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Why Open Houses Aren't Always a Waste of Time?

Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty
by Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty on February 13, 2017 at 9:15 PM

Many seller's insist that their real estate agent hold an open house as part of their marketing plan for selling their home. It may be a good idea for some seller's, but a campaign focused primarily on an open house may limit exposure that could help you sell your home.

In this post, I'll share my thoughts about open houses and how they can benefit the sale of your home if planned properly.

Open houses work!?

Recently, I discussed the concept of open houses with a local home builder. An example was given about the builder building a new home in a community that was newly developing. The home was located towards the entrance of the sub-divison. At the same time, another 6 homes were being constructed throughout the sub-division. During the weekend, the builder worked on the home and opened it to the public.

Curious about new construction homes, people driving by would come in and ask questions. Now, the builder had a prospective buyer for the home he was building or a client that may want a home built.

In this example, the builder benefited from opening his home. New construction homes are attractive to many buyer's. Many like the "New" factor. But, if you're not in the right location or new construction, you could have fewer visitors.

Sometimes, homes are not well positioned for an open house. You'll probably have a better chance of your neighbors stopping by, comparing your home to their home. If you're home is not it the right location for walk in traffic, or in an area that's in demand, you may want to focus your marketing with other sources.

Thinking of selling your home in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Salisbury, and surrounding communities? Let's discuss selling your home and an open house.


Open houses are better used as part of a larger campaign

If you're just putting a sign in the yard with the words "Open House" on it, you may not be getting maximum exposure for your home. Open houses needs to be promoted, but promoting your home requires the right sources.

The 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reported that only 8% of buyer's found the home they purchased from a Yard/Open House Sign, while 51% found it online, and 34% through their real estate agent.

Let's look at a hypothetical situation! 

If 1,000 properties sold, based on NAR's data in your market, that would mean:

  • 80 buyer's purchased from a open house (8%)

  • 510 buyer's purchased after finding a home for sale online (51%)

  • 340 buyer's purchased a home their real estate agent showed them (34%)

The chances you'll sell your home at an open house are slim. It doesn't mean you should necessarily give up on the idea.

To give your open house a boost, promote it online. While that seems simple enough, it's not. Just because your home is advertised online doesn't mean your going to get someone to walk into your home. Additional promotional tools are needed. Maybe you feel advertising in a newspaper is a helpful resource, but only 1% of buyer's find the home they purchased in a newspaper reports the National Association of REALTORS®.

Bright photos and videos make a great promotional tool. Getting the word out about your property is what social media can do for your listing. While at a open house, you can share a live video about the property. You can even give viewers a visual walk through. Your property can also be advertised on top real estate websites.


Realistic expectations

When considering an open house campaign, you need to be realistic about setting expectations. Sometimes your marketing budget is better spent in a variety of other resources. Your location may not be best for an open house or it may be better during particular days or months in the year. 

As an alternative, a "Broker Open" may be a more efficient method for gauging buyer interest. If 34% of home buyer's find their home using a real estate agent, why not invite local agents and brokers to an event just for them.

At a broker open, your agent can converse with other agents about:

  • Opinion of the listing price

  • Pro's and Con's about your home 

  • Do they have any buyer prospects?

Feedback gathered from a broker open can be valuable and can help you alter your marketing plan.

I don't believe open houses are a bad idea. I believe they need to be used with the right marketing idea. They're helpful, fun to promote, and can be a great way to show off your home.


Thinking of Selling Your Home?

Let's discuss the details of an open house for your home!

When you contact me, I won't tell you "They're a huge waste of time", or "I just don't do them". I'll give you a clear understanding about the benefits, and if it makes sense to hold one for your unique home.

Let's Discuss an Open House!


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Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty
Michael brings a diverse background of mortgage, loan servicing and housing experience. Michael offers his clients a variety of helpful resources, guides and services that helps make buying and selling coastal real estate in the Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Coastal Delaware markets. Michael has over 11 years industry experience and invests and manages vacation rental properties in the Ocean City, MD area through Nolen Invest and Nolen Vacation Rentals.
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