The reality is "open houses" should be treated as a very important part of a homes marketing plan. Selling anything is all about visibility. If no one knows you have something for sale it is very unlikely it will be sold. Conversely, the more people that knlw about it the better your chances of selling.
There may be two considerations worth mentioning. First the location and visibility of a home is a key factor in open house activity. If you are in a visible location with great curb appeal you will likely recieve activity. Hoewver, if you are tucked away in a remote location the battle becomes more difficult.
We find most open house traffic is from people that stumble upon the event not from advertising and planning. Is it possible your homes location can be the turn off for the agent?
Additionally, you just amy be dealing with an individual that is short on motivation. If this is the case, the decision is yours...............
Do you live in a high demand neighborhood with lots of drive by traffic? Will families be passing by on their way home from church or on their way to restaurants and shops? Is your home priced correctly for the neighborhood?
If you can answer yes to these questions, an Open House may be an effective marketing tool for your home. Potential buyers who like specific areas will stop to see what is available. Remember, if the home is well priced, I have seen Buyers write offers on the spot.
However, if your home is well off the beaten path or you were the only one in the development to add all of the upgrades, Open Houses might not be successful. Also, Buyers won't follow more than 3-4 directional arrows and travel more than Â½ a mile out of their way.
In the Outer Banks of NC, we have a lot of second homeowners. Many of them are friendly, interesting and full of questions. So an Open House is usually a fun and informative afternoon. Especially, if you just throttle back, take it easy, and enjoy the people you meet.
However, a better use of your Realtor's time is to MOTIVATE the entire real estate community (other Realtors in the area) to bring their qualified buyers to your house! This is productive marketing and will get your home sold quickly and for the most money possible in today's Buyersâ€™ market.
When you are ready for a professional real estate consultant to advise you AND sell your house then visit http://www.nagsheadhomes.com/ I use many marketing systems together to get your home sold quickly and for the most money possible in today's market.
Hugh " Scooter" Willey
Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty
As an aside; Open Houses tend to work best in new home communities were buyers come to that community because they are familiar with it and with the home prices in that community. Having worked many years in model homes it was quite often where a buyer would walk in to the model - and make an offer on that home - that day.
Bottom line - If I say I will do an open house and you ask me to do it - I will definitely do it. Every market and community is different - so the results will be different. I like having open houses for listings that are very visible and in high traffic areas - I will expect to meet some new people and have a successful day.
A friend referred me to a realtor who never showed the house even once. She would only tell me when she was allowing another realtor in, to show the house.
She is done in 18 days, and I cannot wait for the sign to get out of the yard. She only posted pictures, out of order. I could do that myself.
2. Most Homes in my area DO NOT SELL to a buyer who has viewed it during an Open House.
3. Open Houses attract Buyers and Lookey-Loos -- but NOT for YOUR home. They are just looking at what is available in the neighborhood.
I had one house in Wesley Heights (near Downtown Charlotte). I LOVED having Open Houses there-- I would have 30 Yuppies in a 2 hour timeframe-- all with great jobs at the Banks downtown. They weren't so much interested in the house I was showing, but I made LOTS of appointments on other homes around for the buyers who didn't already have an agent.
And I have had some homes that would be TOTALLY dead for the entire 2 or 3 Hours I would sit there reading my Sunday paper with not one visitor. Plenty of signs, plenty of flyers, plenty of emails to other agents... but that neighborhood's time on market was long, and an Open House wansn't going to do the trick.
Last Saturday I had an open house at my New Home Community to show clients a $700k house we had sold to another client. We made them make appointments to view it during the Open House. This worked out great. We had 5 Families within a 2 hour Open House. We only had to clean the house once. The homeowners were not inconvenienced throughout the week with multiple appointments.
If this answered your question, give me a "BEST ANSWER" or "THUMBS UP"! That way other readers will know I'm giving good advice. Thanks!
If you have more questions: post them, email them, or call me: 704-858-2345.
It is often a great way for the agent to find new buyer clients. As that doesn't really benefit the seller, it should be up to the seller if they want the agent to do an open house.
These days, most buyers start on the internet where they can get a peek inside the home via the pictures. Is that what you're doing?
In the event the home is off the "beaten path" your agent's time would be better served arranging a "broker's open" thereby getting as many other agents and brokers in to see the home as possible.
Mike Piasecki III
Prudential Pen Fed Realty
Annapolis, Elkton and Ocean Pines Offices
Do you have any valuables that might be at risk from un-qualified total strangers coming through your house?
There was an open house in Corolla a last month where one of these strangers left a window unlocked and came back that night and robbed the house.
One of the most important things real estate agents do for their seller clients is to make sure that only qualified buyers tour the house. Why would you want to take such a risk?
