Selling A Home In Cleveland - The Myths Of Open Houses
While many sellers expect open houses to be a big part of any marketing plan, this article will bring to light the many myths of open houses. Certainly, they do have their place, but putting too much emphasis on them may lead to disappointing results.
To begin, let's look at this graph: ( statistics compiled by a survey by the National Association of Realtors® in 2008 )
WHERE BUYER FOUND OUT ABOUT HOME
As you can see, open houses didn't even make the list. Their effectiveness has waned over the years and we wanted to give you some facts so that you can decide if you want open houses to be a part of your marketing plan.
Here are some common "Myths" regarding open houses:
1. OPEN HOUSES ARE A POPULAR WAY TO SELL A HOUSE - Based on the graph, the 3 main ways a buyer finds a home is through a real estate agent, through the Internet, or a yard sign, not though an open house.
2. OPEN HOUSES ARE BENEFICIAL TO SELLERS - Open houses are good for the listing agent, not necessarily the seller. Since the odds of a buyer actually buying a particular home at an open house are extremely low, the real benefit of an open house is for the listing agent to capture buyer leads. Anyone who comes to an open house not represented by another agent is a potential client to that agent but the seller benefits are marginal at best.
3. OPEN HOUSES BRING MOTIVATED BUYERS - In many cases, people who attend an open house usually are just tire-kickers, those mulling around the possibility of buying and are most likely either not able or ready to buy right away. While some open house attendees will buy at some point, the real serious buyers typically have already hired a real estate agent, and won't attend an open house.
4. OPEN HOUSES NEED TO LAST 3-4 HOURS - We see this mistake made often by those trying to sell their own home. Having an open house from Noon - 5PM, for exmaple, is a waste of time. If you are going to have an open house, 1 1/2-2 hours is a sufficient amount of time. If a home is that nice and priced competitively, people will come, and if they cannot attend, they will at least call to make an appointment to see it at another time. If a buyers perceives tremendous value, they will make an effort to see a home.
5. OPEN HOUSES PROVIDE NO RISK TO THE SELLER - Since an open house is "open" to the public, anyone can attend. This means that a seller will have strangers walking through their home and looking at their personal belongings. While most attendees probably have good intentions, thieves are known to attend open houses so they can either take things that day, or "case out the area" for a future robbery. We are by no means saying this will happen, as this is a rare occurrence, but opening up your home to the public does come with risks, however slight they may be.
While we do feel, based on market statistics, that open houses are not the most effective means to secure a buyer, they still can work. The bottom line is that some buyers don't like to work with an agent and prefer to attend open houses. Therefore it certainly may be worth at least considering the merits of including them as a small part of an overall marketing campaign. Today's sellers simply need to clearly understand the expectations of having an open house so they can determine if it is important that their agent have them.
About The Authors:
This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans service both the East and West sides of Cleveland and have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and executives who are relocating to Cleveland. They specialize in the Cleveland Ohio luxury home market and also enjoy working with first-time buyers as well.
If you are looking to buy or sell Cleveland real estate, including the surrounding suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235.
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Selling A Home In Cleveland - The Myths Of Open Houses is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov 2009