Let’s get right to it: Do open houses sell homes?
The short answer is no, not directly. However, the long answer is they do bring a list of other benefits that can potentially contribute to a sale. To clear the water, here are the pros and cons of hosting an open house on your property:
- Create additional reach and exposure
Hosting an open house can act as an additional avenue for exposure. Realistically, the reach of an open house isn’t monumental, it usually just includes the surrounding community and people that were already interested from the MLS listing. Open house signs may draw in a little more traffic from within the community of people that haven’t been searching the MLS. This can be helpful in a slow-moving market as it draws traffic from people that already love the community.
- Bring Out Traffic That Hasn’t Started or Doesn’t know How To Start The Home Buying Process
Your community neighbours are often the first people to come to an open house out of curiosity. This curiosity may drive them to jump into the market when they otherwise hadn’t seriously had it on their mind. In this situation, your open house may attract buyers that wouldn’t have seen your home online because they hadn’t been looking. However, most Realtors agree that once these buyers get qualified they often go on to view more homes.
- Fewer Time Constraints
An open house provides a wider time frame for buyers to view your property, allowing it to fit into more people’s schedules. Sometimes Realtors will book showings within the open house time frame to allow more leeway in arrival time. Additionally, the “threat” of competition as buyers see others viewing the property can sometimes increase interest.
- Open Houses Don’t Directly Sell Homes
Very rarely do open houses result in a direct sale. Often when potential buyers come through an open house they are just browsing out of curiosity. If they have a realtor they almost always have a selection of homes they’re comparing against their top choices, and the open house helps solidify that pick.
- We Can’t Qualify Buyers
Before we take any buyer through a home we prequalify them to make sure we’re looking at homes that they can afford. When you host an open house anybody can come through, that includes people that can’t realistically put an offer on your home.
- Security Fears
Sometimes our home sellers directly ask not to have any open houses because they’re not comfortable with the idea of strangers walking through the house. The listing realtor stays in your property throughout the duration of the open house, however, some sellers are uncomfortable with strangers seeing the belongings in their home for security reasons.
Depending on the type of market, an open house may be worth the time. In a market where homes are typically sitting for a longer duration, an open house upon listing can help bring out traffic that may otherwise not have seen your property. It may also create a bit more buzz in the community about your listing which could help foster a future sale.
In a market where homes are selling quicker, an open house may make less sense as the traffic is not pre-qualified. You might be better off simply accepting as many showings with realtors who have serious, screened clients.
Ultimately, the choice should be discussed with your Realtor to weigh the pros and cons specific to your property and the market conditions.
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