Open houses are a means for realtors to meet new clients, both buyers and sellers. New agents can gain experience talking to prospective buyers or potential sellers. Also, new agents who don't have many clients can use open houses to expand their clientele. Open houses quite frequently attract nosy neighbors who are curious what your house looks like compared to theirs, and of course they are trying to see what their house might be worth.
Still not convinced. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 90 percent of home buyers start their search online. The buyers today are Internet savvy and don't want to waste time looking at homes that they have not already checked out online. They also want to see properties when it is convenient for them and fits into their schedule. Open houses 15 years ago were a way to see a home without calling and bugging your realtor, which is precisely what their job is and why they get paid.
Buyers today do a tremendous amount of research online and many times already know which towns and neighborhoods they want to look for properties in. The 2015 profile of buyers and sellers by NAR showed that 91 percent of home buyers used an agent in the process and reports show that less than 8 percent found the home they bought from an open house or a yard sign.
While some realtors will try to argue that open houses are a great tool, I would argue they benefit the realtor by finding them new clients to work with, and have little benefit to seller. Do I still do open houses, of course, if situation calls for it or the seller wants me to hold one. The real estate market of today has changed dramatically, and so have buyers and sellers. As realtors we need to change and stay ahead of the game when it comes to marketing strategies and negotiations. Just for the fun of it, the next time you are talking with someone you know is a realtor, ask them about their thoughts on open houses.
Matt Trudel- Owner of Five Star Realty 207-939-6971