Does An Open House Still Matter In A Digital Age?Published: September 14, 2018
Do you need an open house? Most sellers understand that in order to sell their house, buyers need to see it first, hence an open house. But does seeing it in person matter? Most Realtors use traditional advertising methods: websites, pictures, showings and open houses. But now, with the digital age fully in motion, do all of those options still make sense? Do you really need to have an open house in order to sell your home? The answer might surprise you.
Sellers, and some Realtors, will often argue that the open houses only attract lookey-loos, are just ways for Realtors to generate new customers, or provide opportunity for thieves to get inside their home. They also say, that in the digital advertising and social media age, open houses should be a thing of the past.
Now, while those are all good points, let’s look at them individually and apply some stats and metrics. This will show why open houses are still a great and viable marketing and sale tool.
Open Houses Don’t Generate Buyers
Everyone can understand that the more traffic you get during an open house the better the opportunity you will find a buyer from it. It’s true that many attendees to open houses are just there to ‘see how the Jones’ live’ or to get a look at the neighbour’s house. However, a 2016 Inman open houses special report found that 67% of respondents said that an open house contributed to a sale either directly or indirectly. That’s a significant amount of buyers coming from an open house.
While it’s true that buyers start their search online and view photos more than read blurbs, those can be misleading. According to a 2017 report from the National Association of Realtors, 83% of buyers use the internet to search for homes. They look at video, photos, videos and interactive 3D virtual tours.
However, when you talk to buyers, as was done in the Inman survey, more than two-thirds of the buyers indicated that open houses were worthwhile. Photos, drones and virtual tours did not replace the experience of an open house. The connection between buyers and the property, in most cases, is what makes a sale happen. You can like it online, but you need to see it to experience it.
Open Houses Invite Thieves
Really? We have never seen any data that backs this statement up, nor do we hear it that often. However, as a precaution we always recommend that our clients prepare their home for an open house. Put away small trinkets, jewelry, computers, etc and prepare your home to have strangers looking through.
Consider the Inman report, it found that 87% of survey respondents who are Realtors said buyers and sellers want an open house. Not only did they want it, but more than half of them said it is important enough to give it an 8 out of 10 rating.
Open Houses give Realtors another reason to push the listing into the community and it brings in offers. It helps build excitement about a property and when buyers are excited, that’s when homes sell.
So, when can we book YOUR open house?