The open house, a long standing tradition for marketing and selling a home, or a total waste of time? It’s actually a pretty controversial subject among Realtors. Some believe in them and others refuse to do them. I fall into the first category. I hold open a house pretty much every Sunday and some Sundays I will do a couple of open houses. I make a commitment to people who list their homes with me that I will promise one advertised open per month, at a minimum. I will do more if my time allows. This commitment keeps me pretty busy. It means that I do LOTS of open houses. And that is probably why I think that they work.
I would estimate that I sell one house per year that is directly a result of my open house efforts. In June I had an offer written by another Realtor after her clients found my listing at an open house. That open house was how I sold my listing. Last Sunday I had an open house and I am now in very strong verbal discussions with another Realtor, again because his buyer came through my open.
Please note that I said that I do “Advertised” opens. Sure, I like meeting the neighbors, but I want people coming through who already know the price, how many bedrooms there are, and are actually buyers who are wanting a new home. I think advertising is one reason that my opens are successful. While I used to do a newspaper ad with each open, I have shifted my marketing to the Internet. I advertise my open houses on Craigslist, on the RMLS, and when the house is in Lake Oswego, on the propertyblotter.
Let’ s put it this way. If I didn’t believe in open houses, I’d never do them, right? And then it is a no brainer that I could honestly say that they don’t work. How can something work that is never tried?
I also feel that in this economy, Realtors have to go back to basics. In a hot market, where homes are selling quickly, homes will sell with just some simple Internet exposure in the RMLS. In a slow market that is not enough. There are so many houses for sale, and so few buyers, that just being a part of the inventory is not enough. A Realtor has to use every possible tool to get exposure for a proprety. I owe it to my clients to work on their behalf and use all of the tools in my arsenal. And, as I have stated above, I know from experience that open houses work.
Watch for my signs. I’ll see you on Sunday!