I sometimes work with sellers who want me to hold open houses.
I have learned, over many years, that open houses can be good (for the listing agent).
The dirty little secret of open houses is that they make a seller feel good, but they amount to a listing agent using the seller’s home as “bait” to attract other potential clients.
Open house visitors can be potential buyers who have yet to connect with a buyer’s agent, or neighbors who are thinking about selling and trying to figure out what their home is worth.
Sometimes, open house visitors are nosy neighbors eager to compare the seller’s home to theirs and see how they live.
And, there are the open house visitors who watch too much HGTV and are looking for decorating ideas on a Sunday afternoon.
Some agents even mail open house invitations to a seller’s entire subdivision, hoping to meet potential sellers and secure future listings.
Potential buyers who visit open houses are usually in the early stages of the buying process.
They often haven’t signed a buyer representation agreement with a buyer’s agent, haven’t obtained financing approval, and may even have a home to sell before they can buy.
In other words, they aren’t real buyers and may never become real buyers.
They’re lookers, not buyers.
Open houses can be effective in a new home subdivision with several homes for sale, but they are seldom effective with resale homes.
The bottom line?
Open houses account for a tiny fraction of all resale home sales.
Real buyers are already working with a buyer’s agent and not driving all over town on their own.
The real winner with an open house is the agent holding the open house.