From Facebook: Are Open Houses Really Worth It?

open housesWe hear the question from time to time — are open houses really worth the time and effort? After finding several debates in various real estate and business publications, we took to Facebook and Instagram to ask our readers what they thought.

“Yes, I can sell my listing better than the buyer’s agent can,” said Joanna Gaines Utley of Modtown Realty. “I’ve met 60 percent of my listings buyers in an open house this year.”

Realtor Melanie Till agreed.

“It’s 100 percent useful!” she said. “It makes up around 25 percent of my business and I find that it is a great way to teach buyers how the buying process works and why you need an agent to represent you.”

But that doesn’t mean that every Realtor just LOVES open houses. Idaho reader and Realtor Blake Shannon, in fact, referred to them as a “necessary evil.”

A survey conducted by Inman last year found that most Realtors echo Till and Utley’s sentiments, though.

The survey found:

More than two thirds of the respondents think open houses are still worthwhile.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents have sold a home as a result of a connection made at an open house.
Consumers still want their agents to offer open houses.
Two thirds of respondents’ brokerages offer virtual tours, while a quarter do not.
More than two thirds of respondents felt that virtual tours replacing open houses was unlikely.

“While the research gives open houses the thumbs up, it also made it clear that not all agents like them,” the article said. “A little over 30 percent of respondents gave them a low one-out-of-10 to four-out-of-10 rating, and they spoke passionately about their objections to what they called this ‘crapshoot.’”

And the research may back that up. The National Association of Realtors released its Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report this month, and one of the surprising takeaways was that only 3 percent of buyers visited open houses.

A recent story in Apartment Therapy reveals that many agents are starting to move to virtual tours (in fact, Candy took a virtual reality tour of Bentley Place at a recent staff party). And when they do hold open houses, they are honest with their sellers about the risks involved with them, which can include theft.

So what do you say? Open houses — yay or nay? Sound off in the comments!

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, we’ll post a hot-button question on our Facebook page. Sometimes, they’ll be serious. Sometimes, they’ll be more light-hearted. Want to take part? Like and follow us, and comment on this Friday’s question.

2 Comment

  • I love open houses! It’s a casual way for the perspective buyer to check out the house before he or she calls the buyer’s agent. I have even sold a house during an open house.

  • Open Houses are the fastest way to get feedback on what buyers like and don’t like about a home. I try to do one right away on every new listing so that I can adjust my strategy. Sometimes that adjustment means updating something, or adjusting the price or just clarifying the message. It rarely results in a direct sale of the home, but the knowledge gained helps me get the job done faster.