Vendors often ask about the effectiveness of open houses in selling their homes. This comes on the heels of more clients telling us upfront that they don’t want open houses. To understand what is going on here, we need to go back in time.
Thirty years ago, an ‘open house’ was the only way that the buying public could determine if they liked the home – and they were moderately successful (not really) to the tune of about 5 or 6% of the time. Fast forward to today and with online capability, wireless networks and digital imaging technology such as live Web photography, it becomes clear why ‘open houses’ are little more than a huge inconvenience.
The National Real Estate Association estimates that 84% of all people start their real estate shopping online before they even physically see one home. More than a decade of tracking shows that open houses currently account for less than 1% of our sales! So if open houses are so ineffective, why are they done? First, it’s a paradigm both the public and REALTORS® are stuck in – and few real estate agents have tracked their effectiveness. Second (and the big reason they are used), is because they are a great source of new business contacts for the REALTOR®.
If homebuyers come to an open house – the REALTOR® will try to pick them up as a potential client (not for your home – but to sell them something else later). The frustrating part for the client trying to sell their home is that it takes a lot of effort to prepare a home for an open house when it has literally no effect on the sale. The reality is that you have a less than 1% chance of someone walking into your home who will buy it. That doesn’t even take into account the security issues.
THE PROFESSIONALS will leverage a variety of other tools to market your home in ways that make open houses pale in comparison.