Are Open Houses Effective?
Nothing beats an open house when it comes to selling a home, right? To have potential buyers going from room to room personally checking out the well-staged living spaces sounds effective and convincing, yes?
That may have been true once, but not anymore.
Real estate agents no longer rely on face-to-face encounters to sell a house. Yes, Realtors meet and negotiate with buyers but most of these potential clients don’t really prioritize open houses like they used to.
Real estate and the internet
The National Association of Realtors ® reports that 43% of homebuyers use the internet for their initial search.
Online listings are often detailed, offering virtual guides and 360° views of the property. You’ll find lot size, property price, community description, and all other information a buyer needs to know.
If that’s not enough, you can also Google the street view of the property—allowing you a glimpse of the neighborhood in the process.
It’s true that people still attend open houses even if the numbers are declining.
But people who do go to the open house of a property they’ve already set their eyes on online. It’s how buyers choose their homes nowadays.
Agents are now scrambling to keep up with this efficiency. Window-shopping online for a home is revolutionizing the real estate agent’s way of doing things, too.
A new era
In fact, only 9% of homes bought in 2014 werechosen through an open house.
Given those single-digit percentages, can we still call open houses “effective”?
Perhaps the role played by the open house has evolved, too. Perhaps, as Realtor.com says, holding an open house can simply serve as a “rookie agent boot camp” where new agents can meet clients and learn what it’s like to be part of the industry.
Today, the number of homebuyers who even go to open houses have significantly declined, from 51% in 2004 to 44% in 2014.
Homebuyers are much smarter now. They do their research and they prefer looking at online listings to cancel out undesirable properties.
The most effective way for agents to sell a house in this era is to work hard and be innovative.
Real estate agents need to start re-creating themselves to fit the current clientele’s needs.
May the best agent win.