When you're selling your own home, does it make sense to go through the trouble of holding an open house? Will doing so help you connect with lots of interested buyers? Are there other benefits or drawbacks that you hadn't already considered? Keep reading to find out.While open houses are a great way to attract a lot of people to your home, you'll find most of the foot traffic consists of curious neighbors and future buyers who haven't prequalified for a loan and aren't ready to buy.
If that's true, why do agents hold open houses?
Open houses present a great opportunity for agents to scout for clients looking to buy a home or to meet the neighbors for possible future listings. Agents can connect with potential buyers at your open house and can work to turn them into future clients by handing out business cards and capturing open house visitor information.
Serious buyers schedule appointments:
Open houses may have helped with market exposure in the past, but today, buyers have immediate access to photos and virtual tours right from their phone. When someone wants to visit in person, it's usually because they've already done their research and your home has made their short list of homes to see. These more serious buyers will typically schedule a showing so they can view the home when it's convenient for them.
A possible exception:
Open houses can be convenient for a seller in a "seller's market" where multiple offers are common, such as the Bay Area. A seller's market occurs when there are few houses in your area that are for sale, and the demand for those properties is high. In that case, open houses can be used to funnel a large number of serious buyers through your home at a single time. In most markets where open houses are used this way, offers are viewed at once, often two days after the second open house.
If your area is experiencing such a seller's market, then it may be more convenient for you to have an open house than to do a bunch of showings by appointment. If you do decide to go that route, read this open house checklist, which covers the essentials you need to know.