In the Age of Internet, are Open Houses a Thing of the Past?
When real estate professionals were asked whether they thought holding an open house was still a relevant want to market home, support for them ran 3-1. Nations Lending branch managers also know that popular opinion among real estate pros on the internet is against them, with very little data available pointing to the impact an open house has on the actual sale.
So Nations Lending thought it would put together a basic list of some pros and cons associated with open houses that our originators can give to their agents.
The open house creates a chance to meet potential clients by becoming the real estate person’s “store front” whether it is the neighbor or a future buyer. It generates activity around the sale, providing sellers with a sense that their home is being actively marketed. Our Advisors know that it gives potential buyers a sense of the marketplace, the neighborhood, and what they get for their money. And in a seller’s market, advertising an open house early in the week with the caveat that the house will only be shown at that specific date and time, with all offers due the following Monday by 5 pm. can create excitement, generate multiple offers and in some cases, bid up the price. (We see this with some frequency in the local markets that Nations Lending serves).
On the flip side, however, few can identify the correlation between the sale of a home and whether or not there was an open house. Serious qualified buyers are probably doing their research online, working through MLS or with a broker, not driving around to open houses.
The internet, via pictures and video, provides another window into the home without needing to visit until the potential buyers are ready to schedule a viewing with an agent. And open house present security and liability issues-always a concern when inviting people into someone’s home to walk around at will.
Our guess is that open houses will be with us for a while. For the same reasons that people enjoy going to concerts rather than listening to You Tube, going to a lecture rather than just reading the material, or test driving a car rather than buying it over the internet.