Home Selling in 27959>Question Details

Barbara, Home Buyer in 27959

Do Realtors still do OPEN HOUSES? Why would a Realtor refuse to do an Open House?

Asked by Barbara, 27959 Wed Feb 11, 2009

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Open House is controversial in some areas. For instance, in a very high end neighborhood, any Open House would be only for Realtors with clients who have been per-screened financially. Some Realtors feel they do not add to potential buyers, but only serve to satisfy curious neighbors. I feel that they are a good form of marketing and will hold as many..or as few...as my client requests.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2014
Linda,

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...............

Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
Mine is getting the boot in 18 days. She has NEVER showed the house herself, she does not believe in open houses, and the pictures she posted are out of sequence and do not show the true layout of the home. I stayed with the same agency but switched realtors. They SAY they do open houses. then she said they attract potential thieves. The woman has NEVER shown the home even once. She also had the taxes listed over $1,000.00 more than they actually are. She will not release me from the last 18 days, after all these errors. I am going to be very firm and I am going to interview more than one agency. A year PRUDENTIAL had the home, and the first realtor used her son at an open house, because she was busy at a newer listing. I am so angry with her right now. What a waste of my time. No video either and PRUIDENTIAL says they put "virtual video" on all their listings. Would not following through on any of this give me an "out", so I can start fresh by May 1, 2013?
Flag Sun Apr 28, 2013
A Realtor refusing to do Open Houses just because they say it doesn’t work might not be in a Seller's best interest. As a Realtor, I assess each home and family situation to come up with an Open House plan that will work for my Sellers.
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 ½ 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 Buyers’ 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
252-489-8491
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
because they don't work like they used to. buyers shop online. Openhouses are risky for the seller with anyone just walking in the door.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2014
I will hold Open Houses - and I do them on a case by case basis. An agent should never refuse an open house to a client that is requesting that they do it - especially if the agent states in their marketing plan that they will do an open house. I've had several clients that did not want their home held open - they felt that the serious buyers would already have a "Buyer's Agent" that would show the home to them if it fit their needs. Having random people just walk into an open home where they don't know any details about it or even the listing price - is really not in the best interest of the seller. Especially in large cities where the open house could be used by a thief to case out your home. Quite honestly, an Open House serves the Realtor more than the seller - it's a great way to generate leads, meet new people, and market the agents name to new people. In the remote chance that the walk-in wants to actually make an offer on the home - then that's just a huge bonus. Home Seller's need to understand this and keep their expectations in check.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2014
Is there a way to find out which realty agency, has the best success rate? I did a Goggle search and nothing came up for East of the river, in Connecticut.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 28, 2013
Open Houses generate about 2% of sales. However, I never minded sitting on a project as I could still get work done whether at an open house, the office or home. And it gives an opportunity to meet new people.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
1. Open Houses work for some homes. Not for others.

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.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Some agents don't do Open Houses because the general feeling is that you don't usually find a buyer for that particular home at an Open House. And some sellers don't want agents to do open houses.

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?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Scooter is right. I serve the entire Eastern Shore of Maryland specializing in waterfront, beachfront and vacation properties. The best part of an open house is often just cementing a relationship for the future. So why would an agent refuse to hold a home open? In Maryland no longer can we talk about other homes on the market while at an open house, so some agents have drifted away from them. Another case of legislation that is supposed to benefit the seller actually hindering the sales process. Bottom line though: if the home is conveniently located, attractively priced and staged properly, any FULL TIME real estate professional would be honored to hold it open!
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
Associate Broker
Prudential Pen Fed Realty
Annapolis, Elkton and Ocean Pines Offices
410-208-3500
410-726-8487 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Does your insurance cover any liability if some stranger walks in off the street and gets hurt on your property?

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?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Barbara,
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
Web Reference: http://www.rickobx.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 13, 2012
Linda,
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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Linda, when I list a property I ask the seller how he feels about open houses. If he wants me to do an open house, I will do one. Many of my sellers will not allow me to do an open house. In my area traditional open houses rarely effect a sale. Even with extensive advertising and personal invitations, we get very little traffic.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Linda,
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,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
It really does depend on the area you are in, the location of the house, and the trend for the real estate community. I think most times it is to propitiate the seller and give exposure to the agent and company. Most likely, the buyers attending will not buy THAT house. If the house has recently been staged or decorated, it would be more beneficial to invite the local Realtors for hopefully, a second look.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is primarily a resort area, so open houses usually do not bring much attendance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
I did do an open house in conjunction with another realtor who had a listing in the neighborhood. We did this on a Parade of Homes weekend and had a door prize(I think it was a gas card) We got a ton of people,but not a single buyer. You can offer incentives to get people in,but you can't get them to buy. Most people are doing their looking on the Internet. The number of open houses in this area has dwindled down to almost nothing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
Yes, Realtors still do open houses. Though that doesn't mean they do an open house correctly, or that an open house done incorrectly will bring perspective buyers.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
Open houses are pretty much a thing of the past here in my area for a lot of the reasons Edith mentioned. it is too hard to compete with sunday football etc. My experience as of late (and that of other agents I have talked to)is that i mostly get nosy neighbors who just want to snoop around. however,I would never refuse to do one if the seller requested it,even though I think they are non productive in these days of the internet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
Hi Linda, my first question to you is Did your Realtor not give you an explanation? Why Not?
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!
Edith YourChicagoConnection
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
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