open houses

foggyjJanuary 24, 2011

I have read that open houses aren't really productive. It gets a lot of curiosity seekers, but not many offers to buy, from an open house.

Our realtor wants to have one soon. We'll do it, because he wants to, and I understand, anything to bring people in.....but, what are your opinions regarding open houses?

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I like open houses for other real estate agents to attend, particularly with a good comment sheet. I've found that very helpful in getting early feedback.

I don't think open houses for buyers are productive.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:43PM
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I think this is one of those regional things.
Open houses are very popular here, and they result in offers.

All our houses were sold via open house...
all but one were bought via open houses.
The one that was not - we were at an open house in the neighborhood, and the house we bought was just put on the market. It was not even listed yet, but our agent thought we'd take a look since we were driving by.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:20PM
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As a seasoned agent, I find that open houses depend on the market. During a sellers market, I thought brokers open houses were more productive because there were very few homes out there and getting the brokers in usually resulted in one with a buyer. In this current buyers market, most buyers are slow to comitt to an agent. They want to take their time looking and see many many homes. Open houses seem to be the way to go. They can pop in and out at their own pace and see as many or as few as they want to. Ive recommended more open houses in the last year than any time in my entire real estate career (over 20 years).

In a market with such competition, you shouldnt discount any form of exposure.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:29PM
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When we put the house on the market, we asked the RA if we were going to have realtors come through to see the house. Assuming they still did that. He said they don't do "caravans" anymore, but if we wanted him to, he would bring some co-workers by, to give us some in-put. Which he did today. They couldn't find anything negative to comment on. They felt the price was right, soooo, we play the waiting game.....and, schedule an open house.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Open houses are definitely regional and vary even on a micro-level. In my city, an open house in the suburbs is pretty much a waste. There are just so many similar houses on the market that people really pay attention.

However, there are neighborhoods downtown where open houses are very effective. People are buying the neighborhood as much as the house, so they respond to "Open house in XYZ neighborhood" advertisements.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 8:47AM
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Foggyi, in my area, a caravan is not the same as a brokers open. You may want to check that with your agent.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:55AM
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Hi Foggyi,

I am not a buyer. I am a seller. Just to see the upgrades, style, price etc in the neighborhood I do visit open house(all similar homes). You may call me "curiosity seeker".
Even I feel that Open Houses are not that productive and prefer appointment visits only. My house will be in the market early next spring.
Last weekend one of my neighbor had a open house and not a single person showed up.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 1:40PM
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Thanks for your responses. There are many houses similar to ours, in all the surrounding area. I wish I was a buyer around here! What a choice I would have.
Maybe we should go to see the other places for sale, but, like everyone else, I see them on the MLS. And we are competing with newer homes, so I know a lot of what they can offer, we can't change. (I'm so sick of hearing about granite counter tops, I could scream!)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 2:03PM
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I sold a year ago and didn't have an open house. I don't think open houses do anything for sellers and I didn't want curiosity seekers. It is a way for Realtors to pick up new clients, not to sell houses. That's how I found my Realtor, at a neighbor's open house.

However, I did have a 'brokers open house.' That was helpful so brokers, in the area could see the house. My property was a big selling point and needed to be seen in 'real life.'


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 6:55PM
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When we decided to list our house, we wrote a letter to all of the REA in our city....they called and made an appointment with us to bring their crew of agents through our house. We then interviewed the agents and picked one that we felt would do the best job.

