely that the visit could lead to a sale. I stage my homes to make them warm and inviting but not cluttered and provide refreshments so potential buyers are more tempted to linger and enjoy what the home has to offer. They are also a convenient way for agents to preview homes for their clients without having to make appointments. Don't underestmate the value of curious neighbors dropping in. Often they have friends and family members who are very interested in the neighborhood. We often host a special event when we first come on the market "by invitation only" on the Thursday or Friday evening before the first open house just for the neighbors. They are usually full of fun facts about the neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
Gena

NAR published a figure of less than 3% of home selling as the result of a public open house.

An agent I worked with had one streak where 3 of 4 listings sold from public open houses he ran.

Rob Gorman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 6, 2008
In a word, "yes". They help sell houses other than the one that you're holding open. May I explain? When people come to an Open House event, they are looking for a particular kind of deal on a particular kind of house. Chances are that the one you're showing is not what they're looking for. But they can enlist the showing agent's services in order to find a house more to their liking.

What DOES help sell homes--especially condos in run-down complexes where interior appeal is critical--is a Broker's Open House. When agents are shown a home's best features, they can match their benefits to their clients' needs...benefits they otherwise never might have recognized.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 17, 2007
Accodring to the Calif. Association Of Realtors (CAR) 2006 Annual Buyer Survey, Buyers first see the home that they purchase with an agent, 77% to 96% of the time.
I can find no data that supports buyers findign homes through open houses. That does not mean that there is no data to support it, CAR simply does not have that question in their survey. http://www.car.org.
I will ask them to include that question in their next survey (2007).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 17, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
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