Here's a good perspective and helpful insight about the true value of holding 'open houses'. This content is courtesy of my AR associate and real estate professional, Lyn Sims.
Why won't anyone be honest with sellers about agents using their open house as 'buyer bait'? I haven't been in favor of open houses in years and due to the latest agent fatalities over the last few years, it makes me dislike them even further from a security standpoint.
In a recent survey done by RISMedia on the subject, 56% of agent respondents said they were 'pointless'. I have to agree and do not have them in my marketing plan. I don't think that Realtors have been honest about what an open house is actually used for - BAIT.
It's for the agent that is looking for buyers and if your home doesn't fit their criteria - they'll just sell them another one with more of their preferences. Baiting for buyers that are hopefully breathing & prequalified!
It's for the agent that is also looking for listings. This one is more slyly veiled as when an agent is entertaining your guests (aka your neighbors) they are also trolling for listings. I myself have had this happen years ago when I did hold open houses. Neighbors thinking of selling soon are actually 'interviewing' agents by seeing what type of marketing is done or provided to buyers. Neighbors don't really have to give factual information to the agent but don't think the agent doesn't notice when the 'buyers' pull into the driveway across the street!
Notice what I've highlighted - It's for the agent!
Not the seller who is hopeful that someone will walk into their home & just fall in love. I often tell my sellers when they mention 'the odds' that someone would have a better chance of:
a) winning the lottery or
b) getting stuck by lightening.
I believe in total transparency & I just wish that agents would be more truthful about the success of open houses & the odds for the seller. An open houses success cannot be predicted nor reproduced as any good marketing plan should be. There is never any assurance of success which is never fully related to the seller. The poor seller is lead down the path which produces business for the agent not a selling success for their home.
I know there are agents right now that are saying 'Lyn, I've had success doing open houses' ...... Really? Define success? Define your 'at bat' ratio? I bet if you thought about it you'd really be surprised at the results or lack their of.
I do believe that in certain markets they can be totally effective. I don't believe in my Schaumburg suburban market that is the case. Buyers are not 'neighborhood' driven like they are in the City of Chicago. In Chicago, they are done more often with a greater amount of success. I'm sure this can be documented in all larger cities.
I just feel that someone should genuinely tell the public what is going on with honest success numbers.
RISMedia: Open Houses: Profitable or Pointless?