Poor Open House turnouts?

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Realty Talbot and Company

Whew, another weekend here and gone...another two open houses...and another 2 total attendees!

Is it just me, or are you also pulling from zero to just a few at open houses these days?  As I fight the rock hard ground in my area to install 5-6 signs for each open house, I'm thinking..."I'm having to put nearly 3 signs out per person who actually attends"...assuming it's not just a neighbor.

Separate question...can I assume you've tried...like I have...to promote Opens in the MLS, in newspaper, and even via postcards...and have not seen any measurable impact to attendance?

(I really do hope I'm the anomoly here...and want to hear your good ideas)

(I'm in Northern VA....we've been hit pretty hard by a buyer slowdown, and declining prices...I think a bit more than many other areas, partly due to our high price increases in the previous 2-3 years.)



Comments (10)

Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County
I know the story - same here. But I keep doing it. It will payoff eventually.
May 22, 2007 01:37 AM
Don Horn, ABR, CRS, GRI, CNE
Keller Williams Realty - Goodyear, AZ

I HATE open houses. But besides the looky-lou neighbors, the rest of the people who look are probably in the market. Even if its only one it could be worth it.

Plan on some productive work to do and then hope you're interrupted by some lookers.

(You're building character!)


May 22, 2007 01:56 AM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
I haven't done an open house in many years.  In my market, they don't help sell a house, they are just to humor the seller that thinks they work.  Recent studies show that 94% of the Texas buyer is online looking at houses and then contacting an agent, whereas the NAR stat is 80%...  We're above the curve in getting qualified buyers to look at houses rather than having people aimlessly walking into an open house not in their price range. 
May 22, 2007 02:04 AM
Don Carter
All Star Mortgage, LLC - Haverhill, MA

Check out my blog article on this subject http://activerain.com/blogsview/99038/Do-You-Use-This


May 22, 2007 02:04 AM
Mana Tulberg
805 County Real Estate - Camarillo, CA
Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA
I wish I could tell you a different story. I take my Laptop with me and blog away on active rain.
May 22, 2007 03:04 AM
Bill Somerset
Re/Max Realty Group - Dover, NH
ABR, e-PRO - Realtor - NH Real Estate Agent

Here in Strafford county NH we normally do not have a great turnout for open houses.  Surprisingly for me this past weekend, I have 5 couples come through mine.  I don't think I did anything different form the norm, but for some reason the property gained some exposure.

May 22, 2007 03:18 AM
Becky Troutt
No longer practicing real estate as of 2008. - Bradenton, FL

Open houses don't seem to work around these parts anymore (Tampa Bay area).  I've held countless numbers of them and it's always the same turnout.  Maybe a neighbor and luck if one "real buyer" shows up!

With gas prices on the rise, and people being able to search online, I think as time goes on, they will certainly fade away into the past.

May 22, 2007 03:56 AM
Nikola Tadie
EXIT Realty Talbot and Company - Leesburg, VA

Many times it's a case where the anxious seller needs to know that "everything" is being done to sell their home.  I appreciate that concern, and typically try to host or arrange an open for such properties.  I'm getting better at refining my client's expectations about the Opens, too.  I do wish there was a better way to attract visitors to Opens, however.  Thanks.'

Best, Nikola

May 22, 2007 03:41 PM
Chuck Dellorto
Coldwell Banker - Serving INDIANA & ILLINOIS - Highland, IN
"Talk To Chuck"

I think a lot of agents do open house just to satisfy the seller. They use the open house task as a marketing tool. Open houses are a dime a dozen. They are not a marketing tool anymore.

Open houses are fading away in this Internet search world. At my listing appointment I tell the seller the reasons why I do not do an open house and how they are not useful. The smart seller realizes this and agrees with it.

You get noisy neighbors, non-buyers who have nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon, brick kickers, buyers who are already working with an agent, thieves stealing medicines and money (we can not follow everyone around if we are busy with multiple visitors).

This is a fact: if a buyer wants to see that home they will call their own agent or call you as the listing agent. These are the serious buyers. Serious buyers will not wait all week long to have a window of opportunity to view a home within a 2 hour time period on a Sunday afternoon. If they are doing that, they are not serious buyers. 

Survey:  how many of you have actually received BONA-FIDE listings and buyers through open houses? Be honest. Yes it may work for a few, but how many hours did you put in over the years?


May 22, 2007 06:48 PM