Open Houses: No Middle Ground You either love ‘em or hate ‘em

Do open houses work in selling your property?  Ask ten sellers or brokers and you’ll get two answers: yes and no.  According to a recent article in The Residential Specialist, the trade magazine for Certified Residential Specialists, there is no middle ground between positions on open houses.open house graphic
And the “no’s” will probably out number the “yes’s” by two to one.
Brokers who are convinced that open houses work tend to be early in their careers and open houses are their primary source of business.  It’s an opportunity to network with the neighbors, meet buyers who are looking for something else, and generally build their name recognition in the market.  It’s another tool and helps jump start the new broker’s career.
More experienced brokers tend to have other sources of business that they have developed over the years.  Web sites, newsletters, postcards, and referrals from past customers and other brokers all generate more likely buyers and sellers.   These sources of business are not quickly developed and take time and long-term commitment to a career.  That’s why experienced brokers sell more and spend their time more profitably than meeting the public one at a time.
Owners have the same divided opinion of open house effectiveness.  Some have anecdotal evidence from friends, relatives or maybe their own experience when an open house resulted in a sale. They want open houses early and often.
Most owners really resist having large numbers of the general public, who may or may not be buyers, troop through the house opening the closets and medicine cabinets.  Besides the upset to the household, there’s a security concern for their possessions as well.
There is no right answer to this question.  Open houses have their uses and benefits.  They can’t hurt.
But is spending six hours in one house really the best use of a broker’s time who could be out working with qualified buyers, talking with new sellers, developing content for web sites and advertising, or even going to closings?
Experienced brokers understand the value of their time and money and need to get a return on the investment in each.
And that benefits the seller as well.

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