That is a fantastic question! It states that you are home selling in the 27959 (Nags Head, NC) area so this response is relevant to our area. As I read through the other answers the common sentiment seems to be that open houses don't sell the home; and statistically that is accurate so I wont restate that. That being said, I would never "refuse" to do an open house, unless the house really doesn't present well. I would certainly outline the reasons why an open house generally doesn't work - limited audience due to tourist/vacation traffic - rental homes vs primary homes - Buyer's Agency - very little walk-in traffic - etc. Promoting a house open does give me the opportunity to notify the Realtor population about your home and reconnect with buyers that I may have, so, it is not completely unproductive. I do ask, if I am holding your house open - please have it well cleaned - replace burnt out bulbs - and take the pets with you. Feel free to visit me on the web, http://www.outerbanker.com
Statistically, open houses only generate 1-2% of home sales in any given year. That is the main reason many veteran agents prefer not to do them. I would much rather spend that time with my family. However, when I was a new agent I held open alot of houses but only because it is a great way for agents to find potential buyers. I did sell a property at an open house once but the buyers had already seen it before. The open house was essentially their second viewing.
That may have something to do with the rural nature of my area. It is very rare to have more than 1 house for sale in a particular neighborhood, so potential buyers ride all over the world to get to an open house and sometimes get there just after the open is over. Frustrating!
I prefer doing a Realtor Open House as soon as possible after the listing is signed, and my sellers love my doing them. Instead of opening the house (traditionally) to whoever wants to stroll in, I plan a weekday open just for Realtors. I try to schedule around their sales meeting days, and invite them to have lunch at the house after their meeting is over. I've gotten the reputation for being a pretty good cook, so I get lots of Realtors to attend. I do not scrimp on food. Lasagna sometimes, Dumplings, Vegetable-Beef Soup if it's cold. They know they'll get a good meal. While they are there I ask them to fill out a questionaire about the house - priced right? what's the best feature? what's the worst feature? Then I ask them to put the price they think the house will finally sell for on their business cards and drop them in a fish bowl. I draw one card out for a $25 gift card, but in addition, I can go over those cards and questionaires with my seller when the open is over. It's effective, too, when the agents talk over lunch about my house and offer suggestions. More than once an agent has said, "Can I show the house tomorrow at 2?"
I also do "Open Houses by Appointment Only". I advertise that I am available between 2 and 4 on Sunday afternoon to show a particular house. The seller gets the extra advertising, I'm close by should a potential buyer want to take a look and I can normally be at the house within 5 minutes.
Hope some of this is helpful.
As you can see by the answers below yes we still do open house events. Of course as some of the other answers point out that does not mean it will help sell the home. I try to plan my open houses around many factors. One of which is the web traffic on the listing. If there is alot of attention but not many showings there may some shy buyers that are on the fence. Also I even look at the weather. A nice sunny weekend is best. Then think of whether this should be a broker open house or a buyer open house. There is one thought about serving refreshments or some thing else to entice them like a drawing for a gift card. I generally do not do these "giveaways".
There are many different approaches to Open Houses. Doing a progressive deal with other realtor's in the neighborhood is also a good draw. That way you can also maximize the marketing.
hope this helps,
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is primarily a resort area, so open houses usually do not bring much attendance.
An open house in and of itself is a waste of time, both for the seller and the Realtor. There, I said it. The real problem is that there are too many open houses being done incorrectly, and thus they loose their effectiveness with the buying public. Your job as a professional Realtor is to make sure you do an Open House the correct way and that you create a marketing plan for the open house that separates it from rest.
There are a number of resources for learning how to do an open house the right way and how to be creative so I'm not going to bore you with re-hashing these details. Most are common sense. So why don't more agents to open houses the right way...because like anything, doing something the right way is not easy and takes more time. Mainly preparation and research about the property itself and who is likely to be interested in THAT house and making sure that group of potential buyers (not every buyer) knows about the open house.
I said I wouldn't bore you with the details, but here are just a couple of things to consider:
1) Do the research, what are you selling, who is likely to buy it.
2) Get the word out to your "likely" buyer market and other firms that may represent them.
2) Instead of just an open house, think about doing an open neighborhood. More than likely you are not the only house for sale in that neighborhood or area. My firm partners with other agents in our firm or even other agents of other firms to do Neighborhood Open Houses. The more the merrier.
4) Make a "Call to Action" plan. Think about working with the seller to offer some type of time based incentive to add to the Open House, such as an offer to cover up to $xxx dollars in closing cost for anyone who visits, or have a mortgage or other partner participate with you and offer some special deal for the open house visitors.
Ok that's all for know. Soap box is now open again.
that should have been your first question and the explanation by the Realtor should have cleared it up.
Sunday open houses in my personal experience seldom lead to contract...... most buyers still at the end, even if they are checking out Sunday open houses, connect with an experienced Realtor, their buyers agent for guidance , cma's before making an offer etc.
I agree that the location of your property may have something to do with it, you may have a very busy Realtor who cannot afford the time, your Realtor can answer only those questions.
Also remember more often than not, during a Sunday open house, your listing agent, your Realtor may pick up new clients, buyers who potentially are just roaming and looking without having connected with a Realtor yet and your Listing agent can pick up new clients, if your home is too small too big wrong price etc.
I always do a few Sunday open houses, and depending on traffic I discuss the validity with my sellers.
Does your Realtor have open houses for broker tours, i.e. during the week when all Realtors of the area can preview your home? And what other promotions does your Realtor do, internet, websites, fliers to the real estate community, reverse prospecting etc. Your Realtor may be doing a lot of other things that are more effective in his or her views and experience.
Please ask your Realtor!
Hope this helps you a bit!