Open Houses remain a somewhat controversial topic in the Real Estate industry, and if you ask a number of Agents for their opinions, then you'll likely get a variety of answers to the question, "Do Open Houses actually work?"
Why is this? Why the wide difference of opinions on what seems to be a very straight-forward question? Perhaps the best answer to the question might be, "It depends!"
CONS: Many Real Estate Agents hold a negative opinion of Open Houses in today's marketplace given that technology, including the Internet, has essentially created an online Open House that is available 24/7. And, they would be correct. You don't necessarily need to hold an 'old fashioned' Public Open House as you did in the years preceding the 'easy access' of online marketing. At least it could be said that an Open House has become less important due to the changing ways that Buyers find, evaluate, and consider the Homes that they actually wish to see in person. True Open House critics would go as far as to say that Real Estate Agents themselves don't believe in Open Houses (as an effective sales tool) and only hold them to appease an anxious Seller or in the hopes of meeting people at the Open House who need a Real Estate Agent.
PROS: Whatever negative or less-than-enthusiastic feelings one may or may not have towards Open Houses, there are several potential benefits to Sellers that should be considered when adding a Public Open House as a part of a comprehensive, overall marketing strategy:
* An Open House can be an effective part of a brand new listing's first exposure to the market. If a home listing is new on the market, an Open House can add to the marketing 'buzz' that the Listing Agent and Seller are trying to create.
* An Open House can add urgency to the situation. Think about it, as a Seller would you prefer that potential Buyers only see your home one at a time or in bunches? When an interested Buyer is viewing your home during an Open House, they perceive that the other visitors there might be interested, too! It's human nature to start feeling some (positive) pressure to act quickly and effectively before another Buyer gets this lovely home! (Of course, the other people viewing the home at the same time might be less interested, or even just 'nosy neighbors', but the emotional impact of a crowd on any serious Buyer is undeniable!)
* Invite the neighbors! In our experience, typically the 'nice' neighbors are the ones who drop by - - and their presence can be worth it's weight in gold for the Sellers! Here's why: Potential home Buyers will usually be somewhat skeptical as to what the Real Estate Agent hosting the Open House has to say about the neighborhood, the surrounding area, amenities, schools, commute times, etc., etc. (after all, he or she is a salesperson, right!) But when those answers come from someone who already lives in (and loves) the community, then Buyers listen! Plus, remember that Agents are more strictly bound by Fair Housing Laws as to what they can say regarding a neighborhood, whereas someone who already lives there can engage in honest conversations that are friendly and well intended. Neighbors at Open Houses can very often become fantastic 'indirect salespeople' for the Seller!
* Open Houses may provide greater viewing access for properties that might otherwise prove difficult to see. They also can help to 'group' showings together as opposed to those showings occurring at sporadic times, which may actually be a convenience for the Seller.
Some Sellers actually prefer the control afforded by this approach - - and the Listing Agent or representative can be present during an Open House 'showing' while they typically are not present during a traditional Agent showing, so better the opportunity of presenting the home in its best light on behalf of the Seller!
* "The Better Agents Are The Busy Agents" Since a productive Agent who is working with multiple qualified Buyers cannot be with all clients at all times, an Open House provides a vehicle by which a serious Buyer can still see (and fall in love with!) your home while their Agent is otherwise occupied. Many a home has been ultimately sold this way!
So, there you have the various Pros and Cons regarding Open Houses as a sales tool when selling a home. Whether an Open House is right for you depends on your situation. If you have questions or would like to receive more info, The Art of Real Estate Team is here to help!
"We Sell Homes From A Fresh Perspective...YOURS!"