Are you considering selling your house? If so, are you reviewing the marketing plan for selling your home? Are open houses going to be in the marketing plan? If so, then here are some considerations when you are selling, and if open houses are going to be right for a seller!
The are some real estate agents who do not prioritize and the most important item to consider is safety! If you are marketing for a seller, the seller needs to be prepared for the open house. And the agent needs to take into account their own safety as well.
What is an Open House?
Open houses are an invitation to the public to come and view a property. They can be advertised online, in the MLS (multiple listing service), printed invitations and flyers. An open house is a scheduled period of time that a property which is listed for sale will be held open allowing anyone to come in and view the property.
What is a Broker Preview?
A broker preview is an open house for the brokerage community to come and view the property. Generally, they are held on certain days of the week and the idea is to get the brokers through the house in the event they have a buyer who is considering purchasing in the area.
The listing agent will utilize open house signs, and it is still possible to have drive-by neighbors to come in and view the property.
Who Comes to Open Houses?
You may have buyers that want to view the property that has found the property online and there is a strong possibility that these buyers already have their own agent. There may be accompanied showings with a buyer and their agent as well.
In addition to these buyers, you may also have nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers. As a seller, you need to take that into consideration if you want unqualified buyers walking around your house.
According to NAR (National Association of Realtors), 51% of buyers found their home on the internet, 34% found their home utilizing a Realtor and 8% from a yard sign or open house sign!
A seller may be opening their home up for a very small percentage that the home may sell from this marketing activity. It is a known fact that agents utilize open houses to pick up new clients. If a buyer does come to an open house, and they end up working with that agent to buy a home somewhere else!
Are There Benefits of an Open House?
There may be benefits to an open house and it is up to a seller and their agent is if it is worth the risk of having an open house. Open houses may be the “norm” in certain communities and there are certain circumstances when an open house can be beneficial. There are certain communities and neighborhoods that require specific for sale signs and open house signs and all Realtors need to comply in these neighborhoods.
If a home is vacant, and literally has no personal effects, then an open house can be beneficial. I have been to listings which are staged but are vacant, and having open houses with this scenario is beneficial. The potential buyer can see the home with furnishings and are able to imagine themselves in the home. Additionally, homes that are staged are neutral and do not have the seller’s personal effects in the home.
Another benefit of an open house is that it will receive increased exposure. There are buyers that can search online for open houses and drive by’s as well. If they see an open house in a neighborhood, they may take the time to preview the home.
Open houses make it easier for a buyers agent to show a home! Many times when I am scheduling appointments to show a home to a buyer if there is an open house scheduled that provides the agent flexibility with scheduling showings. And if a home is vacant and the listing agent is utilizing a lock box then that provides the buyer’s agent with flexibility in with their showing schedule as they can open it up per the showing instructions.
What are the Downsides of Open Houses?
Social Media – if an agent is posting publicly on the internet including sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more exactly where and when a Realtor is going to be holding the house open and inviting anyone to attend. The wrong people may be viewing this information and utilizing it as an opportunity to get into the home. There can be potential theft, and also the fact that an unscrupulous person may be there to view the layout of the home to come back later! Additionally, everyone has cameras, so photos can be taken of entrances to the property as well as personal possessions.
Safety at open houses is imperative for listing agents or agents who are holding the homes open. It is beneficial to have two agents there as there is always safety in numbers.
There is the risk of burglary after someone has seen the layout and design of the home, and has knowledge of entrances and windows. Agents need to be present and aware of who is viewing the property. Preparation is key and ensuring that valuables have been secured will help to reduce the risk
Another concern is the safety of the agent in the home. There have been crimes committed against real estate agents, and often because the agent is alone in the home and it has been marketed to attract the greatest number of people.
There are several recommendations for Sellers when they are considering holding their property open. It is recommended to put away valuable items including jewelry, personal possessions, prescription drugs, and firearms. Any item that is of value to a seller needs to be put away for safety. Nick nacks and collectibles should also be stored for safe keeping. Keep in mind if your open house has one agent, and it is a large property, then it is beneficial to have two agents.
Other recommendations including having the attendees sign in either using a sign in sheet, however in today’s time there are many apps that an agent can utilize and ask the potential buyer to sign in. False information can be provided, but it is an attempt to document who has come through the home. Security cameras can also be beneficial to document and keep track of the activity in the home.
There can also be additional wear and tear on the home with having open houses. Some recommendations include utilizing booties for all, if there are refreshments or food, then if possible to have it outside or in a kitchen so that food is not spilled on carpet or other flooring surfaces. I have seen when potential buyers bring their small children with food and expect they are going to eat in the house, and it is the agent’s responsibility to provide direction to those people and ask them to take their food outside! Agents need to tell them to remove their shoes, wear booties and ask for feedback after the showing.
Selling a home is a process and the benefits and risks of open houses need to be discussed if that is a marketing activity that the seller wants to have in their home. If it is a vacant open, then an open house may be beneficial, in the circumstance however having two agents working together is beneficial.
If I can answer any questions about selling your home and the marketing plan, please contact me.
Find Other Valuable Resources for “Are Open Houses Necessary to Sell a Home?” from Real Estate Professionals Across the Country. Please check out the articles below, and please share across Social Media if you liked the articles.
How an Open House May Increase Your Odds of Being Burglarized via Bill Gassett, Maximum Exposure Real Estate
Buying Etiquette 101 via Michelle Gibson, Wellington Home Team
Selling a Luxury Home via Paul Sian Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Real Estate
8 Tips for Selling a Luxury Home via Kyle Hiscock, Rochester Real Estate Blog
Should I Have an Open House via Kevin Vitali, Merrimack Valley Real Estate
About the Author
The above real estate article “Are Open Houses Necessary to Sell a Home?” was written by Sharon Paxson of Newport Beach Real Estate. With combined experience since 2005 with representing sellers, buyers, and landlords, with their real estate transactions, we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise and guide you through the home buying or selling process.
We service the following Orange County CA areas: Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Santa Ana, Sunset Beach, Tustin and more! If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.