Open Houses and Why Some People Hate Them

Having held hundreds of open houses personally, having managed hundreds of agents who have held open houses, and having had hundreds of clients (sellers) who have held their own open houses (with my guidance) I am going to share with you why some people hate to do them.

1. They are usually on a Sunday. Right smack in the middle of the day, 1-4 or so.

2. Open Houses rarely give immediate benefit. Buyers rarely walk in with wheelbarrels full of cash.  Sometimes, buyers need to think about the house, maybe get theirs on the market themselves, then make a return visit to your home, maybe weeks or months later.

3. Nosey neighbors and people who really don’t know the price of your house walk in. Some are a bit rude, or not very polite. Some barely say hello. Some refuse to sign in on your guest register. Some won’t even tell you why they are there. Like they are on public property or something.

4. Sometimes, no one comes. I have actually dozed off at open houses in the past. Worse yet, then you have to go pick up your signs, sometimes in the rain, snow or extreme heat like we have now.  It’s at that point where you wonder how much fun your family is having at the beach or pool.

5. Meeting strangers in a home, especially one which you don’t own, is a bit weird.

6. Some folks (agents, sellers) don’t know how to answer questions, like, “Why are they moving?”,  or tougher ones like, “Why is the price so high?”

Now for some good news. Open houses have brought 300% more buyers to my listings this year than the MLS. While open house traffic is not what it was 2-3 years ago (nothing is), it still gives disciplined sellers like my clients the ability to control when their home is open.  A steady diet of open houses , preferably 3-4 per month, will get a properly priced home sold.  Many of my listings sell via open houses, which gives my sellers the opportunity to save thousands in commissions.

Open houses are a bit like exercise. Do it once, and it hurts. Do it regularly, and you will see results.

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