Early in my career the answer was different. There was barely an internet, and no social media. A sign in the yard saying ‘open house’ was an opportunity for a listing agent to introduce their listing to the world, meet unrepresented buyers, and ‘nosey neighbors’. Home seller’s would ask, “Are open houses worth it?”
My reply was simple: Open Houses were just a tactic that Realtors had been using to meet unrepresented buyers and your neighbors. They weren’t necessary to sell the home. Despite being a user of the tactic, some home seller’s didn’t want to vacate on sundays and needed to know if it would hurt them to not allow an open house.
My…. how times have changed.
Since 2004, the real estate technology game has changed, and created a shift in the marketplace. Unlike years gone by, buyer’s know about new listings to the market quickly. Some home buyer’s claim to be addicted to home shopping and check for new listings several times a day. Today, a list of open houses can be found on various websites and social media platforms that buyer’s can access directly: including maps and property history. In seller’s markets like this year it’s more common that a buyer will look at a home at the open house, THEN call their Realtor. Other times they view the home with their agent and then double back with friends and family to spend more time taking it all in.
Seller’s Market Must
In the world of low inventory and multiple offers, our open houses have given us a strange benefit to meet the folks making offers, find out who their agents are, and help them understand what the seller’s want. Buyer’s come in asking questions about how they can win out against other buyers. It gives listing agents an opportunity to vet the buyer and find out who REALLY likes the property.