I am a homestager in N.E. Florida. I attended an open house this past weekend (Memorial Day weekend) in a gated resort community that also offers vacation rentals. I asked the realtor how the open house was going because my experience and word on the street was that open houses just aren't getting any visitors these days. His response was that this particular open house was getting a fair share of traffic but only because the home happened to be right next to the pools and clubhouse and the vacationers had plenty of time to stop in. His comment was that open houses do not work and that 80% of sales now happen through internet shopping.
Is this is a valid statistic? Do 80% of buyers simply sit at home searching realtor.com to find the house(s) they are interested in?
I have staged and held open houses to which no one came. The house looked absolutely stunning and I was anxious for someone, anyone, to just walk through. I would have been happy with nosy neighbors or curious realtors, but no one stopped. Do people just not do that anymore?
I have also staged houses that have not had any lookers since the staging took place. The sellers' emotions went from positive excitement over the transformation of their home to disappointment and rejection because no one called or came by or looked at it. Are there just too many properties out there for people to deal with? Is it too overwhelming with so many choices, and therefore no one bothers? Is the gloom and doom news preventing even those with money from shopping around?
How do I, as a home stager, help the home get shown after the staging takes place and gorgeous photos are provided to the listing agent and/or seller? How do I even get a seller to take on the small but necessary expense of staging when no one is even looking at the houses on the market?
I am probably more ranting and blogging than expecting actual answers, but any comments, suggestions, etc. will be greatly appreciated.
If you are curious, here are links to the MLS and a photo slide show of a home for which we have had several open houses but no lookers.
For slideshow (click on slideshow once page has opened):
Realtor.com listing is: