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BRIAN ELIZABETH
Buzzer
reply 166 vote 10
 

Do open houses actually work?

I was at a few open houses over the weekend, and I left wondering: "Do open houses actually work?"

The house had a constant flow of people coming in an out, but these people did not actually seem like purchasers; they seemed like nosy-neighbors comparing their house to the open-house.

Do people actually sell from open houses?
27
Resale Discussions
 
 
 
CONDO CHRIS
Buzzer
reply 99 vote 54
 
 
5 BEST REPLY
Here's the truth about open houses:

http://condochris.ca/2011/09/open-house/

 
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 170
 
 
The New York Times wrote about this, here:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/realestate/on-the-open-house-circuit.html

I found this to be the most relevant quote: "Statistics bear that out: a 2011 survey by the National Association of Realtors found that fewer than half of American home buyers use an open house in the search. The organization attributes this to the growing sophistication of real estate Web sites, which allow buyers to sift through thousands of listings and mounds of financial data before hitting the streets."

It is my understanding that open houses are great for two things:
1. Sellers want to see that their agent is actually working for the commission they are being paid; and,
2. It is a great way for agents to meet perspective clients.

Personally, I love going to open houses for snooping the market.
 
 
ALLEN
Buzzer
reply 192 vote 54
 
 
Open houses are not as effective in the summer season, as people are usually out & about and enjoying themselves in the nice weather.

I agree with Matthew that they are effective if agents make the effort in hosting one. The place should be clean, neat and orderly. I have been to a few open houses where the place smelled and lookedcluttered andmessy, which really did more harm than good.

It's true that most people that visit these open houses are either nosey neighbours or non-serious "lookie-loos" from off the street. It does give it more exposure and you will never know that one of these people may talk about the placeto a friend or colleague that might be interested.

If the place shows really well, there will definitely be some chatter from the open house.
 
 
MARK SAVEL
Buzzer
reply 143 vote 26
 
 
4
I like open houses... both to visit and to host!  I don't think it's the most effective tool in the box, but it does help with the overall process.  At worst, you're Realtor can get first hand feedback of what purchasers really think of your home!

+1 open house.
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 109 vote 57
 
 
1
Open houses are effective depending on how they are conducted. If a listing agent relinquishes the responsibiity of the open house to an unwilling assistant who will be there reading a book or ignoring the potential buyers then it is a waste of time. We, as listing agents, conduct all our own open houses simply because, with the sellers input, we now know the house best. We find that many buyers who have seen the house with their agent during the week come back with their family or friends during the open house and we use this time to answer all their questions or to convince them about the area or make constructive suggestions which many times gets them past the objections to make an offer. So the bottom line is that an open house is just one more marketing tool that can be effective if properly conducted.
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 170
 
 
I gave @Condo Chris a big thumbs up on his post. You must check out his video:http://condochris.ca/2011/09/open-house/

The short of the long from the video:
- Qualified buyers have done their research online, are pre-qualified from a bank, and generally have an agent represent them.

- "Nosey Neighbours" are the only ones who go to open-houses, which is great for Realtors to get new listings.
 
 
BRIAN ELIZABETH
Buzzer
reply 166 vote 10
 
 
Great point @mark savel about finding out what people really think about the house. It seems that it is an excellent way to get feedback on the house.

@Condo Chris do you ever hold open houses? What if you client insists?
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 109 vote 57
 
 
I have to make one more point about listing agents who say that open houses are a waste of time. Nobody likes to do open houses especially in the summer months when we would all like to be with our children, our spouses etc. But any listing agent who dismisses ALL open houses without exception is just doing this for one of 2 reasons:

1. They are too lazy to do it and think open houses are beneath them.
2. They don't understand the power of persuasion or do not have that skill.

Every property is unique and open houses have to determined based on each situation. So for example when we list a small bungalow, we do not do open houses because the influx of potential buyers to a house of that size would highlight how small the house really is.

We tend not to do open houses on multiple family dwellings because the tenants don't appreciate it and the house can not be supervised properly.

We rarely so open houses on condos because they just aren't effective and many times the condo rules disallow them.
 
 
CONDO CHRIS
Buzzer
reply 99 vote 54
 
 

I actually think open houses are OK. We've been blessed (or cursed?) with a sellers market in Toronto for a while now so they are less needed or effective as they would be if it were a buyers market (in my opinion) .. but The REAL truth is that if you want to sell a property, you can't leave any stone un-turned. Open houses are 1 part of a multi-faceted equation that good Realtors use, which also includes things like video, internet and print advertising. At the end of the day, ANYTHING done to expose a listing is good. I just think that vendors over-rate them. I have seen houses sold off an open house, but not that many.

 
 
ALLEN
Buzzer
reply 192 vote 54
 
 
1
great video, Chris!
 
 
NICHOLAS GAVEY
Buzzer
reply 60 vote 11
 
 
@Josie Stern touched on it but I was going to ask if your opinions changed for condos vs. single family homes. 

I definitely find open houses in condos DT very difficult. Many condos require that you wait in the lobby and escort every prospect to the unit and back and as Josie said some condos completely ban them. 

I have hosted many open houses for traditional homes with agents in my office and thruth be told most of the time it has been great for the agent to get leads but most serious buyers were with agents and would have booked a private showing if there hadn't been an open house. 
 
 
KARENA KOH
NewBee
reply 2
 
 
Yes, I do open houses for my condo listings and have had some success before.
 
