Is an open house still ‘in’ in the real estate market?
It is easier to view houses up for sale today than in previous years. With the advent of the Internet, a buyer can browse listings of properties for sale. There are websites that even show pictures of properties for sale, and these websites even have reviews and descriptions of each house on the market. The conduct of an open house, which was once a major avenue for buyers and sellers to interact, is now deemed as impractical.
Many real estate experts believe that the holding of open houses bring more contacts than actual buyers. Usually, those who hold open houses do not get enough buyers- some say the chances of getting a serious buyer in an open house is as measly as 2%. The advent of the Internet, particularly Internet technologies such as video blogging, has made the conduct of open houses look Jurassic. In the mid-90s, only 3% of home buyers were able to get their dream properties through the Internet. In 2007, at least 77% of them were able to shop for properties online. Today, a seller who wants to get more potential buyers can simply take pictures or video clips of his house and post it in a blog. It is more convenient and inexpensive. The time and effort saved by the seller by opting for the Internet has made the holding of open houses less attractive.
What has made the conduct of an open house less attractive to sellers is the issue of privacy. Many sellers are hesitant to let complete strangers enter their properties and have virtually unlimited access to their house. Usually, sellers only open their house to serious buyers so that there are reduced chances of any untoward incident.
The rise of various websites that cater to houses for sale has also led to the wane in the popularity of open houses. Most people would rather go online and surf for houses on sale than waste their time on attending an open house. Convenience is a major issue here, as any individual can look up for houses for sale through the Internet. A buyer also does not have to wait for an open house to be conducted. There is no need to spend a couple of hours driving around a neighborhood. Looking for houses on sale online can be over in an hour or so.
However, there are some instances when holding an open house makes sense, particularly for sellers. By conducting an open house, a seller instantly gets feedback on what is good and what is not about their property. However, holding open houses too frequently may backfire for a seller since it may signify that the property is hard to dispose.
Most experts say that with the waning popularity of open houses, the only time holding of such is practical is when it is conducted properly. Thus, sellers should make the house as attractive as possible. It also helps to conduct extensive advertising prior to the holding of the open house.