Pros and Cons of an Open House

What You Need to Know About Open Houses

Hosting an open house when selling a home is a tried-and-true real estate approach. Open houses have been a tradition for as long as I can remember. Their viability as a marketing tool, however, has changed since the introduction of the internet.


Open houses can be an inconvenience and hassle for the homeowner.  Although an open house will undoubtedly get people in the home, all homeowners should consider if it is really necessary and who exactly is coming through the door!  The reality is that if Buyers are actively looking for a home and your home meets their criteria, they will either call the listing realtor or their realtor to view it.  It is very rare that a serious Buyer will wait for an open house to view your property.


That being said, there are both Pros and Cons to open houses and it is always best to make an educated decision! 


 

Pros For an Open House

Open To All


Open houses accommodate more than just prospective buyers. Brokers who might want to team up on the sale and offer advice on ways to assist a home sell faster, also come. It is important to remember that there are three people you sell a house to. First is the broker community, second is the buyer community and finally the bank. Unless you can sell to all three parties, you are never going to succeed in selling that house.


Additional Exposure


One of the most essential tasks of a Realtor acting on behalf of a homeowner, is ensuring their client’s home is getting enough exposure.  Open houses can give extra exposure through promotional advertising internet ads and street signs.


Just make sure you understand that an open house is not a magic bullet. Some real estate agents pump up this activity in hopes the seller will say yes to them hosting one. Quite often this sets the real estate agent up for failure when the open house doesn't bring a sale. Additionally, lots of owners will expect agents to continue to do open houses until the home sells.


Actual Browsing


The internet may be the fastest way to find a home, but nothing overcomes walking through a house and seeing it first-hand. Besides, a considerable number of people don’t make appointments until they are really ready to buy a home. They enjoy the benefit of just attending an open house.  If they happen to become serious they can always reach out to an agent.


Convenience


Open houses are often a place where a potential buyer can drop in from the street.  Open houses encourage just about anyone who doesn’t know about buying a home into acquiring one.  The planned open house on a weekend can also be convenient at times for sellers.  They can block off a few hours in the day and ask anyone interested to come at that time.


Cons For an Open House

Low Probability of Sale


A very small percentage of homes sell as a result of open houses. In this case, the real estate agent benefits the most by being exposed to potential clients.  Private viewings of your home have better chances of earning you an offer or interest than open houses.  Open houses are completely unnecessary for a home to sell. 


Real Estate agents on the other hand use open houses as an opportunity to prospect for business. The likelihood of picking up a buyer or seller is the reason why real estate agents hold open houses.  The benefit comes in the form of future business for the agent.


With scheduled showings you have financially vetted buyers coming through your home.  With an open house you have anyone who feels like coming in.  In fact, most of the people coming through the door will not be pre-approved for a mortgage. Your house might not be anywhere close their spending budget!


Security Concerns


Break-ins and vandalism are two things that you are at risk for and can happen after an open house...an unfortunate reality. Their chances of occurrence increases if you are selling a vacant home. Open houses grant criminals the opportunity to explore a home with little to no supervision.


Theft can take place during the open house. When there are multiple parties in a home at the same time, it is impossible for a real estate agent to watch everyone. It's very easy for a criminal to come in and take something of value. 


Nosy Neighbors and Lookie Loos


Open houses are known to attract inquisitive neighbors who basically want to see your house and compare it to their own.  Lookie loos include individuals who visit open houses with no intention of purchasing the home.  They just look!  Coming through a home can kill some time on a Sunday and can be especially appealing if it's a high end home.


Excessive Stress


Considering the housing market these days, first impressions are more critical than ever.  Hosting an open house is just one more thing to drive a seller crazy.  Nevertheless, holding the same open house repeatedly can send out the wrong message, such as there’s something wrong with the house.

Final Thoughts

When thinking about having an open house you really need to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages. Keep in mind that a good real estate agent should sell your home regardless of whether you host one or not. 

We are in the digital age where countless houses are sold every day where the owners have chosen not to have strangers inside. The choice is yours!  

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