Should I Hold an Open House?
The Pros and Cons of Open Houses
Before the launch of the internet, MLS and the multitude of listing sites online, open houses were a very important marketing tool, and that’s how many homes got sold.
Today, the picture gets a bit fuzzier as to what the true value of an open house is. Market research shows a dramatic shift from where buyers found the home they purchase over the past ten years.
*Source NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2012
I want you to notice an incredible but not all that surprising trend in regards to the internet. In 2001 the internet was where buyers found the home that they purchased 8% of the time.
You were half as likely to find a buyer through internet marketing as you were with an open house! In 2001 the internet had already began to take its part in the average American’s life every day. While I don’t have the statistic available, it’s a logical conclusion to say that open houses were even more important before the internet existed. In order for buyers to find a house, they literally had to drive around neighborhoods they liked looking for open houses and for sale signs.
So…open houses were very important before the internet.
With each passing day, the internet has become more a part of our culture, and now many people literally can’t imagine life without their iphone or other smart phone device.
What has happened as our culture has shifted to the internet, so has the way we must sell a house!
Fast forward to 2012, and the internet is a more important tool for buyers to find their house than even real estate buyers agents are!
With an astounding 42% of all buyers finding their house online this percentage has increased every year since 2001!
So, when people ask me about my opinion on open houses and whether or not they should have them, I answer that it depends.
Open houses are still a good tool for agents to pick up buyers as clients, so if you would like for an agent to use your house to pick up more clients go right ahead and have your agent do an open house.
Be aware though, to hold an open house for the day there is a commitment on your end that you will need to make:
- There are some logistics involved, you will need to find temporary homes for the pets, kids and yourself for the day…so you can stay out of the way and let your listing agent try and pick up new buyer clients. Many homeowners find this too cumbersome and aren’t willing to do the work.
- In addition, there is the task of preparing your home for an Open House. It needs to be cleaned, organized and staged to look like a show home in order to get the best response possible. This can be a challenge for busy homeowners.
- Finally, you will have to be comfortable with having many strangers in your home that your agent has no contact information from.
Having sold more than 300 houses in over 5 years of having been in the industry, I have developed a different philosophy on selling houses.
As Wayne Gretzky famously had said, “I skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.”
Our marketing approach is to get our client’s houses out all over the internet in effective ways where buyers are looking for houses. We also have strategies to get our houses in front of agents in as many ways as possible.
If a buyer is interested, they will see your house online, and then contact us for a private one on one showing of the property. During which we have more of an opportunity to build rapport and sell your house because we will be able to give them more attention when they look at your house.
You see, with each day that passes the internet is becoming more engrained in our culture not less. The next generation of first time buyers are individuals that grew up only with the internet, and wouldn’t dream of driving around neighborhoods to find out which houses are for sale when they could look at all the houses in the same internet in their pajamas in less than 5 minutes in the comfort of their own home.
And guess what? The next generation after that…well…they too will only know the internet! Gone are the old days of the value of an open house as an important marketing tool for homeowners to use when they sell their house!
One more look again at this chart –
76% of buyers find their home through a realtor or the internet. 10% originally found their home through an open house…and its trending downward. I would also be willing to bet that out of that 10% a substantial amount of buyers actually saw that there was an open house online for the property and looked at pictures online before they went out to look at it.
If you are looking to sell your house, I can’t recommend enough using a realtor that specializes in marketing properties online and to other buyers agents over agents that want to do an open house for you.
You will literally be 7 times more likely to sell your house than over a realtor that holds open houses for you.
Check out a couple of STL Real Estate LLC’s previous articles here!
Rentals Hit a Celiling as Owning Becomes Affordable Again
What to Do Before You Sell