Thinking of Hosting an Open House? You May Want to Think Again.
A man was recently caught on surveillance cameras in California doing something very disturbing while a Realtor was hosting an open house. You can read the article here but be warned, it is a little unsettling.
At BlueMatch, we have sold hundreds of millions in real estate. During this time, we have never once sold a home or received an offer through hosting an open house. About 1 in 10 of our clients hosts an open house. Usually, they make the decision to hold an open house because they anecdotally believe that they will somehow generate interest. BlueMatch won’t stop you from hosting an open house. We will however help you understand the pros and cons if you decide to host one.
Many clients of ours at BlueMatch often ask us about hosting an open house. Although we can not stop you from hosting an open house, we highly advise against it and we do not actively promote them. Our team of experts advises against open houses for several reasons. In this article, we will discuss why we do not support or encourage open houses and why you shouldn’t either.
Open Houses Simply Don’t Work
According to a study published in 2018 by the NAR, only 3% of buyers attended open houses when they started their home search. The study does not go on to say how many purchased a home after visiting an open house. I personally believe that number is low. The fact of the matter is, hosting an open house doesn’t work. When selling your home, data is key. Don’t fall for the warm and fuzzies.
If you ever hosted an open house, you know that the level of seriousness of people stoping by is generally low. Everyone from nosey neighbors to people just browsing come by and casually walk through the home. The reality is people that who are serious about seeing your home have quick and easy access. Most home sellers nowadays use showing services so that buyers can see your home at their convenience.
Before showing services and sites like Zillow, open houses made more sense. In today’s real estate world, however, they just don’t accomplish what they once did. If you have read our posts in the past, you know that BlueMatch is driven by data. Unfortunately for the open house, the data just isn’t there.
Hosting an Open House Mostly Benefits the Real Estate Agent
Here at BlueMatch, we are constantly solicited by Real Estate Agents asking us if they can host open houses for our clients. Not only are they asking us if they can do this, but they are also willing to do it completely free of charge. Sounds like a great deal doesn’t it? Free marketing right? The truth is, there is a huge benefit for the agents. There is actually more beneficial for the agent than the seller. Agents are constantly looking for their next client and hosting an open house is a great way to prospect. It sure beats cold calling FSBO.
Traditional agents will usually sell you the benefits of an open house. On the off chance that they find a new client, they can put an additional $15,000 or more in their pocket. In the incredibly off chance that an agent finds a buyer through the open house, the agent becomes the only winner. Almost every traditional agent we come across has a double end clause in their contract. This means if they find a buyer that does not have an agent, they double charge you.
As you can see from the above examples, the Realtor is the only beneficiary of an open house. When agents have money at stake, sometimes their interest misaligns with yours. There is serious money to be made in real estate.
Hosting an Open House is a Terrible Use of Time
Hosting an open house is usually a multi-day process that consumes many hours of your day. Hours that you could be used towards other things like strategizing with your agent, understanding what homes are doing in your area, or adjusting your home price. These items are a much better use of time and can greatly affect the outcome of your sale. When you advertise an open house, you or your agent needs to be present during that timeframe. This is usually anywhere from 6-8 hours on your day off.
Instead of spending your time hosting an open house, here are some things you could do instead to increase your chances of receiving an offer:
- Deep clean your home from top to bottom
- Make minor repairs to improve the aesthetics of your home
- Stage your home
- Make sure your photos are of the highest quality
- Run a market analysis to ensure your home is priced correctly
Making sure to use your time wisely when selling a home is key. Like anything, you want to invest in a good ROI.
Your Safety is Too Important
Finally, the most important reason we advise against hosting an open house is safety. Letting strangers into your home and exposing yourself to potential harm is just not worth the risk. for this reason and this reason alone, BlueMatch currently does not actively host or promote open houses through our platform. We allow our clients to host them but we always want them to be fully aware of the risks and benefits. If you are thinking of hosting an open house, you may want to reconsider better alternatives that are statistically proven methods to sell homes.
There are people out there that specifically look for open houses with ill intent. They can be doing anything from stealing drugs and valuables to the unthinkable. Before you consider hosting an open house, please keep your safety and the safety of your family in mind.
If you are thinking of selling your home and want to explore better ways to improve your outcome, check out BlueMatch. BlueMatch is the commission-free way to sell your home with an agent.