The Power of Open Houses

The Power of Open Houses cover picture shows a lady taking cookies out of an oven.

The Power of Open Houses: Why You Should Have One


An open house is a time-tested real estate practice that allows buyers to explore a home for sale at their leisure. As a seller, hosting an open house events can pay major dividends. However, some argue that open houses are more trouble than they’re worth. In this blog post, we’ll explore the considerable benefits of open houses and make the case for why you should host one if you’re selling your home.

The Power of Open Houses:  Accessibility Sells Homes

An open house tears down barriers to home shopping. Unlike showing appointments, open houses don’t require pre-approval, pre-qualification, proof of funds, or even working with an agent. Open houses are a casual, low-pressure way for buyers to explore homes. In fact, open houses cater to early-phase shoppers who are still figuring out what they want. This leads us to our next point.

Moreover, open houses have intrinsic appeal. Shoppers enjoy the autonomy of touring homes independently. Additionally, the no-strings-attached format means visitors can ask questions freely without feeling obliged. Simply put, easy access sells homes. Open houses let buyers envision themselves living in the space, whereas showing appointments feel more restrictive.

The Power of Open Houses:  Widens the Buyer Pool

Significantly, open houses attract more buyers. Curious neighbors, local investors, first-timers, and looky-loos often discover appealing listings through open houses. Many buyers report that they wouldn’t have considered certain homes if they hadn’t noticed an open house sign.

Beyond that, open houses hook agents with qualified buyers. Veteran agents often have ready buyers waiting for the right home. Since listings spread quickly nowadays, many buyers pounce when their agent messages them about an open house that fits their criteria. Furthermore, agents tour open houses to familiarize themselves with inventory. They may meet promising buyers there and later show them targeted listings.

The takeaway? Open houses substantially widen the buyer pool. The serendipitous nature of open houses helps listings connect with ideal buyers. You never know who might walk through the door or what agent may meet a great buyer there.

The Power of Open Houses:  Creates Urgency

Additionally, open houses build buyer urgency by signaling that competition exists. When buyers see groups touring a home, they realize demand is high. This implicitly pressures buyers to act quickly if they want to make an offer.

Moreover, out-of-towners get insight into the local market from chatting with other buyers and agents. If they hear that homes go fast for the price range and area, they’ll be inclined to move swiftly. In summary, open house crowds spook buyers into action, preventing offers from dragging out.

The Power of Open Houses:  Vetting Visitors

Now, some argue that open house visitors are not serious buyers. However, a quality listing agent will screen visitors and identify promising buyers. Agents ask targeted questions to gauge visitors’ interest level and means. Discerning agents direct casual lookers to take listing flyers and follow up later by phone or email if they want more information or private showings. This filtering process allows agents to focus on hot leads during the open house.

On top of this, listing agents gather crucial buyer feedback. They hear what homeseekers like and dislike about the property. Constructive feedback helps sellers price right and prepare the home for sale. Agents also collect contact info to fuel their buyer networks. Overall, savvy listing agents actively vet and court buyers during open houses. Casual visitors can easily convert to serious buyers with some finesse.

The Power of Open Houses:  Makes a Lasting Impression

An open house also makes for memorable first encounters between buyers, sellers, and agents. Buyers bond with the listing agent over home details and neighborhood insights. Buyers also picture themselves living in the stylishly staged home. Now envision this. The buyer’s agent later shows them houses that just don’t compare. Having that shining example in mind means less ideal homes simply fall flat.

Furthermore, sellers can use open houses to personally connect with buyers. Sellers share their favorite home features and neighborhood highlights. This heartfelt seller-buyer rapport brings the transaction to life, fostering an emotional bond. Working directly with home sellers humanizes the process for buyers as well. They become more motivated to craft a competitive offer that appeals to the sellers they’ve connected with.

The Power of Open Houses:  Boosts Curb Appeal

Additionally, open houses boost a listing’s curb appeal. Open house signs draw attention to the property and signal that it’s move-in ready. Neighbors also spread the word that it’s open to visitors. Passersby may pop in on a whim. This heightened local visibility can prompt inquiries and potential offers.

Besides attracting buyers, open house preparations enhance aesthetics. Sellers thoroughly clean, declutter, and stage the home to make the best impression. Curb appeal upgrades like flowers, trimmed bushes, and re-mulched beds complement the house. The takeaway is that open house preps elevate listings beyond showing-ready to model home quality. That visual appeal converts browsers into buyers.

The Power of Open Houses:  Updates Online Listings

Online listings also benefit from open house updates. The listing agent will plaster gorgeous new photos of the home across real estate sites and social media. Eye-catching imagery paired with “Just Listed” and “Open House” labels grab attention.

Additionally, listing agents tag key details like the amenity upgrades and neighborhood highlights mentioned during open houses. This comprehensive digital marketing amplifies the open house impact extensively. So in-person open house success has an online domino effect.

The Power of Open Houses:  Risks Are Overblown

Now let’s address security risks, which deter some sellers from hosting open houses. However, prudent prep and vigilance easily minimize threats. Sellers simply secure personal documents and valuables to put their minds at ease. An experienced listing agent also runs a tight ship, monitoring guests closely. Open house agents register all guests and accompany them during tours, allowing no unsupervised access.

Moreover, open house theft is extremely rare, though you would never know it from sensational news items. Consider that over a half-million open houses happen yearly without incident. Theft risks should not outweigh the potential sales reward open houses offer. Security measures have tightened in recent years as well, including nest cameras and visitor tracking apps. Ultimately, secured belongings and an attentive agent dispel legitimate theft concerns.

The Power of Open Houses:  The Proof Is in the Numbers

The data also supports the power of open houses. NAR found that combined in-person and virtual open houses generated over one-third of buyer inquiries for listed homes in 2021. For context, yard signs produced 26% of inquiries and direct MLS searches just 15%. Clearly, open houses outperform passive listing activities.

At Avalon Group Realty, we have sold many homes during an open house, but this usually occurs within the first two open houses of the house hitting the market.  We always suggest holding open houses the first weekend of being on the market.

Additionally, homes that host open houses spend considerably less time on market. Analysis by corelogic revealed newly listed homes with open houses waited just 30 median days for offers. Conversely, listings sans open houses lingered 54 days typically before going pending. That’s nearly two extra months of carrying costs and agent commissions without an open house. Simply put, the numbers confirm open house value.

The Power of Open Houses:  Final Thoughts

In conclusion, open houses deliver immense upside for sellers who can stomach a bit of risk and inconvenience. Easy access open houses foster emotional connections and drive urgency like no other marketing avenue. They expand buyer networks, illuminate competitor weaknesses, and unlock targeted feedback. Additionally, open houses spark community buzz and perfect online branding. With prudent security measures, homeowners should not let unlikely theft risks deter them from hosting open houses. The sales statistics speak for themselves – open houses sell homes faster. If you are selling, embrace these time-tested events to maximize your returns. Consult an experienced local agent to implement secure, highly-effective open houses.

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About the Author
Rob Johnson
Realtor, St. Petersburg FL