YES! I Will Hold Open Houses for My Real Estate Sellers!

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            Holding Open Houses for Real Estate Buyers and Sellers. Lisa Hill's Real Estate Blog

buy Daytona Beach house for saleI recently read a blog post from a REALTOR® (yes, it was a REALTOR®... IE: Member of their local Association of REALTORS® and subscriber of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics... not only a real estate agent) who absolutely refuses to do open houses, no matter what. Now this particular agent was very well educated on the statistics of how buyers find the real estate properties they buy. And many good reasons were given as to why open houses were not productive.

Statistics given, which were obtained from the National Association of REALTORS® were...

  • Approximately 90% of all real estate buyers now begin their real estate search online.
  • 36% of those buyers actually find the house they eventually buy, from their online data.
  • 12% will find their home from a yard sign.
  • 6% will find the house they purchase from a friend, neighbor or relative.
  • 5% will purchase new construction from the builder and/or builder's agents
  • 5% is unreported.

Now I don't begrudge this particular agent for refusing to hold open houses. Based on the data he received, there seems to be no apparent reason to do so. But what about the 5% that was not accounted for?   And what about the houses that I personally have sold, directly from an open house?  And what about the fact that our Code of Ethics requires us to work FOR our clients. door to your new houseIt's not about what we want. It's about what the client wants.

Of course, we should present this data from the NAR to the seller, and let them decide. But as any real estate professional knows, real estate statistics are "hyper-local" IE: even from city-to-city, the data may not be accurate It needs to be examined from neighborhood-to-neighborhood, and sometimes even from street-to-street! Therefore, a nationwide, general report is not completely accurate. It's a display of wide-scale averages.

So in summary, as a REALTOR®, I will educate my clients; we will discuss their options; and together, we will decide what is best for them. As I read another post that spawned from the one stating the absolute refusal to hold any open houses, Laurie Mindnich, who sells real estate in Long Island, made some good points as well.

Perhaps this is another example of hyper-local real estate. In our area, open houses are not common, but they CAN be effective. And until the level of effectiveness is at zero, I'll do open houses for my sellers.... not to mention the leads I get from a couple of hours spent catching up on paperwork, writing a blog, or whatever productive way I can find to spend my time while sitting at an open house."

And my comment on Laurie's post: "....we should do whatever our clients want us to do. THEY are who WE work for! And sometimes that means pointing out all the reasons why something they don't want, may actually be in their best interests!"

Are you a real estate buyer or a real estate seller in the Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Ponce Inlet or anywhere in the East Volusia County area? Make a Smart Choice today, and contact Lisa Hill for all your real estate needs!

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Douglas Lovitt
Washington Management Company, Inc. - Mill Creek, WA

Great post.  I too think open houses should be based upon the customer's situation, not the Realtor's personal likes or dis-likes.  

Dec 26, 2009 05:30 PM #1
Marcia Hawken
Naples Luxury Specialist

Lisa, In Naples, we have many three month renters that spend their Sundays looking at condos and homes for sale.  It is a great way to get connected to new buyers. Do I think in general, open houses are effective?  No.  But, hey, in this market, we do lots of things differently.


Dec 26, 2009 08:36 PM #2
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Excellent point, Lisa! If sellers are made aware of all potential issues, but choose to offer their house for viewing, it's their choice, and our willingness to accomodate that would seem to be part of the job (unless dismissed up front as not happening).

Dec 26, 2009 09:46 PM #3
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Lisa - It's awesome that you wont let the majority of statistics drive your business.

Dec 26, 2009 11:07 PM #4
Jane Nicastro-Disch Warren NJ
Weichert Realtors - Warren, NJ
NJ Estates Real Estate Group of Weichert Realtors

Lisa, good post. If a home is not open to the public is the seller seriously trying to sell? If you can't hole the house open your chance of selling it are seriously reduced. Regards,

Dec 26, 2009 11:33 PM #5
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I agree with your position although I choose to limit the number of open houses I conduct.

Dec 27, 2009 12:15 AM #6
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Dear Lisa,

You are so right on both points. As a Realtor it is my responsibility to uphold our code of ethics and I am happy to do so. Open houses are good for my business and my clients. Recently I picked up a new client looking in Lake Pointe neighborhood, because she saw me in three different open houses. So she thought if I am in every other open house she visits I must know the neighborhood pretty well. By the time she walked into my 4th open house she knew I was the Realtor she wanted.


Betina Foreman

Austin Texas Realtor

Dec 27, 2009 01:37 AM #7
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

You said it- real estate is local. If open houses brought in people in our area I would do them. But they don't so I don't. You have to do what works.

Dec 27, 2009 03:59 AM #8
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Keep in mind what Warren Buffet said: "If everyone is doing something, do something else." That can also be slight reworded: "If no one is doing it, do it."

My Marketing & Business Consulting clients have great success with open houses. Of course, I taught them. LOL

Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2009 06:31 AM #9
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Good points everyone. It's amazing that even on the same side of the fence, we all have something to contribute!

And Betina- THAT is an awesome testimonial!

Dec 27, 2009 01:29 PM #10
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

I will admit that when you do an open house and nobody shows up it takes the wind from your sails to keep doing it.  I find that an open house is a great way not to just attract buyers but sellers because neighborhood people will always want to stop by and check things out.

Dec 29, 2009 04:34 AM #11
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