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Should You Have an Open House? The Debate Continues…

Time and technology have drastically shifted the way we do business and the real estate industry is no exception. Brenda, my mother’s best friend, was looking to sell her home in Boston, my hometown. She was appalled when her agent told her that she didn’t need to have an Open House!

She called me, convinced that they weren’t serious in helping her sell her house. “Don’t people have open houses in D.C.?” she inquired, wondering if her New England agent had just gone under the weather! I laughed and gave her both sides of the debate. It really ends up being a case-by-case deal, but here’s something to help you weigh your odds:

Why Hold an Open House?

Many like Brenda expect an Open House for their home sale. But according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, nine out of 10 buyers today look for houses on the Internet. People have less time to spend. New technology that allows 360 degree virtual tours make it almost as good as being there.

On the other hand, a virtual tour is a virtual tour is a virtual tour! Slideshows can show a buyer your house, but it misses that personal touch. They can’t feel, smell or experience your house. It’s like buying a car! People won’t just give a down payment on a car without test-driving it! If people have seen pictures of your home online, they are more likely to elevate their interest to the next level. Don’t believe me? Ask NAR. Their survey also suggests that a large percent of buyers definitely go back to Open Houses as a source of information for their home purchase.

Who will an Open House Benefit?

A survey conducted by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University hinted that the people who actually benefit from Open Houses are usually the agents – it’s a place for them to build on their clientele! How come? Home buyers who come to Open Houses are more likely to ask the agent to show them more houses in a similar price range, similar layout or in the same neighborhood.

The other side of the story suggests that an Open House could in fact help you seal the deal. There are home buyers who are curious to explore all available houses in a certain area, and might not ask their agent to accompany them to every house. Open Houses definitely benefit the seller in such cases.

What other Concerns should you Consider?

Sometimes agents might refrain from holding an Open House if they have a solid marketing strategy in place. It’s an added cost, it eats into their weekends and it could be a waste of time – especially when people visiting the house are not even serious about buying one right now!

Then again there are concerns about safety and security. Who are you inviting into your home? Is it a potential home buyer, or just someone who’s trying to swipe the knickknacks off your mantelpiece?

Explore your options well. If you’ve done aggressive marketing for your home and have still not found any buyers at your doorstep, maybe it is time to have an Open House. You could also reach out to agents at Express Homebuyers who will do the selling for you, with or without an Open House!
Just call us today at [dynamic_phone] or visit our website to get started with selling your home today!

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