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Open Houses a Waste?

Real Estate Agent with Allison James Estates and Homes SL3168091

I wanted to see if anyone felt the same way that I do about the articles that I have read about the ineffectiveness of Open Houses.  Personally, I don't sit them regularly, but I have read in two articles in the last month that they have been called "the dying diamond" or basically a "waste of time".

My thoughts about this are similar to many of my collegues, that if you do all the right things: ie tour the neighborhood before hand, pass out flyers, make sure that you have some refreshments, and advertise (either through your neighboring real estate agencies, or otherwise); that your potential is greater for having visitors.

My thoughts are if you are going to do anything; do it big! Have an event, and make it beneficial for people to come to the open house. Many times co-marketing is the trick, to get into your vendor's databases as well.  Lets face it, nothing happens easy; atleast nothing good. 

Of the two articles I read: one was from a FAR (Florida Association of Realtors) email, and the other was from the October edition of Broker/Agent News; I don't know if I agree with either of them. 

My listings, these days, consist of a lot of pre-foreclosures/short sales, in Brevard County FL. So, unfortunately, Open Houses are not the right thing for those types of sales (the houses, characteristically are not in the best shape for that type of situation) If you want to see any of my listings you can go to www.abrevardagent.com, and see them all. I've got some really great deals, but like I said, the investors; and the folks that would be interested in these types of properties are not looking in the open house sections.

Have you had more success at Open Houses? Or do you agree with the articles that they are becoming a lost leader? I wonder if it is geographically changing: I'm sure that the winter months are not the best for open houses. In California, where I am from, and in Florida where I now live, it is conducive for Open Houses all year long.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Call me or comment: Josephine Carpenter, 321-243-4519

Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!


IMO, open houses work for leads if they are done right. I personally do not have the patience to sit and hope someone comes by. One of my colleagues does open houses for me and she has gotten quite a few good leads from doing them for me.  She did one today and she now has 3 new buyers. I think some agents can do open houses, I for one would sit on the chair waiting and fall asleep. I would rather be out showing property. I love the fact that she likes to do these for me. I think it depends on the personality of the agent. I'm in Florida, it's conducive for Open Houses all year long here as well.

Dec 02, 2007 12:06 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy
If you are going to do an open house, you have to make it an event.  Tossing out a couple of balloons and a newspaper ad will give you some quality TV time, but that's about it. 
Dec 02, 2007 12:15 PM
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

I for one have never found an open house to be a good source of leads. I have seen others work it effectively.

I know what the problem is. I generally try to market the house while the potential Buyer is in the house. When I have previewed homes during an open house I have seen other agents techniques at work when they did not recognize me to be an agent.

These agents never try to sell you the house. Instead they are prospecting you. That is why they are successful at getting leads and I am not.

However I have Sold my listings through open houses many times. I generally though never send out a open house flyer to the neighborhood. I do post an open on sunday sign in the yard.

The rest of it is Internet marketing directed at the open house and direct marketing to my Buyers list and my list of agents who have sold my listings in the past.

Dec 02, 2007 12:16 PM
Teri Deane
RE/MAX 100 - Columbia, MD
Realtor, ABR, CRS, SFR - The Deane Team
I have found open houses to be a hit or miss situation.  Rarely does the walk-in prospect buy the home that is open (usually it's not in their price range).  Knowing this, I work an open house to get face time with buyer prospects -- and that can be hit or miss too.  It can also be a good way to make contact with neighbors who may be thinking of selling their homes.  During the slow times, like December, I don't bother.
Dec 02, 2007 12:38 PM
Trevor Ainsworth
Century 21 Jack Associates - Burlington, VT
Burlington Vermont Real Estate
i usually do them but have a new agent from the office hold them. i give them any buyers that show up for no referral and they are jumping to hold them for me. it makes the seller happy and it is still one piece of the pie when marketing the home yet takes up very little of my time.
Dec 02, 2007 12:42 PM
Lisa Bosques
Burien, WA

I'm still up in the air about open houses, though I did just get a listing from someone I met at an open about a month back.  

I had an open today; torrential rain and wind, the latter blowing all my signs down while I was sitting in the house waiting. No one showed up and I ate all of my homemade cookies.

I try to only do one a month.  I just don't like 'em.  But in the warmer months I go door to door with invites so that more people will show.  Not today!

Dec 02, 2007 12:49 PM
Betty Garcia Doral-Miami Realtor® (786) 229-3636
17thRealty.com Miami Dade & Broward - Doral, FL
Miami-Doral-Kendall- Coral Gables(786) 229-3636

I try to only do one a month to.

Is very dificult now to find people interested and take a look of the property

Dec 02, 2007 01:14 PM
Laura Karambelas
Baird & Warner Downers Grove - Downers Grove, IL
Realtor - Downers Grove
I have always thought that open houses are a way to get new clients. I have never sold one of my listings sitting an open.  I will sit them if my seller wants me to.  If I am unavailable I will get a newer agent to sit.  I too believe that they are hit or miss.
Dec 02, 2007 01:15 PM
Eric Blum
1-800-GOT-JUNK? - Yardley, PA
Franchise Partner - 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
On the TV show, Flip This House, they showed a statistic from the NAR that only 2% of buyers find their new home through open homes.  I was a little shocked by that low number...
Dec 02, 2007 01:44 PM