How important is an Open House to the buyer? The seller? The agent? I have one client that goes to every Open House in her neighborhood. Why? She likes to keep up on the value of her property and see what everyone else is doing in that little tiny backyard, what paint colors they used. She comes away with a lot of information about what the property values are and why.
Contrary to popular belief, this client has actually purchased several homes that she found by going to Open Houses – certainly not the norm – but it does happen. There are buyers who are visiting and want to see what’s out there in case they want to purchase a second home. They will typically go to any Open House they see a sign for. According to the 2013 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Sellers and Buyers, 45% of buyers used open houses as a key part of their home search.
There are agents who sit an Open House every day of the week. This is fine if it’s vacant, but a hassle for the owners if it isn’t. It’s a great way to get interested buyers in the door as well as meet potential new clients. Then there are agents who never do an open house.
Sellers often think that they have to have Open Houses to sell their homes; this is not the case. While it certainly adds exposure, which is always a good thing, it rarely does sell the home. Normally, the first ones that come to the first Open House are the neighbors, even though they are comparing the property to theirs, they sometimes have friends or family looking for homes in their neighborhood. Likewise, curious buyers out driving around on Sunday afternoons may realize that, while this is not the home for them, it might be perfect for one of their friends. All in all, it is about exposure.