Success story #1: I had an open house where a neighbour and his friend who was visiting stopped by out of curiousity (or maybe for cookies, lol). The friend had been looking for houses for months, but after looking at the condo unit, he decided that he didn't quite need a big house.The Buyer checked out the parking, came back to view the unit with his Realtor with an offer and the unit was sold!

Success Story #2: I had booked viewings with a couple and when we went to visit the 5 units, one partner kept comparing them to a condo unit she saw at an open house earlier that day because she was walking her dog in the area. We went back to see the unit the next day and my clients bought the unit!

It's true that it's mostly curious neighbours that stop by an open house, and the odds are slim of a buyer walking through but you just never know!  At the very least, I get feedback on the price and condition of the unit and get to meet some interesting people!

 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 109 vote 57
 
 
2
Karena you have a great attitude. I wish you lots of success.
 
 
KARENA KOH
NewBee
reply 2
 
 
Thanks @Josie Stern! You definitely sound experienced and have a bright outlook on things too. Best of luck and success to you too!
 
 
CONDO CHRIS
Buzzer
reply 99 vote 54
 
 
I like the 2 agent approach to condo open houses. One agent waits in the lobby and escorts the potential buyers from the lobby, up the elevator to the unit and then the second agent conducts the open house..
 
 
SYED SHAH
Buzzer
reply 10 vote 1
 
 
1
The internet has completely leveled the real estate playing field as loyalty is not a part of the equation anymore, it is all price driven. This said, people tend to do business with people they favour - no matter how good the product/service is, a good relationship can win people over...and this is how open houses win prospective buyers over.

At http://www.Groperty.com we try to add value by fostering relationships with potential condo buyers while at the same time attempt to win people over by getting a wholesale price on condo units. In this contemporary real estate market each brand needs a sort of hybrid system - a mix between relationships as well as a good deal.
 
 
ALLEN
Buzzer
reply 192 vote 54
 
 

For agents setting up for a bidding war, an open house is a good way of generating excitement. A friend was asked to invite as many people as possible to an open house to drum up interest. Sounds pretty sneaky as you are not only staging the house with furniture and decor, but also staging the open house with people who pretend to like the place. 

 
 
GORD MCCORMICK
NewBee
reply 1 vote 2
 
 
2
We are big believers in Open Houses for most mid-priced properties, as part of an overall marketing plan.  Realistically, it is about the only chance a listing REALTOR® gets to actually "sell" the property to a prospective buyer.  Have never understood why so many real estate people appear to downplay them. http://www.oasisrealtyottawa.com/Do_Open_Houses_Work/page_2446640.html
 
 
RASHED SHEIKH
NewBee
reply 1
 
 
IM a Mortgage Agent…….. Open House’s been fruitful for me…..I have partnered up with some Real Estate Agents…….I custom make MortgageFlyers for their Open Houses also some Real Estate Agents let me interact with clientsduring Open House…..… Love Open House..............
 
 
JOHNHAWKINS
NewBee
reply 5
 
 
Hi Brian,

Well regarding the issue of holding open houses when selling a home, it’s important to understand that there are actually 2 types of open houses:

1. For real estate agent or broker: A broker’s open house is when the listing real estate agent or broker introduces the property to other local agents and real estate brokers in the area.

2. For general public: These are typically held on Sundays for about 3-5 hours. There are no invitations, no viewings by appointment. Signs are put out on the streets directing people to the open house.

So your nosey neighbors have something to do? This method of home sales is non-productive and a waste of time and money. If your home stays on the market longer than it should, you’re losing money and every monthly payment you make is gone forever. To know more information visit http://www.plazaestates.co.uk/properties-to-rent/buying-to-let .
 
 
STEPHEN MARLOW
Buzzer
reply 43 vote 6
 
 
@Condo Chris himself! your advertisements are hilarious man. Good job and keep on keeping on. Best of Luck.
 
 
ELIZABETH SAGARMINAGA
Buzzer
reply 84 vote 9
 
 
If you’re looking for greater success in the open house arena, the first thing you need to know is how to get prospective buyers to show up. One of the best ways to attract people is by promoting the open house as widely as you can and as early as possible in the place where most buyers are lurking—on the Web.
 
 
NELSON BENSON
NewBee
reply 3
 
 
They are good for desirable well priced properties because they create a sense of pressure and competition.
 
 
JOHN BRNARD
NewBee
reply 1
 
 
In open house buyers can compare and contrast the options available to them. At open house you can seek attention of more casual and serious buyers.
http://www.jobsmelbournevic.com.au/retail
 
 
GRAHAM ROWLANDS
NewBee
reply 4 vote 2
 
 
I would say they can work,but the percentages of the open house driving a sale are probably low. Nowadays a lot of buyers seem to shop open houses to deal directly with the listing agent on in-demand properties and try to work out a "deal" and possibly avoid the multiple offers by submitting a bully offer on site. I experienced this first hand last week at an open house I was working. While they may attract "nosy neighbors", you'd be surprised at why these neighbors are actually there. Many of them come because they know people looking for a new place, and they want their friends to move to their street. Don't get me wrong, the open house highly favours the agent, but it can help drive a sale or increase the amount you might get for a property.
 
 
RICHARD HIMELFARB
NewBee
reply 1
 
 
I've definitely seen them work. I've sold two houses from sitting open houses.
 
 
GORD SMART
BuzzStaff
reply 224 vote 37
 
 
1
As a buyer, open houses are now like fax machines ... they can "work" but they are not relevant to the sales process anymore. I can go online and see everything I need to see. I can do my comps online, I can view the neighbourhood via Google Maps, etc. If I am still interested in a home after doing my online research I will simply schedule a private showing via my own broker.
 
 
 
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