Open Houses: To Have Them Or Not?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with 2M Realty

Real estate professionals are continually weighing the pros and cons of various marketing practices that are used to facilitate the sale of a property. More recently, the traditional practice of an open house is being tossed about as outdated or ineffective and other, more convenient, practices such as virtual tours and online meetings seem to be the argued replacement.

In a recently published article in Realtor Magazine, the value of an open house is examined, especially given that the search for commercial properties and residential homes often begins online for a variety of buyers.  Giving a classic frame for the debate, Realtor states:
 

"Some practitioners dismiss the open house, saying it's an outdated custom that's carried on mainly to placate home sellers. Other real estate pros remain devoted to the method. Their track records show that open houses can, and often do, get the property sold... Even when a Sunday afternoon buyer doesn't emerge, the open house serves as a prospecting opportunity, a way to fill their pipeline with future business."

Though it's a common misconception that open houses are merely meet-and-greets that consume a couple of hours at a time, the planning, marketing and follow-up conducted by the realtor is what really cinches the sale.  In most cases, the more work you put into an open house, the more you get out of it: You may not walk away from a particularly lively open house with immediate offers, especially in this economy, but selling homes by holding open houses is a practice that's no longer outdated and frequently proven to be a beneficial commitment.

Rather than relying on listings, periodical clippings and other traditional outlets to get the word out about your open house, brokers are taking advantage of the instant, wide-reaching benefits provided by social media in order to promote their showings.  Realtor Magazine provides the names of numerous listings services and websites such as Trulia and Zillow as online resources, and they continue on to outline the benefits of promoting open houses in cyberspace by sharing stories of those who are selling homes on their own without the help of a professional.  Either way, this article is a compelling read and makes a solid case for the preservation of the open house with the incorporation of online marketing trends and their affect on real estate market analysis.

Posted by

________________

Mark W. Martin is President of 2M Realty. He is active in real estate sales and develops land in the Houston real estate market. To view real estate listings in the Greater Houston market, please see our Houston MLS and Houston Homes for Sale pages.

2M Realty has simple goals in mind: Simplify the real estate process, reduce stress for Buyers and Sellers, earn client trust, and keep client trust. These simple but lofty goals are backed by over 20-years experience as a Texas real estate broker and Houston Realtor.

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Rainer
69,907
David North
Coldwell Banker Bain - Duvall, WA
for a rewarding real estate experience

I am still a big fan of open houses for a lot of reasons, but much depends upon how they are promoted and conducted, and where they are.  This isn't a cookie cutter science.  It has a lot of variables.

May 05, 2010 01:24 AM #1
Rainer
42,973
Lisa Walston
Atlas Property Group and Abbey Church Properties - Greenwood, IN

I also believe in Open Houses. Yes, it placates sellers. Yes, it provides a referral source. Hopefully it results in a sale. I think we should explore every avenue and every marketing opportunity and every possible source to garner a sale for our client.

May 05, 2010 01:57 AM #2
Rainmaker
725,794
Elite Home Sales Team
Keller Williams Realty - San Clemente, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Open houses have not been my best way to get business.  However, we have a new buyers agent that is great at them.

May 05, 2010 01:57 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,142,331
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

open house events happen every weekend at our new construction communities.....resale homes have them on the first weekend of the listing being exposed to the open market.....they bring us business and we have a second staff for help....this group does open house coverage when we are bombarded....their function is to hold the home open and make sure everyone signs in.

May 05, 2010 04:32 AM #4
Rainer
405,935
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Never have been a big fan of open houses. I am planning on attempting a Realtor open house soon to see if that flies any better than the traditional open houses.

May 05, 2010 05:26 AM #5
Rainer
85,644
Derek Myers
Century 21 - Pittsburgh, PA

I wouldn't know what to do on Sunday afternoon without doing an open house.  The do work both by selling the property and marketing yourself.  Big fan of the open house. 

May 09, 2010 04:37 PM #6
Rainer
133,797
Gretchen Karr
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Lancaster, PA
Realtor

I think open houses are hands down a must in this business. It's a win win situation. The seller appreciates having the open house and it gets traffic through their home. Attendees are interested in buying a home to some degree....who is going to turn down new potential clients?

May 12, 2010 10:34 AM #7
Rainmaker
39,088
Troy George
Colleyville, Texas Real Estate Expert - Synergy Realty - Colleyville, TX
Real Estate Broker - Colleyville/Southlake - (817-410-8769)

Open Houses really helped build our business in the beginning. Our buyers agents have good success with them in our DFW market.

Aug 19, 2010 11:32 AM #8
Rainer
7,575
Scott Comey
RE/MAX Elite - Everett, WA

I have had luck with open houses personally.  I believe that the national open house statistic is so low, ONLY because so many agents don't believe in doing them.  If all agents did opns, then more homes would sell through doing them, and the statistic would go up.

Either way, my clients are soooooo happy i do them, and i continue to do more deals because of them.

Aug 25, 2010 08:55 PM #9
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Rainer
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Mark Martin

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