Open house events are a time-honored, traditional way REALTORS® have marketed homes for sale. The problem with them is that the Internet has made open houses obsolete as a tool to finding interested, qualified buyers. Still, some agents persist. We discourage them
for three very good reasons:
Open houses put the seller's house at risk.
The seller's agent typically sits by the front door to greet attendees. Visitors are encouraged to explore the house on their own, as the agent waits for the next viewers. This leaves the seller's house at risk of petty theft, a subsequent burglary, and even computer fraud if the owner happens to leave passwords or security information taped to their monitor or in a notebook somewhere. Open houses are also risky for the sellers agent. We regularly see situations where agents are assaulted or threatened by strangers while they sit in an otherwise empty house.
Most open house attendees aren't ready to buy.
Serious buyers have gone to a lender, have professional representation and will make an appointment for a private showing. Open house visitors are just starting their search so they may not be in a position to buy a house in time frame that meets the seller's needs. Serious buyers are pre-qualified and will schedule an appointment when the time is right for them (not necessarily on Sunday between 1 and 3 p.m.).
Very few open houses generate a sale.
The percentage of homes that actually sell as a result of an open house is less than 2-3%. All sorts of non-buyers attend open houses, ranging from curious neighbors to people out for a Sunday drive, and even other agents looking for comparable listings or researching neighborhoods. A good seller's agent would prefer showing a property to people who have been vetted by a Realtor who accessed the lockbox, so the sellers agent has actual contact info to follow up with.
So why do some sellers agents still hold open houses?
Realtors who favor open houses know that the best reason to have them is as a way to find what open houses provide most: early-stage or first-time buyer leads.
Global Property Systems says:
Open house showings rarely benefit the seller or sell the house, and they often increase seller risk by allowing multiple unaccompanied buyers in the home at a time. Instead of open houses, contact Global Property Systems
and let our team market your home to buyers from around the world.