Should You Host an Open House?
When it comes to selling your home, hosting an open house to drive foot traffic and attract buyers has traditionally been part of the process. However, statistics show that open houses may be becoming a relic of the past. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 3% of buyers visited an open house before purchasing their home.
If you’re selling a home, you probably have your hands full already with the process. Do you really need to add the stress of hosting an open house to your list of things to do? We’ll take a look at whether or not open houses are still an effective selling tool.
Open Houses in the Information Age
If you were to go back 20 or 30 years, hosting an open house made perfect sense because it was an agreed upon time and date for buyers to view homes for sale. Thanks to the internet, however, buyers now do most of their home shopping online, where they can easily search listings and view homes, and real estate agents can easily arrange for private viewings. As a result, the open house is no longer as effective of a selling tool as it used to be, and it may not be worth the time and effort it takes to host one.
Who Visits Open Houses?
The answer to this question may seem surprising, but most of the people who visit open houses aren’t actually qualified buyers. Most serious buyers are already working with a real estate agent who curates listings to fit the needs and wants of the potential buyers. In other words, if a buyer is interested, they likely already know that your home is on the market, and have looked at it from every angle online, or have already arranged for a private viewing with their agent.
So, who makes up the visitors for open houses these days? Curious neighbors can sometimes make up the entire body of visitors at an open house. Many people who are not even in the market to buy a home end up straying in out of curiosity or to get ideas for improvements they might want to make to their own homes. Since you aren’t in the business of hosting home and garden shows, this is one reason why hosting an open house might not be the best use of your time and effort.
Who Benefits from an Open House?
If you’re selling a home and your agent seems to really be pushing an open house, it may be because it’s great for their business. If a buyer does come to view the house and it isn’t a great fit, they may be interested in other listings in the real estate agent’s portfolio.
Some real estate agents don’t mind that your curious neighbors are the only people who show up, because that means that they can talk to the neighbors and find out if the neighbors are interested in selling their own home. Your agent gets a great networking opportunity to meet future homebuyers who could become clients a few months from now.
Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you choose to host an open house. While some buyers might like a no-pressure invitation to view the home, the advent of the internet has made this much easier to do via online channels, and today’s real estate agents should be able to arrange for private viewings that don’t last an entire weekend. Add data that doesn't support the effectiveness of open houses and it may make more sense to your efforts elsewhere.
Now that we've set a few things straight, we hope we've helped your house sale to proceed quickly and smoothly! For additional help, check out our home selling ebook.