It seemed to be that none of them thought open houses did any good anymore....just neighbors who wanted to see the inside of the house....and said with all of the internet exposure, the buyer could look at the visual tours and if they were interested enough, they made arrangements to see it in person. So no, in our area an open house does no real good....or that is their opinion.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:23PM
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I agree, about the validity of open houses. I hate to turn the RA down, about it. It's a way of...."trying". Haven't got one scheduled yet. I think we'll just wait until he brings it up again.
Thanks, I will ask about a "broker's" open house, again. When we did that, he brought two agents who work in the same office as our agent.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 3:59PM
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For what it's worth-- last January, I went to three open houses just to start getting mentally ready to buy. I hadn't done any of the prep work on my side, but I absolutely loved the third house that I saw. Within four days, I got loan pre-approval, got an agent, met with the agent, went to see the house a second time, immediately said I wanted to make an offer... and was told that the house already had an offer and a back-up offer. I would be very surprised if the other two offers weren't generated by the open house-- there were a lot of people there, and all of the comments I heard were positive.

I think an open house can be a really good thing for the seller if it's a nice house. I would go with it if I were you. It can't hurt, and it might mean a much faster sale.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 5:47PM
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I guess it depends if they are popular in your area. When dh and I sold in '08 the agent had a broker's open and from then on an open house to the public about twice a month. That's how we sold our house. Lots of traffic and whenever they left they would leave a business card from their Real Estate office.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 6:11PM
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I love open houses. I consider them a great way to window shop without having to register or give any personal info before I'm sure I'm interested.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 7:33PM
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I've heard that some open houses require people to sign-in, as a means of knowing who came through your house. I wondered about the security issue, with having the public roam around the house unaccompanied. I'm sure people may put fake names, but at least it may make them think, before they are tempted. As it is, for showings, I take important papers, bathroom articles, etc., out of the house. If I clear everything off, it may look pretty sparse.
On the other hand, there isn't alot of traffic around here, so it may not be a problem.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 9:59PM
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When we were on the market last fall the agent offered to do an open house but commented that the last one she had done had no one show up. She said that around here they aren't very well attended so it may be important to find out how they generally do in your area.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 10:26PM
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I bought a house from an open house. Saw it one Sunday afternoon, had a contract by Monday evening.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 6:15PM
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foggyj, you should go to open houses, even if they are not comps. It gives you ideas how to present your house, and your impression of a house. I found it very informative and it also helped me have a better idea of pricing.

We never had one ourselves, but attended others in our area on weekends. It was helpful.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 9:18PM
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well, today we had a flurry of three showings within 2 hours. The scheduling is done by a centralized group. all the realtors ask them to set up arrangements, by calling us, then they respond back to the agents. One of today's showings, was a second look.
I'm always anxious to hear from our realtor, for the feedback. None has been negative. Just little things that don't fit with the buyer. Such as, we have a three step sunken living room. Today's prospects had a toddler, and babe in arms. I would think twice about this house, with those steps, and a full staircase leading to an upstairs play area,etc. They would spend their time chasing kids off the steps.
We'll see. No open house scheduled yet.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 9:55PM
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I'll just add to the chorus that open houses seem to differ greatly from region to region in terms of their usefulness from a seller's standpoint, with suburban communities possibly being the worst bet. Our well-advertised and leafletted O.H. in one such subdivision drew a total of five groups over the course of an afternoon: one being a couple who go to such events recreationally (told our RA they had to see the property because one bet the other that the list price was so low for a lake community it had to be a mis-labeled townhome), one being a nutcase (too long a story) and the other three being neighbors who took a very long time looking into every cupboard and cranny. I would have invited them over earlier if I'd known how curious they were. Needless to say, no sale resulted.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:53PM
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Fori is not pleased

I bought my house after an open house, but it was an unusual situation. I had 3 days to pick and after 2 days stopped by a FSBO advertised on Craigslist (I did already know the neighborhood was good enough).

It really is nice to talk to the homeowner, which I'm sure is normally frowned upon. They even gave us the card for a mortgage broker who we ended up using. But those were the "good" days when you had to pay more than the asking price...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:12PM
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When we had three showings right in a row the other day, my DH just went out in the back yard. All three realtors came out to ask a question of him. (What were the monthly electical bills, on average.? What were the rules on RV's? I forgot the third one.) I see that these are answers RA's should have. We always leave when the prospects appear.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 5:46PM
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