5 Reasons You Still Need to Have an Open House

It used to be a no-brainer that part of the home selling process was hosting an open house. It was a time honored American tradition, filled with balloons, free coffee, and one hoped, hoards of potential buyers.

These days the open house is under attack. Opponents of the practice contend that it’s outdated, unnecessary, and nothing more than an excuse for your agent to pass out business cards to prospective future clients and an invitation to nosey neighbors to see how you live.

And sure, the case against open houses does bring up several valid points.

Of course,  in 2014, relying solely on an open house to drive the sale of your house would be simply an exercise in wishful thinking. Nowadays the core and the crux of marketing any home is developing a robust online strategy.

But let’s be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater here. While the open house may not produce the same results that it once did, here are 5 reasons why it still needs to be part of your marketing strategy.

1. It doesn’t cost a dime (figuratively speaking).

Assuming you’ve listed your home with a local agency, the real cost of throwing an open house hovers right around zilch. Sure, your agent may choose to shell out a few bucks to promote the event in the local classifieds, but that’s par for the course. Even with nothing more than a few signs and good weather on the weekend, you’ll get bodies through the door.

Sure, some will be time wasters or nosy neighbors, but when you’re selling a house it’s a numbers game and it can’t hurt to improve your chances.

2. You get the chance to monopolize your agent for a day.

Real estate agents are super busy and work with multiple sellers at the same time. Hosting an open house and insisting that the agent allow you to stay gives you a great opportunity to spend several hours with your agent, asking questions and clarifying their sales strategy. There’s no better way to ensure that they’re focusing on your home and not another client’s.

3. Buyers who visit open houses generally visit more than one.

A lot of open house shoppers will spend the entire day visiting different home showings. If you feel that your place has something special to offer that the other listings in the neighborhood don’t, this is your chance to show it off.

With prospective buyers in “shop and compare” mode, you’ll be more likely to catch someone’s eye with how your property differs if they’ve been to several other average homes on the same afternoon.

4. Don’t be a pessimist. The glass if half-full I tell, you!

I read this quote on an anti-open house blog: “Surveys by the National Association of Realtors show that only 3 to 7 percent of homes are sold by open houses.”

The first thought that came to mind was, “3 to 7 percent, not too shabby for a half day’s work!”

The bottom line is that there is no tried and true method for selling your home quickly. There’s always an element of luck involved that the right buyer will appear out of thin air at just the right time. So if selling your home is kind of like winning the lottery, why not play all the tickets you can?

5. He said, she said.

A primary complaint about open houses is that they tend to attract a lot of browsers and not a whole lot of serious buyers. But the more eyes you get rolling through your property, the more social networks you can tap into.

Maybe your neighbor isn’t interested in buying your place, but now that they’ve had a shot to take a peek at all those renovations you made last summer, they just might recommend your house to someone they know who is in the market. You may not make the sale on the same day as your open house, but word of mouth is a powerful tool once it’s on the move!