Is An Open House Really Worth Your Time?

It's a never ending debate...Does holding an open house work? REALTOR®S® and home owners alike are evenly divided on this strategy which has been used for a long time. In the days where people actually drove around looking for houses to purchase, this was a very strong selling feature. Statistics show that the number of times  the actual home that the open house is being held in is sold from holding that open house are very low. For a REALTOR® this isn't necessarily a negative, since anyone attending the open house is a potential buyer; if not of this house, or another home similar. For a Home Owner, selling their own home, It might not be the most effective strategy, but you can't say for sure that the buyer of that home won't attend your open house either. 

It’s a never-ending debate that has become more heated in recent years. Do open houses provide any real value as buyers spend more of their house hunting time online?

Some practitioners dismiss the open house, saying it’s an outdated custom that’s carried on mainly to placate home sellers. Other real estate pros remain devoted to the method. Their track records show that open houses can, and often do, get the property sold.

Even when a Sunday afternoon buyer doesn’t emerge, the open house serves as a prospecting opportunity, a way to fill their pipeline with future business.

"I treat Sunday as the most important day of the week," says Wendy Cutrufelli, a sales associate at Alain Pinel, REALTOR®S®®, in Walnut Creek, Calif. "When else will you be in a room full of buyers and sellers? You spend a lot of marketing dollars to reach these people, and open houses put you right in front of them."

As Cutrufelli and other open-house enthusiasts can attest, orchestrating a great event isn’t easy. From getting people to show up to following up after the event, every open house requires careful prep work, excellent conversational skills, and a positive attitude.

"It’s not a two-hour picnic," says Rita Burke, e-PRO®, broker associate at Kenna Real Estate in Denver. Burke estimates that she and her husband Brian Burke, e-PRO®, the company’s managing broker, spend about 12 hours on every open house. That includes online marketing, printing and assembling packets of information for attendees, placing signs around the house, and hosting the actual event. "It’s a full day of work," she says, "but we do it because we believe in it and we have success with it."

Read More at REALTOR®mag.REALTOR®.org

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