Open houses are a common way realtors work to get potential buyers in the door to look at your listing. They are so common that most sellers never question if an open house is worthwhile for their listing. At CENTURY 21 Broadhurst, we strive to do what is best for every individual buyer and seller we work with. Part of that commitment means having the integrity to be transparent and honest with our clients. There are both pros and cons to holding an open house - some of which are specific to our tourism-focused area. Let's dig a little deeper into this topic together.
The Cons of Hosting an Open House
Hosting an open house is not always the best strategy for every listing. There are a number of factors to consider - some of which are unique to our area.
- Not every visitor is a potential buyer. When you host an open house, you are opening your doors to everyone - even people who aren't serious potential buyers. For private showings, it's more likely that the potential buyer touring your home has done pre-qualification or pre-approval paperwork with a lender. When the door is open for anyone at an open house, you are more likely to have a bunch of foot traffic from folks who haven't taken even the first steps to become a serious and qualified buyer.
- High number of tourists are likely to visit (depending on the time of year). With an average of about 14 million tourists visiting our area every year, it's possible that much of the foot traffic for your open house could be tourists. Tourists who visit open houses are more likely to be "seeing the sights" and daydreaming about one day having a second home or relocating to the area. Again, these folks are not serious potential buyers.
- Holding several open houses sends the wrong message to potential buyers. If you end up holding several open houses, it can be a signal to potential buyers that something could be wrong with the home that is preventing it from selling. To them, multiple open houses screams "desperation".
- Open houses are targets for potential theft. There are two ways thieves use open houses to their advantage. First, if you are lucky enough to have a busy open house, they can use the opportunity to steal smaller high-value items while there is plenty of distraction - and never get caught. Second, thieves use open houses to look for items of value that would be worth breaking in for when no one is home. Because the home is for sale, they know that showings will follow in the days and weeks to come and provide them with opportunities to break in while the seller isn't home.
The Pros of Hosting an Open House
There are positives to hosting an open house that could be beneficial for your listing.
- An open house creates exposure for your listing. Realtors aim to create as much buzz as possible for open houses by promoting them in the local newspaper, sharing about them on social media and placing yard signs in high traffic areas in the few days before the open house. This exposure could be what catches the interest of the ideal buyer for your home.
- An open house gives a variety of interested parties a chance to view the home beyond a typical buyer. Investors and private mortgage brokers are just two of the many potential interested parties who visit open houses and could assist in the sale of the home who are not the typical buyer.
- Your agent can possibly convert showing requests into planned visits during the open house. If your listing is getting a lot of attention and a high number of showing requests, your agent can try to convert those showing requests to planned visits during your open house. This strategy can get the highest number of qualified potential buyers into your home during a time that is still convenient for you, instead of multiple showings during the week where you'll need to step out to allow potential buyers to go through comfortably.
Your CENTURY 21 Broadhurst agent can explain the potential benefits and drawbacks of hosting an open house that are specific to your listing, allowing you to make the best and most well-informed decision.