4 Myths about Open Houses...they're not just for Nosy Neighbors!
There are a lot of agents out there who don't like open houses. Some sellers aren't too crazy about them either. I'm a big fan, and here's why:
- They're just for nosy neighbors, and I really don't want them looking at my house... Hey, even nosy neighbors have friends. And nosy neighbors like their friends to live in their neighborhood. Letting them take a peek at your fabulous house might be the best bit of free advertising you can imagine. I can't tell you how many people show up at my open houses announcing that they are friends with Neighbor X who suggested that they see the place.
- If someone really wants to see my house, their agent can bring them... A lot of agents are already working on Sundays, holding their own listings open. They can't be in two places at once. An open house provides easy access to their buyers. Would you rather have 20 people look at your house during an open house, or have 20 separate agents call you to schedule a viewing at 20 different times. Most people don't like to stick around when people look at their house. Do you want to scram 20 times? Ugh. Furthermore, a lot of house hunters haven't yet selected an agent. They might not call the agent on the yard sign. An open house is often the only way to get these potential buyers into the property.
- I don't like having all of my stuff on display. What if something gets taken? I can't promise that it won't happen. However, only one agent in my office of 70+ agents has ever reported a theft at an open house. And I've been selling houses for over 10 years with the same firm. That's no excuse for tempting fate. Hide away your jewelery, prescription drugs and valuables. Put away your family photos (or severely cut back on the number you display).
- Only the agent benefits from the open house- it's a good way for them to meet buyers. I won't lie to you. Holding an open house is a great way to meet buyers who aren't working with an agent. It's also a wonderful way to get specific buyer feedback about your home. Additionally, I can answer questions about the house that might not be covered in the brochure (Where's the local park? How far is Metro? How long have the sellers lived in the house?). Most importantly of all... I get a feel for how things are going. Is the price right? Is the extra couch in the family room crowding things? Is the lighting in the bedroom too dim? Does my Spidey sense tell me that we'll be getting an offer on Monday? Let's hope so!
As a listing agent, my loyalty is to my seller and my job is to attract and expose the property to ready, willing and able buyers. Open Houses are an integral part of my marketing strategy.