Despite all the changes technology has made in how houses are bought and sold, one standard feature of the process remains: the open house.
Within the first week of a house going on the market, I will set aside a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to welcome prospective buyers (plus nosy neighbors) to see the house at its best. It varies, but I usually try to hold an open house at least one day on the first 3 weekends after listing the home. Quite often in this market the home sells before the second or third week.
But has the open house gone the way of the internet and outlived its usefulness? It depends whom you ask. Some agents believe modern life has rendered open houses unnecessary, while others believe they are more important than ever.
My opinion is that I feel it’s very important to have them, especially the first few weeks when the home is new on the market. It makes it convenient for buyers to come and see the house without an appointment, it’s a great way to expose the home to people who are driving around, and quite often buyers want to see homes on their own time even if they are working with an agent. While the majority of buyers are looking online for homes and can see photos and videos, they might come to an open to see first hand the neighborhood, nearby schools and commutes.
The “nosy neighbor “coming by…that’s actually a good thing. You just never know who that neighbor might know that is looking for a home, maybe a friend or family member. It also gives the neighbor an opportunity to possibly “choose” their new neighbor if they do know someone.
However, I think a big reason for the open house is for the sellers. They have worked hard to get their home market ready and they almost always expect their agent to showcase the home. Doing an open house is a great way to do so. I enjoy doing them for my sellers for that reason.
For open houses to be effective, they have to be sufficiently advertised, both online and with yard signs at major intersections as well as in front of the house, so people can follow the signs in from the main road. The home should also be well-staged, with both the owners and their personal photos out of sight so the prospective buyers can envision themselves living there.
You want to allow them to dream while they’re in the home!