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6 Truths About Open Houses You Must Know Today

Do Open Houses Work?

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It’s time to sell your house. Better get started with your plans to hold an open house to attract buyers.


An open house will guarantee that your house gets the best exposure to the largest pool of interested buyers…

Or will it?

Actually, this isn’t always the case! Open houses are not the best in every case. This is why some sellers are beginning to shy away from holding them in today’s market.

So why, then, will most real estate agents push for an open house?

There are benefits for agents in holding an open house. Real estate agents build their own potential network of clients through open houses. But let’s be very clear about something: most of the benefit runs the way of the agent, and NOT, you, the seller.

An open house is not a key component of a successful sale. The key components are the right real estate agent, the correct price point, and an excellent marketing campaign.

Let’s face it: scheduling an open house can be a proper headache in your busy lifestyle, or ruin your relaxing family Sunday afternoon by preparing your home for sale!

Here is my expose on open houses: six truths that may change your mind about open houses. You’ll agree you should think twice before running your next open house and inviting every Tom, Dick, and Harry!

Truth #1 – You don’t need an open house for a successful sale

Most agents will try to set up an open house, simply from habit.

This is the set way in which real estate sales have been running since before there was a World Wide Web.

“But hasn’t it always been done this way?!”

Well, advancing technology has revolutionized all areas of industry and commerce, and real estate is no exception. Top real estate agents have adjusted to the times and rightly asked whether there is even a need for open houses.

Prospective buyers now hit the internet first when embarking on their home-buying journey. A great online listing should be part of your marketing strategy – far more than an open house!

Interested buyers who are moving toward making an offer will get the agent’s details from the listing and set up a viewing as soon as possible, regardless whether there will be an open house next weekend!

This framework actually weeds out those who aren’t interested in buying your home.

Rather than focusing on sorting out an open house, connect with a competent real estate agent with an expansive network of buyers and sellers. Invest time and effort into developing a solid marketing campaign with them.

Truth #2 – Most of those attending the open house aren’t qualified buyers

It is true that some who come along to your open house may be looking to buy. But in my experience, there are quite a few who show up who have no interest in making an offer.

Some will be “just looking”. Some will be nosy neighbors looking to check your place out. I’ve had it many times where couples confide in me that they enjoy going to open houses on Sundays as a pastime or hobby! Beats staying home and watching Netflix, I guess?

In short, the open house mentality encourages many to pitch up on the day itself, who aren’t prepared for what they’re about to see and highly likely will have no intention of buying.

An agent worth their salt will instead prioritize private viewings with pre-approved buyers who are in the position to make an offer.

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Truth #3 – You can expect those inquisitive community members to pop in

The myth is that every open house leads to a long queue of genuine, interested, potential customers.

Wouldn’t that be great?!

The reality is that an open house is an opportunity for window shoppers to come off the street to have a look.

Why do nosy neighbors make use of an open house? They may have always had an interest in seeing the setup at your house. It may be to compare their space to yours. Some enjoy seeing similar decor and furniture arrangements in their area to get creative ideas for their own space. Some want to compare market values. And some are only taking license to be nosy.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, as the home seller, the solution is rather simple: don’t run another open house.

Truth #4 – Open houses have a poor conversion rate

When you run an open house, you are inviting the world in to see your house. This can include a small percentage of potential buyers. However, in most cases, you are also inviting in a crop of people not interested in buying your home.

This means that open houses are more often more trouble than they are worth! That is, for you, as the home seller, of course. Meanwhile, your agent is expanding his client network on your time in your open house…

The true professional real estate agent will be better off spending their time and effort on attracting true potential buyers.

Truth #5 – Open houses are not good for your peace of mind

Unfortunately, it would be naive to think that everyone who walks into a show house has the best intentions. We don’t have to spend time unpacking current crime statistics to drive the point.

We have an opportunity here to expose the drawbacks of open houses:

Incidents of theft do occur on open houses. Worse still, in certain cases, there have been burglaries following the open house. Criminals attend the open house, identifying weaknesses which they can exploit at a later stage. Some even sabotage locks on doors and windows during the open house.

Is it worth the risk, when you consider what valuables and heirlooms you have on your property?

Truth #6 – You don’t have to agree to run an open house

Truths About Open Houses
Truths About Open Houses

Even if your agent is pushing you into holding an open house, you can just say “no”.

One reason some agents still endorse open houses is that it looks like they are doing good work when they take up their (and your) whole Sunday for an open house!

Rather than judging an agent by how busy they look, base it on the results they get: how long does it usually take for them to sell a house? Do they usually sell houses close to the sellers’ asking prices? Do they have good references?

Bottom line: a good agent will be open to a discussion about whether to hold an open house. While it might still be advantageous to hold them in certain rare situations (such as new construction), bearing in mind the pointers in this article, listen to what your agent has to say and make your own informed decision.

Good luck!

Additional Open House Resources:

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