Do open houses work? While they have their benefits, open houses aren’t required to successfully sell a home, especially in the current housing market. Most real estate agents agree that open houses are unnecessary. And many sellers feel overwhelmed at the thought of having that many strangers in their home or the money they’ll have to spend preparing for their open house. Let’s take a closer look at why you don’t need an open house to sell your home.
Why Open Houses Aren’t Worth It
Remarkably, 63% of top agents who participated in a recent survey said they don’t always recommend sellers host an open house. Here are just a few downsides of open houses.
Open Houses Attract Unqualified Buyers
Since anyone can attend an open house, they often attract unqualified buyers who aren’t pre-approved for a mortgage. This can be a waste of your (and your agent’s) time.
Open Houses Bring Nosy Neighbors
In many cases, nosy neighbors attend open houses just because they want to see the inside of your home. And “lookie-loos” (people who are driving by) may stop in, even though they have no intention of buying.
Open Houses Can Lead to Break-Ins and Vandalism
You never know who’s going to attend your open house, which can lead to vandalism. If the house is currently vacant, break-ins are also a concern.
Alternatives to Open Houses
There are alternatives to open houses that can help you quickly sell your home to a qualified buyer. Here are two of your options:
- Deferred showings. Also referred to as delayed showings, these are held several days after you list your home (as opposed to right away). Your home still appears in the MLS, but buyers have to wait to see it. This can drum up more interest and lead to a bidding war, since all of your potential buyers are seeing the house at the same time.
- Broker’s tours. A broker’s tour allows other agents to gather information about your home. Brokers and agents can provide constructive criticism for you and your agent, which can make it easier to sell your home. Unlike open houses, there are no potential buyers involved in a broker’s tour.
Still Want to Hold an Open House?
Maybe you’re selling in a buyer’s market or need to unload your home as quickly as possible. An open house might work for you but talk to your real estate agent first. When it comes to the pros and cons of doing an open house, always check with your agent. They’ll be able to provide you with feedback specific to your market as to how effective an open house strategy may be.
If you do hold an open house, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Hold your open house on a Sunday afternoon.
- Consider hiring a professional staging company.
- Put a two hour cap on your open house.
- Jazz up your flyers with high-resolution images, utility costs, and upgrade lists.