Open houses...sell houses?

Real Estate Agent with Windermere Real Estate

I had heard for a long time that "open houses do NOT sell houses" . I had also heard that the point of open houses, is to appease the home seller, and advertise your SELF.

My experience has been that open houses do do the latter, however they ALSO do sell houses. I have had the experience more than once of a listing selling due to an open house.

I think open houses work mostly on highly trafficed areas. If you have a listing and want to do an open in a non-high traffic area, it is best to advertise it well and offer some sort of incentive.

A newer idea seems to be , "twilight" opens. Where you have your open later in the day, say 4-8? Wine, cheese, more relaxing atmostphere. I love the idea....what do you think? Have you tried this and if so, what kind of results did you achieve?


Comments (7)

Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Anqelique, I have had mixed results as most with the open houses. I still recommend you just don't know. I would like to try the "twilight opens" as you coined.

Jul 23, 2008 11:57 AM
Angelique LeClair
Windermere Real Estate - Issaquah, WA

I am glad to hear you think the twilight opens are a good idea. If I hold one I will let you know how it goes..and vise versa!Q


Jul 23, 2008 12:02 PM
Ron Scharck

Angelique, while I have not personally held one of the "twilight" opens, a number of agents in this office have and have had as much if not more success than a 1-4 open house. Here is one idea that you may find attractive: let your title, loan or escrow rep. know that you are planning such an event and see if they would like to join you. Usually they will provide the "refreshments" and help serve them while you are showing prospective buyers/clients around the house. It is a win-win situation!

Jul 23, 2008 12:19 PM
Lori Lincoln And Associates
Top Agent Serving Dighton Taunton, Rehoboth and more! - Taunton, MA
Top Agent Taunton,Dighton Rehoboth &more

I think open houses do sell houses. It's happened to me several times. Buyers who might not otherwise think of the house would stop in because it was open.

Jul 23, 2008 12:20 PM
Kimberly Dotseth
Blend Real Estate, broker/owner - San Diego, CA
Try Our "Cancel Anytime" Listing!

Dear Angelique,

We tried the twilight open house for the public and for agents (broker opens and similar). We didn't have success with the later hours, alas.

But we sell a TON of real estate through open houses and love them. The agents who think they're a waste of time or too provincial, that's OK! More leads and listings for us.

In all fairness, we use a terrific open house website in San Diego for all our open house advertising and get a lot of good leads this way.  It's and is only in San Diego for now.  But I think it's expanding nationally.

We have found that + six signs not on private property and cold water for visitors (even if they don't take it) is our magic combination. We DO NOT use Craigslist or the newspaper.

Good luck with them! The first deal I ever got after moving from residential after 8 years in commercial was meeting a buyer at someone's listing that I was holding open. The buyer liked me and bought another great house with me.

I am in Minneapolis right now on a trip and talked to someone today who says she only buys after slinking around open houses by herself with no pressure.

The best hours for us are 11 AM - 3 PM.

Great post, thanks!

Jul 23, 2008 12:31 PM
Fred Jaeger
High Lakes Realty and Property Management - La Pine, OR
Real Estate Connection - Central Oregon

Hi Angelique.  There's probably a post on this particular question a couple times a week.  I think if you run a search you'll get extensive opinions on this subject.  Lots of interesting varying opinions.

Personally, I don't find open houses particularly helpful for my sellers but it makes them happy and you at least look like you're trying.  On the bright side, its an an excellent tool for creating buyer leads from the lookers. 

Oh and don't just blow off the neighbor looky-loos.  If you make an impression with them, they're likely to remember you when it's time to list their house.

Jul 23, 2008 12:46 PM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Angelique - I haven't tried a twilight open, but I do actually like to do neighborhood opens.   It seems that at least one person tells a friend.  Plus, you are virtually guaranteed to have traffic. 

Jul 23, 2008 01:02 PM