Do open houses sell homes?

There is some debate over whether an open house is a useful tool in today’s real estate market. Consider the following when deciding if one makes sense for you.

Where is your home?
Is your home in an area with a lot of traffic? That may improve the chances of potential buyers driving by and taking advantage of the open house. If you live in a new community with model homes, an open house may also draw in visitors to these homes. Someone who wants to move in immediately may make an offer on your house instead of waiting to build.

What is the first impression of your home?
If your home has a high “wow” factor, then an open house may make sense for you. When a home is dramatic or has special features, an open house may be able to change a casual visitor into a potential buyer with a serious offer.

What is your listing price?
If your listing price is high compared with the average home values where you live, you should maybe avoid having an open house. It would mean unescorted people coming through your home and, unfortunately, a high price attracts gawkers and potential thieves.

Are you willing to give up your time?
Are you willing to leave your home for three or four hours on a Sunday afternoon while your agent holds an open house? If not, then maybe it’s not for you. If you are going to be away anyway, then perhaps it does make sense to schedule one.

What does your agent say?
Does your agent recommend that an open house, or does she think it would be a waste of time? She knows the market best, so give a lot of weight to her opinion. Be aware, however, that agents often use open houses to attract new clients, so they may have their own interests at heart, too.

Remember that a low percentage of sales actually come from open houses. It may be worth it, though, if you are having a tough time selling your home. It can also be a good opportunity to get constructive feedback on your house.

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