Open Houses are a topic of conversation for Agents Last week on Twitter. One says open houses are for Real Estate Agents to pick up buyers, others say it is to create more exposure for the sellers.
Sellers are requesting an “Open House” on a Sunday and they are requesting this because the other agent they interviewed said that they would have them every weekend. Does this really create the exposure for the seller that is needed to get the house sold?
In my 10 year experience, I have sold one house at an open house. The buyers brought their agent back a couple of days after coming to the open house. I have done hundreds of open houses over the years, connected with many potential buyers, who became my clients through the open houses which is why many homes are held open.
There are many reasons to hold a house open:
o It has been under construction for months and everyone is dying to see what it looks like inside.
o The agent is inviting peers to see it for feedback for the seller and to introduce to their buyers the minute it hits the market. (This would be a Broker Open by invitation.)
o The neighborhood hasn’t seen it and it is in a trendy neighborhood where out of town buyers tend to look first and the agent wants exposure for the house and for new business.
o Houses in the neighborhood do not go on the market very often and it is a way to introduce it to the general public and to the neighbors. Neighbors tell friends about great homes available in their neighborhood.
There are a few reasons not to hold a house open:
o Security is the biggest reason I will hesitate to hold a house open. If the house is lived in, there are many security reasons to not hold a house open, potential theft, etc. As a Realtor there is just no way to be able to follow each and every person who walks in the door around the house to make sure they don’t take anything. We never know how busy the day will be. One summer in Denver we had a professional Open House thief, we are a small enough community that we got the word out to the agents who hold the targeted neighborhood of homes open and the people were arrested but this was after items were stolen and sold. (Prescription drugs and electronics that fit in a bag.)
o Open houses can be disruptive to a seller’s life. Sellers don’t want “lookers” in their house they only want qualified buyers to look at their house. Sometimes sellers are too busy just to leave their house every Saturday or Sunday just to have it open.
o The house is not in “show” condition and the heat or the water isn’t on.
I think price is also a factor in holding open a house. Right now in Denver, if a house is priced under $300,000 and priced well according to condition, the house will sell quickly and there is no need for an open house.
Most buyers look online before they will go into any house, but this year, I am finding a lot of people thinking they might want to buy are walking into open houses. They don’t know if they can qualify for a loan, they don’t know how much they can afford they aren’t even sure if they will buy, they are “window shopping”. Window shopping is okay but not worth the risk, in my opinion, to have a “lived in” house help open for everyone to walk through.