When it’s time to sell your home, you and your realtor will use a number of different marketing tactics to attract buyers and increase the chances of selling. Alongside techniques like virtual tours and the use of social media to promote the property, open houses are still a common practice. However, there are different opinions as to whether an open house is an essential piece of the home selling puzzle—and whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
Positive: Attracting New Buyers
An open house is a great way to attract those who are interested in buying a home, but don’t know how to start. These potential buyers may not have a realtor or know how to set up a showing, but seeing an open house may peak their interest. They can connect with your realtor to learn more about the process, possibly leading to a sale.
Negative: Attracting Casual Visitors
Just as an open house will attract serious buyers, each time there will be visitors who fall under the “nosy neighbor” category. Maybe someone across the street has always admired your home and wants to see the inside, or passersby are stopping in just for something to do. These visitors may not necessarily be harmful, but if this is the only interest you get, it can feel like holding an open house was a waste of time. Visitors can also include unqualified buyers, who may be interested in the property but are not able to afford it.
If you’re still living in the home, you have to go the extra mile to prepare for your house to be shown, constantly focused on keeping things neat and tidy. Hosting an open house can be a great way to limit the number of individual showings your house may get while on the market. Rather than arranging for four or five private showings, you can prep your home once to receive multiple visitors.
Having multiple people walk through your home is an opportunity for damage to occur. This can be as minor as having dirt tracked throughout, or as major as having personal property stolen. It’s also possible that someone who walks through may be “casing” the home for a future theft.
Positive: Low-pressure environment
Because an open house is a more casual affair, visitors are able to check out the home at a leisurely pace without feeling added pressure from a realtor
Negative: Low Sale Percentage
While there is no reliable statistic for the number of home sales that come about directly from open houses, the 2014 National Association of Realtors stated that nine percent of buyers found their home from a yard sign or open house. If we limit that to just include open houses, very few homes are sold directly because of open houses.
Positive: True Feeling and Live Feedback
Virtual tours give potential buyers a visual of most angles of a home, but only by physically walking through the space is it possible to get a true sense of what the home feels like. A serious home buyer is going to want to see the house in person. It’s also great to get live feedback from multiple sources, even those who aren’t serious buyers, about the positives and negatives of the home.
The most important thing an open house is going to do is to give your home added exposure, which is imperative when selling. The more people who know about your property, the more likely it will sell. Ultimately, it is up to you as the homeowner to decide whether or not to make an open house a part of your selling plan.