The Secret of Who Really Benefits from Open Houses: Hint: its not the Seller.

The Secret of Who Really Benefits from Open Houses: Hint: its not the Seller.

I am going to let you in on one of the best kept secrets of the Real Estate industry. As the

story goes, it is essential that a listed home be regularly held open to the public for viewing in order to adequately market the house. We understand that this is precisely so that the gads of eager buyers driving around the neighborhood at just the right goldilocks time will glance upon the familiar directional sign and then will happily detour from their previous agenda to then tour the open home in which they will eventually live happily ever after. It is a romantic tale of a chance encounter but one that has a surprising twist [spoiler alert] – it just isn’t true.

And herein lays the insidious trade secret. Agents don’t hold your house open because they are working harder for you. Rather they do it because they are working harder for themselves. And best of all you think it is for you.

Of course many agents who are still struggling to build their business will insist that their toil is genuinely to sell your house . But under the influence of a potent truth serum or a few stiff drinks I assure you they will (as they have with me on multiple occasions) will sing like a canary. And such measures to get at the truth are only necessary until they achieve a thriving business. Once they no longer depend on meeting new clients at open house their view will suddenly veer 180 degrees.
For those non-realtors still convinced of the merits of a public parade through your house then don’t just take my word for it. U.S. News and World Report puts it this way.
Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes. If you or your agent choose not to have an open house, it probably doesn’t hurt your sale chances” (9 Common Real Estate Myths – Aug 2015)
Still need more convincing? See what these real estate sites have to say:

The reality is that open houses are a relic from an age long ago where unlike today which has 97% of buyers using the internet to find their home, there was no internet, (unless an idea swarming around Al Gore’s brain counts).

And so the industry continues to inconvenience sellers who must evacuate their home for half a day of their weekend by perpetuating this false narrative. Realtors favor a public that is kept in the dark because they need open houses to find new clients as well as to justify the 3% commission with the pretense of working hard for you. And yet it is common coin amongst industry insiders that it is really the buyer’s agent does most of the work to sell your home anyway and that listing homes is the ticket to financial success because they take comparatively little work.

I do want to emphasize though that holding a house open for other agents in the area to view (as opposed to the general public) can indeed be very helpful for selling your home and should be considered when thinking about a home’s marketing plan.


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