Yes... I am talking about the waste of time that thousands of agents continue to participate in week after week on Sundays....THE PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE.
Nationally less the 1% of homes sell from a public open house. Serious buyers are most often looking at homes with Realtors. So who goes to open houses and why do agents continue to do them? There are a few reasons for both of these questions. 1st lets address who you can expect to show up.
1. Your neighbors - curiosity gets the best of most people. Expect your nosy neighbor to
be there to compare your place to theirs.
2. The "professional" Sunday open home looker - these are the folks that just like looking at
homes. Homes after all are interesting...they all have there own unique features.
3. The Unqualified - If you are selling a home for $600,000 you expect the potential buyers
walking through to be qualified to spend $600,000 right? WRONG...more often than not the
people walking through will be unable to spend the asking price.
4. The "idea" person - this is the person that will walk through the open house to get "ideas" for
their home...could be decorating, furniture, whatever. This person will most often show up at
the more expensive homes where there are things on a grander scale.
5. The "Robber" - although far less common than the above four, an open house is an open
invitation for a potential robber to case your place prior to coming back to get what they
So why do agents do public open house's....there are a few simple reasons.
1. As an agent chances are pretty strong you will meet a neighbor(see above). This is a great
place to establish re pore for future business. Who knows maybe the neighbor is thinking of
selling their home in the near future. If the neighbor and the agent "connect" it could lead to
2. An agent could meet a legitimate buyer that can't afford the home they are holding public(see
the "unqualified" above) but may be a buyer at a lower price point.
3. Open houses benefit agents seeking potential additional clients/customers.
4. The seller wants them. A seller will only want an open house if they have not been educated
by a good Realtor on why they are a waste of time. An agent that doesn't do much business
will often "sell" this as part of their presentation to the seller, to get the listing. They tell the
seller how wonderful they are and how much "traffic" will be coming through.
5. An open house is a quantifiable action that shows that the Realtor is making an effort to sell
their home. There are lots of things that agents do behind the scenes to sell homes but this is
the one that is physically aparent.
Is it possible that you may get lucky and sell your home through a public open house?....Sure it is but don't expect it. Again nationally, less than 1% of all homes are sold through a public open house. I have been a Realtor for the last 21+ years....in that time I have sold 2 homes through a public open house. I have been involved in over a thousand real estate transactions during that time. Is it any wonder that you see way more of the Sunday open house signs in a down market than you do when things are selling briskly....think about it.
For more great real estate information check out Metro West Ma Real Estate