After being in the business for nearly 10 years, I’ve held my share of open houses and have come to the conclusion that Open Houses are stupid. I have seen such a dramatic shift in the amount of information available to today’s consumer that I question the reason that open houses continue to exist.
One of the primary reasons they occur is because the seller asks for it. Sellers watch enough HGTV to believe that Open Houses are super important to the “unveiling of their home” and that it would be silly not to have one since they generate so many potential buyers.
The second reason that Open Houses occur is so the agent can generate new buyer clients. New agents need to create business 24/7 and Open Houses are a great opportunity to meet non-represented buyers who are new to the market. Although these Open Houses are supposed to be focused on selling the home, most agents' strategy is to focus on “picking up the buyer” instead.
I’ve held hundreds of Open Houses and have never sold a home due to one of these events. Let me now share a list of reasons why Open Houses are Stupid.
- Most people looking at Open Houses are neighbors and looky-loos who have no real intention of buying the home. They just have a weird fascination with seeing how people live, especially those they know.
- When I first started in the business in 2006, we were allowed 6 pictures in the MLS. Now, we are allowed 25+ pictures which allows buyers to get a pretty good understanding of the condition, layout and amenities of the home. With the addition of 3D tours and floorpans, buyers should only need to tour a home to check for surrounding noise or to see if it smells.
- I (or someone from my team) can be available anytime that a serious buyer wants to schedule a time to tour one of my listings. Those buyers who call to schedule an appointment to see the home are far more likely to actually purchase it than someone who randomly stops by after church because they saw the directional sign.
- Theft and other criminal activity is on the rise. Stories are popping up left and right about strangers entering a home and stealing prescription medication, jewelry or simply scouting the home for an old fashioned burglary. Sitting alone in a home and inviting strangers inside is not safe. Especially if you have attractive pictures of yourself on the yard sign out front.
- Football and Final Rounds of a Golf Tournament occur on Sunday afternoon. This is a direct conflict with Open Houses.
- Sellers are forced to clean up their home and leave for an afternoon, potentially missing football games and final rounds of a Golf Tournament as well.
- Agents feel obligated to buy balloons directly contributing to the shortage of helium on this planet. Seriously, this is a real threat. http://www.geek.com/science/geek-answers-why-are-we-running-out-of-helium-1589334/
Although there have been some success stories that come from holding an Open House, I see it making less and less sense every year. Agree/Disagree and know any other reasons why Open Houses are stupid? Let me know below.
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