Hosting an open house has long been an effective sales strategy in real estate. But since the advent of the Internet and the concomitant fact that many buyers do their shopping solely online, open houses have lost some of their marketing viability. Still, some sellers and agents swear that open houses are critical for selling. Others, however, say they don’t have much value anymore. So which is it? Let’s dig in and take a look at the pros and cons of hosting an open house for your Seattle area property.
Open House Pros
There are some definite pros and advantages to hosting an open house for your Seattle area property, such as . . .
Open to More Than Buyers
“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.”
Yes, online marketing is the most important today, and traditional marketing methods still work, but it never hurts to have even more marketing exposure – and that’s just what an open house can do for you. “Open houses can give extra exposure through promotional advertising like newspaper ads, Internet ads, and street signs.”
“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.”
Convenience Potential Buyers and Sellers
One big pro of an open house is that it is convenient for both potential buyers and sellers. “Open houses are often a place where a potential buyer can drop in from the street. . . . 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.”
Open House Cons
There are also definite cons and disadvantages to an open house, such as . . .
Low Probability of a Sale
“Truthfully, 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. . . . 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 to their spending budget!”
Open houses also present security issues that sellers should be concerned about. Some putative “buyers” may just be there to case your house in order to come back later and steal, and some may steal valuables while they are there.
“Break-ins and vandalism are two things that are most likely to happen after an open house and which are an unfortunate reality. Their chances of occurrence increase if you are selling a vacant home. Open houses grant criminals the opportunity to explore a home with little to no supervision, giving them time to plan their crimes.
“Believe it or not most of the theft that takes place is 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. It’s nearly impossible when this happens for the person to be caught.”
Curious Neighbors and Tire Kickers
The unfortunate truth about an open house is that most of the attendees won’t be anywhere close to serious buyers, mostly just curious neighbors and mere tire kickers.
“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.” And both are common and numerous.
Finally, an open house often causes more stress than it is worth. It’s not easy to have all those strangers traipsing through your home, especially when you consider the definite safety and theft concerns.
A Seattle Agent Can Help You Decide About an Open House
So is it worth it to host an open house? The short answer is . . . it depends. Much of it depends on what sales strategies are effective and viable in the local market. That’s why it’s so critical to have an experienced Seattle agent in your corner – an agent who will know whether an open house is worth it in your market. If you’re considering hosting an open house for your Seattle area property, contact us today at (206) 465-7215.