House for sale with open house sign

Are you trying to sell your house? Are you thinking about how to manage showings during the busy holiday season? Does your realtor believe you should hold an open house?

The practice of holding an open house may appeal to you as a seller, or you may think it doesn't make any sense to hold one in the digital age. Even in 2018, there are benefits to an open house. And yes, there are drawbacks as well.

The following list should give you a good starting point as you think through the idea. Be sure to talk through it with your realtor as well. He or she may have some good points to add either for or against the idea.

Feel free to question the realtor who wants to push an open house on you when you would rather not. It can be an excellent opportunity for a realtor to hand out business cards and meet potential clients.

However, any good agent knows that has to be secondary to your needs as the homeowner. Here is what your realtor should already be doing for you:

  • Lending his or her local competitive presence to the sale of your home.
  • Providing excellent photography and a vivid description of your home, and being willing to go above and beyond with other advertising measures.
  • Showing willingness to communicate with you quickly and consistently.
  • Exhibiting honesty and trustworthiness and, above all, treating you the same way every other client is treated.

Drawbacks of Holding an Open House

Open Houses Don't Sell Homes

One of the main drawbacks you will hear about is that it isn't necessary to hold an open house to sell your home. This is true in the sense that interested buyers will schedule a private viewing to see your house.

They won't rely on an open house to view your home. Some studies indicate that only 7% of sales come from open houses. It's no longer the most popular way to spread the word.

Open Houses Mostly Attract Looky-Loos

Another potential criticism from a seller's perspective is that only nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers will be coming to walk through your home and see how you live.

The majority of lookers won't be there to consider buying your house seriously.

Seller Competition

Open houses, by their nature, give anyone the opportunity to see what you are doing. So you may get neighbors stopping by with other ideas in mind: namely trying to see what they are up against if they decide to sell their home too.

While this shouldn't be a big problem for your agent, it can be unnerving to know this might happen.

Potential for Theft

Yes, one of the nasty surprises that can come from an open house is someone walking away with a valuable item. If your realtor knows what he or she is doing, they are going to recommend you have insurance. In addition, he or she will recommend that you put any valuables you might have into storage before you even list the house.

However, if your open house gets slammed, your realtor won't have a chance to keep an eye on every couple or family all at once.

Benefits of Open Houses

There are still benefits to holding an open house. If your realtor thinks it's a good idea to hold one, hear them out. You might get more benefit from it than you think.

Open Houses Are Free

You can't go wrong with free advertising. And even though many Americans look at homes from the comfort of their couches first, many of them do still take the time to go to open houses.

It's also an opportunity for you to get many people in the door with a clean house. Private viewings are great, but you have to clean every time.

Social Networking Opportunities

Your savvy realtor will know that just because you're attracting looky-loos doesn't mean that's worthless. If your house is clean and appealing, the people who visit it are going to be talking about it to their friends and social networks.

You never know who will recommend your house to someone else. Free, word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.

Your Realtor is Working for You All Day

Real estate agents are usually very busy. However, when they are at an open house, they are focused on the sale of your home for that day. If you stay for your own open house, you get even more of his time and attention to ask questions and clarify your strategy with him.

Bringing it Home

Ultimately, you decide to hold an open house. Don't get bowled over by a pushy realtor, but don't discount what he or she says, either. Seeing a home in person is always the best way to see it, and real social networks do sell houses.

If you are interested in putting your house on the market, please give us a call. We will be happy to help!

248-348-7200