Do Open Houses Still Sell Homes in 2021?

Do Open Houses Still Sell Homes in 2021?

     2021 has brought all new and creative ways to sell a home, but are Open Houses still valid as a way to sell your home? According to the National Association of Realtors, only 3% of homebuyers visit open houses these days. Unless your home is located in a high demand area, an open house is not favorable to a home Seller. Here are some key points to consider.

     The internet is now the way to shop for a home. Let’s face it, most homebuyers today are GenXer’s or millennials, and for these types of buyers, the internet is their primary source to home shop. Not only can the prospective buyer see virtual tours, pictures and drone views of a home, the internet is a great place to find information about the neighborhood, schools, proximity to jobs and/or shopping, and many other important factors.  There are thousands of websites now that homebuyers can shop on and never have to leave the comfort of their home.

     Open houses can really be a pain for sellers.  The cost to stage, provide signs, drinks and food can add up.  If a seller has pets, the pets will have to be secured for several hours. Additionally, the homeowner will have to spend time cleaning the home and prepping it for potential buyers. All these factors can be stressful, and are they truly worth only a 3% chance your home will sell at an open house?

     Another problem with open houses is the visitors.  Sure, you will have some potential buyers, but most of the time you’ll have curious or nosy neighbors who want to know what you have that they don’t.  Other realtors may stop by just to see the home and what’s new on the market or use it to figure out a price for an upcoming listing in the same hood.  Lastly, many visitors are “future” homebuyers who are just curious to see what the market is doing and are not really serious or ready to buy.

     An additional concern is security.  The chances of a break in on a vacant home are much higher when you have an open house.  Thieves purposely scope out homes that are vacant and an easy target to steal appliances, A/C units and other items. Homes that are occupied can easily have theft during an open house as well. Valuable jewelry, electronics and even prescription drugs have been known to go missing.  It is important to discuss with a realtor the importance of securing valuables BEFORE having an open house

     The reality is, realtors are really the only ones benefiting from the open house.  They are able to network and pick up those future buyers or nosy neighbors as clients. That doesn’t do the home seller any good.

     The bottom line is the best way to sell your home is have agents with ready, willing and able buyers make an appointment to see your home and tour it privately.  Some other things that help drive traffic to your home is on the web. Clear details and upgrades about the home, feature sheets that can be printed on line, and of course lots of great pictures and videos all are very crucial.  Let’s not forget the importance of a realtor’s social media presence.  Personally, I have had more leads and inquires about a home on Facebook and Instagram than any other source I have used.  I am not knocking open houses, just giving the public a new perspective on the way home selling has changed. Welcome to 2021!

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