By: Marcel Gladu

Are Open Houses Truly Effective?

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I often get requests from sellers to conduct an Open House on their property. I’ll be brutally honest and admit that I don’t like doing Open Houses and here’s why….

If a buyer is truly interested in a specific property, they are likely going to contact their agent or the listing agent and request a personal tour of the property. With technology (internet, cell phones, Ipads, etc…) the world is at our finger tips. Buyers have access to all the listings out there. In the past (pre-internet) buyers would sift through real estate magazines or drive around to find properties for sale. An Open House would then be an effective means, however with everything accessible via the internet, buyers aren’t stopping by at Open Houses.

In addition an Open House is an invitation to allow any random person to go into your property. Often times we have no clue who they are. Although we request they sign in, are they being truthful? Who’s to say that the random stranger isn’t scoping your property for any valuables. Most often visitors at an Open House are your neighbors who are curious to see the inside of your home or perhaps are looking for decorating ideas/paint colors.

Now with the introduction of Mega Open Houses, sellers must be careful for any potential litigation. Imagine your realtor inviting over 50 friends/acquaintances and serving alcohol, refreshments in your home all to maximize your exposure. Who are these people attending these homes? Random strangers looking for something to do on a cloudy or rainy Sunday afternoon? I’d be cautious as a seller allowing that many people on my property.

Some agents live and swear by Open Houses. Likely because they are trying to maximize their exposure (not so much your property) in a means to get buyers or simply more listings.
Having been in the business for 13 years and having conducted far too many Open Houses, I can honestly say that I’ve yet to have someone come in and write an offer at the table. So I ask again… Are Open Houses truly effective?

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