Like many other aspects of real estate, there are different opinions on how useful an open house is in the sale of your home. My personal experience and my knowledge from other Twin Cities real estate agents is that while it certainly won’t hurt your chances of a sale, it’s unlikely to produce a buyer for your home. You may be thinking,“Why do I see so many open houses every weekend?” Good question! Here’s why agents like to hold your home open:
What’s in it for the agent?
It helps to build the agent’s business and increases their visibility. The agent advertises your open house and puts out signs; sometimes they even flyer the neighborhood in advance to invite the neighbors. Great advertising for the agent! The agent can also talk to potential buyers who, while not interested in your home or even ready to buy a home, may work with the agent in the future. The agent also has access to neighbors who stop by to see if they may be interested in selling their home.
It makes the seller happy. Your house is not selling and you want your agent to “do something.” Your agent obliges by having an open house. What’s wrong with your agent getting some benefit from holding your house open? Nothing! But, your primary concern is selling your home, not your agent.
What’s wrong with your agent getting some benefit from holding your house open? Nothing! But your primary concern is selling your home, not giving benefits to your agent.
Who goes to an open house?
Most buyers who are seriously shopping for a home have seen your home already or have plans for a private showing. Serious buyers usually have a timeframe and can’t waste their time doing an open house tour. The people who go to open houses are:
Neighbors. They have always been interested in what’s inside and want to see how your home compares to theirs. (They think theirs is better, of course!)
Lookie Loos. I personally know people who do this as a form of Sunday afternoon entertainment.
Passersby. These are people who might be driving or walking by the home and notice the open house sign.
Future home buyers. Many future buyers start by touring open houses to figure out which neighborhoods they might prefer and what kind of house they might want to buy. It gives them good ideas for when they are ready (which is not now). So, unless you’re planning on having your home for sale for a long time, these aren’t your buyers.
Criminals. What better way to case a home than to attend an open house and examine the goods you might want to come back for later.
In conclusion, as you can see, I don’t give much credit to an open house as a tool for selling your home. If you ask me to do an open house, I will do my best to attract a potential buyer for you as well as buyers and sellers for myself.