The Old-Fashioned Open House

Back again now with our special “A Great Time to Sell.” All about this red hot seller’s market, and how you can take advantage of it if you plan to sell your house in 2018.

We’ve talked about a lot of seller strategies.

We’ve talked about making your house look absolutely beautiful, so that buyers love it when they pull up.

We’ve talked about evaluating multiple offers, which happens a lot in really competitive markets.

We’ve talked about home staging – and how’s some real estate professionals swear by it, saying you’ll get a faster sale and a better price if you stage your home.

We’ve even talked about using virtual reality glasses so that people can take an immersive tour of your home without actually being there.

But if you notice – there’s one thing we haven’t talked about today. Something that used to be number at the top of the list, when people sold their homes.

Yep that’s because we’re in an online, connected, digital world, in which home buyers begin their search online, take 3D tours through the house with virtual reality technology, and even take aerial tours above the property using drones.

And in a world like that, some people believe that one of the most traditional marketing approaches to selling a house might be old-fashioned. And that is?

The open house.

Whatever happened to the open house? If you look online you’ll find dozens of articles questioning whether or not open houses have outlived their usefulness in today’s digital world.

I mean let’s face it, people have always debated whether open houses were worthwhile, even before the world went digital.

The real estate agent would place an ad in the local paper, while the sellers worked on getting the house looking absolutely perfect. And then those sellers would have round up theirkids and their pets and clear out! Disappear for the entire afternoon.

Their agent would then greet the visitors. Maybe a handful, maybe a houseful.

And then afterwards…the sellers would wait. And wait – for the offer.

But the fact is? In most cases the person who bought the house? Wasn’t in that crowd. Typically open houses do not produce the ultimate buyer of the property.

So if that’s the case, why have an open house at all?

Well, it turns out that more and more real estate agents and their clients are asking the same question.

So let’s look at the pros and cons of the open house. And for that, I’ll refer to a great list I found at Realty Times magazine online.

First the cons.

As I said, usually you’ll put in all that effort for an open house, and it will not result in a sale. That’s a big one.

Next up? your house is full of strangers. Have things been stolen during open houses? Yes. Does it happen often? No. But it’s still a concern.

And then, what about all the people who aren’t looking for a house at all? They have an open invitation to just walk through your place even if they have no intention of buying a house. Do you really want that? Every one of those is a valid concern.

But now on to the pros.

Realty Times magazine points out that when you hold an open house, some of the visitors might include real estate agents. And they might help get the word out about this wonderful property, whether for their own clients, or referral clients.

Next up? The house does get additional exposure. More exposure than it ever would if potential buyers walked through one at a time.

Also the article points out that even though the internet can help a buyer see hundreds of properties right there on their screen, there’s nothing quite like walking through the door and seeing it for yourself.

And finally? It’s convenient. Realty Times points out that buyers can just walk in. No appointment, no agent, no special arrangements. They just walk in, look at the place and walk out. People like that.

So how about you? If you are selling your house in 2018, will you hold an open house? It’s a big question, and one that’s worth discussing with your REALTOR®. Because every market is different. And your REALTOR® will know whether even though we’re all online – people in your market might prefer an open house. Might expect it. Or perhaps they’ll advise you that an open house is in fact, no longer effective in your market…and your time would be better spent marketing the property online.

When you sell your home in 2018, your REALTOR® will know whether to keep the open house doors- open? Or closed.

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