Are Open Houses Still King?

Open houses can act as a door opener for generating new leads. It gives the opportunity to showcase the property and network closely with potential buyers, among other benefits. Although some argue that open houses are a waste of time, only you can make that decision. Here’s a breakdown on whether an open house is essential for your listing and your business.

On the Upside

Positive aspects of open houses are that, nationwide, homes that had an open house sold for more than $9,000 more and spent fewer days on the market than homes that had no open house. This comes from a recent study of open houses in major metro areas by Redfin. For example, homes for sale in Miami that featured an open house within the first week of listing sold 11 days sooner than those without an open house. One caveat to keep in mind is that these successes in open houses may stem more from the appeal of the home itself and the marketing associated with it rather than the sole event.

Not So Fast

Still, the data might not tell the whole story. First of all, it’s a small dataset: In 2018, only 24 percent of listings nationally featured an open house within the first week. Also, in some markets open houses are associated with more days on the market rather than less. Examples of such markets include New Orleans and Nashville, where homes featuring an open house spend eight more days on the market. Although this does not apply to all areas, it is something to watch if you’re selling in those areas and are thinking of conducting open houses. But in the end, days on market is more a factor of the appeal of the property, state of the local market and the price of the home.

Do’s and Don’ts

Orchestrating an open houses takes various steps, all with an ultimate goal of finding a buyer for the listing. However, secondary purposes for the open house may arise that get in the way of the original purpose. Some agents host open houses to market themselves and make the event more of a social one, where the focus is taken away from the house and put onto the agent. That is a path to avoid; focusing on the aspects of the house and giving valuable information to these prospects will make you come off as a trustworthy and knowledgeable agent.

According to the study from Redfin, timing is key. Try to conduct an open house within the first week of listing. The first week a home is listed is crucial, as you can capitalize on the freshness or “just listed” aspect of the property.

Decide with Your Seller

In all, open houses can be a useful tool when done correctly. Whether or not to conduct an open house is a call that you and the seller make together, and in that conversation, mentioning both the benefits and possible drawbacks is key. For more best practices when it comes to open houses, check out our AgentEDU course “Open Houses.” You can start with a seven-day free trial and gain access to the full “Open Houses” course today.


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