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Updated 5/15/2019

Do real estate open houses sell homes faster?

Every seller wonders if hosting an open house will be their big chance to sell. It's impossible to say it'll guarantee a sale or even an offer. However, what we do know is that an open house can't hurt your chances.

While it's not unthinkable to sell your home at an open house, it may seem unlikely. So why does everyone make so much noise about this notable event in the real estate industry? An open house can effectively save time, inconvenience, hassle, and stress for everyone in the buying or selling process, which is why more and more agents recommend this to their clients.

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Who goes to open houses?

The truth is most buyers seriously lookingfor a house are working with a real estate agent. They get new listings from agents as soon as homes hit the market. Their agents take them out to look at homes, and they get private tours of the property. So by the time an open house is held, a serious buyer has already considered the property.

So if active home buyers aren't making up the bulk of the crowd, who goes to these things? At an open house, you will find a good, healthy mix of attendees — plenty of nosy neighbors, casual passersby, other real estate agents, and future home buyers. Unfortunately, these events also have the potential to draw in thieves or robbers.

You must remember, an open house is essentially an open invite to a group of strangers into your home, giving them an easy shot at things items in plain sight. You can easily avoid this situation by tucking all valuables away in a safe place so that everyone's focus funnels toward the qualities of the property, not the goodies inside your jewelry box.

At times you'll see an agent will put a home on the market with instructions that no showings are permitted before the open house. That strategy is not the norm and applies more to sellers' markets.

Do open houses sell homes?

The open house offers benefits felt on both the buying and selling end. Sellers love the benefit of convenience. It takes a ton of time to accommodate individual viewings. With a family and a full-time job, private showings can become very inconvenient, as they require a deep clean followed by a vanishing act — all at a moment's notice. An open house sweeps aside all the uninterested candidates in one go. It saves time, increases the chance of a quicker sale, and opens the door for multiple bids, which means there is potential to make more money.

Buyers might not make up the bulk of visitors, but many still love open houses. It gives them an opportunity to ask questions and find many answers with the freedom to independently explore the home. And since there are bound to be some of those nosy neighbors lurking, buyers have the opportunity to get an honest feel for the community.

However, unless the open house is in a popular neighborhood near a busy street, it's unlikely that it will draw much attention without proper marketing. Since most of these people are not on the market for a home but are just merely curious, it's easy to doubt the benefit of holding an open house in the first place.

Will your house sell from an open house?

Is your home going to sell after an open house? The answer is probably not. You will not be pulling the “For Sale” sign out of your yard at the end of the open house.

Since they don't typically lead to a sale, there are plenty of arguments against the open house. If the homeowner is living in the space at the time of the open house, it is quite a hassle to prepare for the event. Arrangements need to be made, personal and valuable items need to be removed--it's a boatload of prep, even if your agent is doing most of the actual showing.

Living in the age of the internet, many people wonder what is the point of an open house anymore. Most properties are up on the web before the first open house is even scheduled. Potential buyers can view photos and information about the property and contact the agent if they are interested. For many people, this makes the open house completely irrelevant.

The reasons are for and against publicly showing your home are multilayered. An open house provides an opportunity to pull in buyers, as well as weed out the lookie-loos, and should not be ruled out of the selling process entirely.

Other Ways to Sell Your Home Faster

Open houses aren't the only way to get people interested in your house. There are a few other things that can draw in buyers who are just driving by or to convince the people who decide to take a look around.

  • Upgrade your curb appeal. It doesn't take much money to boost the appearance of your home. Keep the lawn well-maintained, plant some extra flowers, and keep the sidewalks clear. If you want to go the extra step, change outdoor hardware, replace the house numbers, or even paint the whole house!
  • Let the light in. Nothing brings down the vibe of a house like dreary darkness. Make sure your windows are cleaned inside and out and throw open those curtains. With a fresh coat of bright paint and natural daylight, you can really turn the look of your house around.
  • Sell at the right time. Do your research (or ask your agent to!) to find out when the best time for selling houses in your area is. It can vary from state to state depending on weather, so make sure you're strategic with this choice.
  • Make sure the price is right. It's more than just a game show: The first thing most people look for while searching for houses is online is something that's in your budget. While you definitely should not lowball yourself (buyers will probably try to do that for you!), make sure you're realistic about how much your home is worth. If you price it too high for its value or for the area, many buyers won't even take a second look.

Hosting an open house can be difficult. With help from a Clever Partner, it's easy! Let our highly qualified, full-service realtors do all the work. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.


Andrew Schmeerbauch
Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

See all Andrew's Posts

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