That's a bold statement. It all depends on the house, the neighborhood and the market. There has been a lot of controversy around open houses in the last couple of years. How safe are they? Are they pointless for the seller, are agents simply doing it to appease the seller? In a recent article by the National Association of Realtors, 56% of agents call open houses pointless. However, does the general public feel that they are pointless? Are sellers expecting an open house when they list their property? If you choose not to do an open house, will sellers feel it is the demise of their property?
I think it all comes down to education. 44% of agents feel that "open houses" can be very powerful in the marketing of a home. But, regardless of how they feel, 72% of real estate agents claim to hold an open house at least once over the last six months. 25% feel that they avoid open houses altogether. [Source]
Many real estate agents feel that the only reason they opt for an open house is to appease the seller. Many sellers feel that that is the natural way to get a home shown, however, statistics show that only 40% of sellers expect an open house. Again, it comes down to education not only provided by the real estate agent but on behalf of the seller as well. Some real estate agents still feel that an open house can provide benefit for their business much more than simply showing the property. 50% of real estate agents state that open houses make up 1 to 25% of their business. But, is this enough to sustain the tradition of open houses.
Many real estate agents feel that there simply unsafe these days. They have no control over who is entering the property and most people will not sign in and if they do, they may not state their true names. This is a lot of total strangers walking through the house and if something should happen to the property while the open house is underway, the seller will most definitely blame the listing agent or the agent sitting the open house.
Many agents feel that using an open house is great bait for gaining additional clients and buyers. Builder models can potentially offer a great outlet for new buyers and are typically used as a great marketing tool. However, a private seller with small valuables and a propensity for security and privacy may not be up for an open house. If the market warrants an open house such as low inventory and high consumption, it may be better to focus on other forms of marketing. If inventory is high and demand low, open houses can be a great marketing channel.
It also depends on the property. Many properties are prime real estate for an open house due to the neighborhood, the potential clientele and the setup.
Open houses can be a good tool for marketing to local agents and their clients. It may be a good way for new agents to get the word out, pass out their business cards and meet potential, future buyers.
And then on the flip side of that, nearly 90% of home buyers do most of their searching on the Internet. While open houses might be important to the seller, they may offer no real buying power to a homebuyer.
So, what you think? Are we doing it just for the seller? Does it still have a benefit for potential buyers?
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As a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.