There is a running debate in the real estate industry as to the efficacy of the Open House. Some say it is too dangerous, and it is just a way for the listing agent to get more clients. While other research indicates it actually helps sell homes, especially if it is held in the first week.
Now, I have no doubt that holding an Open House may help my listing agent get new clients and to that I say, “So What!” The only thing I care about, as a home seller, is does it help me sell my home? If it helps me sell my home AND it gets my agent new business, so be it. I think they call that win-win.
I also have no doubt that it can be dangerous, but that can be mitigated. Intelligent home sellers would be wise to not leave a single valuable thing in their home during the Open House. And any prudent agent would make arrangements to not be the only one at the Open House. If they cannot convince another agent to join them, they can always bring a friend (or spouse).
I love Open Houses because it gives me, as a home seller, the best chance to achieve my ultimate goal: multiple offers in the first weekend. When you get multiple offers in the first weekend, you can be assured you will sell your home for the highest price in the quickest time frame. For whatever you or your agent (or an appraiser) thinks your home is worth, when several people submit an offer to purchase your home and back it with cold hard cash, those buyers ARE the market for you home. And they have told you loud and clear what your home is worth. Waiting will do you no good.
Now many agents say Open Houses are a waste of time, but maybe that is because they do not know how to do it right (or what the objective is). The objective of an open house is not to find a buyer. The objective is to get multiple offers in the first weekend. And to do that, you have to do a lot of things right.
First, the home has to be priced right. Open Houses with overpriced homes are truly a waste of time for the home seller. You and your agent would be better off golfing. Next, the photos uploaded to the MLS and third party sites need to be professional quality. They have to make buyers really want to get inside your home. And finally, the most important thing: timing. The thing most agents get wrong.
Serious, motivated buyers want to buy their dream home now! They incessantly monitor their e-mail inbox for a new listing, and when it arrives, if they like what they see, they want to get inside the home as soon as possible. The trick of course is to make the “soon as possible” the Open House. Where most real estate agents go wrong is that they allow buyers in to see the home before the Open House. Of course no buyers will show up to the Open House. The serious ones have already seen it.
When you get ready to sell you home, I urge you to consider holding an Open House. Just make sure you and your agent are on the same page. To learn how ReaListing helps sellers and agents get on the same page, click here.