There has been continued debate on this hot real estate topic. Sellers will sometimes insist on multiple open houses and others will refuse to consider them. Some Realtors will say they are a waste of time, others feel they are a critical part of the marketing plan. Open houses have their pros and cons, and your decision to have one depends on the tradeoffs you are willing to make.
There are two types of buyers that attend open houses: those qualified, and those NOT qualified, to buy your property.
The unqualified buyers include nosy neighbors, curious onlookers, and prospective buyers just beginning the home buying process. Since these kinds of buyers don’t typically lead to sales, it can be convenient to weed out these uninterested candidates in one go…preparing your home for a two hour window on a specific day, rather than for each individual showing. Yes, your neighbors will show up…and while they might not be in the market, they may know someone who is.
Motivated and qualified buyers are often working with agents, and agents are often working with multiple buyers. These agents often use the Open House as a convenience for their buyers by encouraging them to preview the home. That becomes a great opportunity for the sellers, because their agent will know their home better than anyone else, and can present it in the best possible light, addressing perceived limitations and helping a buyer focus on the most positive aspects of the property. Other qualified buyers simply prefer to home shop themselves, enjoying the more relaxed tour of the home and having an opportunity to ask questions directly to the listing agent.
Timing is everything and if you list the home online and hold an open house almost immediately, you can create excitement and demand through a busy open house. Homes in the “first time homebuyer” category usually enjoy strong open house turn out. They also say location is everything, and if your home is in a walkable community with good exposure, you can also anticipate visits from buyers.
The 2018 National Association of Realtors report on home buyers indicated that 3% of buyers found their home through an Open house. This statistic might make one conclude that an Open house is not worth it..but let’s look at it a little differently. As of this writing, there are 93 homes for sale in Solebury Township PA and 37 in Lambertville NJ. That means that statistically, three or four of those homes will find its buyer through an open house. Your real estate advisor should work with you to decide if this marketing tool would benefit your home.
If you are considering selling, and would like to further the conversation, please reach out to Kim Ward Bacso, at either our New Hope, Lambertville or Flemington locations. Or, dial direct to her cel, 908-616-2767.