Selling Your Home? Should You Have A Public Open House?

Are Open houses a viable way to sell a home in Darien,Ct or elsewhere. It depends.

One of the staples of real estate marketing in Darien and everywhere else for that matter is the ubiquitous Sunday open house. Every listing gets one or more during its time on the market, and the papers and Internet are full of them. But do they really work? Well, it depends on what you mean by "work." Over the past 11 years, I've personally only seen open houses sell a  specific property a handful of times.

Open houses usually draw a cross section of people from nosy neighbors to those just sticking their toe in the real estate market waters. And if you're dealing with a high end marketplace such as Greenwich or Darien, I believe they are an outright waste of everyone's time. Buyers looking for three-, four- or five-million-dollar properties rarely drop out of the sky or find themselves trolling the Internet for open houses.

For those types of properties, I'd conduct an exclusive, public showing, by invitation  only or perhaps conduct an evening event inviting other brokerages from neighboring towns. In this market, time is better spent exposing the property to agents who have high-end clients than perfect strangers who may just be looking for kitchen remodeling ideas.

If your home is not in the real estate stratosphere, and if the open house isn't terribly inconvenient for you, the go ahead. But as they say in golf ... it's not the percentage shot.

This post won't make me popular among my fellow realtors but it could save you and me both, several, undisturbed Sunday afternoons.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Baffled Resident September 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Coming from a consumer, what type of reduction in commission fee are you offering me in light of your desire to not perform a function that is customarily expected when paying a 6% commission?
Karen Brewer September 17, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Dear Baffled, I am perfectly willing to conduct open houses but I am totally upfront with clients about what the outcome is likely to be....a slim chance of actually selling your home as a result.......
Baffled Resident September 17, 2012 at 12:59 AM
If i were to hire you @6%, i would expect that you would provide full-service. Whether you believe it to be a waste of your Sunday is irrelevant to me. And honestly, many listing brokers don't even attend the Sunday Open Houses anyway. They have an assistant do it for them. I've met a couple of these "duh" individuals this summer when attending OH's.
Deirdre McGovern September 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I totally disagree....as a real estate agent I have had a number of homes receive offers due to public open houses and believe in this market every effort to sell a listing is worthwhile.
Karen Brewer September 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Dear Baffled: I repeat..I would never be unwilling to do Open Houses...however, I believe it is important in this new market to be willing to examine those things which might not be effective as they once were..and be honest with the client about the potential outcomes. Thats all.
Renee Daley September 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I'm with Deirdre! I too have sold several homes through open houses! Although today's buyers are a savvy bunch and continue to do their primary " tire kicking" on the internet, open houses are still the best way to see and feel if the home is right for them!
FlippingQueen September 29, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Karen: You are 100% correct!! In my opinion, PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES are a waste of time not to mention dangerous no matter where your listing is located. Price the home correctly, expose it to the market on the MLS and it will sell!! If a person is serious about purchasing a home, they should be preapproved for a mortgage or have a proof of funds letter and working with a buyer's agent that can assist them properly. Before I wised up, I did host open houses and 99% of the attendees were nosy neighbors, unqualified buyers or a person that was already represented by an agent. I can serve my sellers much better by providing them with a realistic market price and exposing it to several MLSs so the home sells quickly. Funny to me that "Baffled" mentioned that he or she went to more than one open houses this summer. I guarantee that he or she did not buy one of those homes yet she would want their agent to have an open house to sell their home(but he/she doesn't realize that the attendees will be people like him or her that were "just looking." LESSON OF THE DAY...don't overprice your listings to satisfy the misinformed sellers..educate them, price it right, sell it fast and enjoy your SUNDAYS. Life is too short to sit at an open house for 3 or 4 hours, staring at the walls and eating the cookies you brought!! Get out and enjoy the day!!
Baffled Resident September 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Baffled attended 5 Open Houses this summer. The purpose of attending the OH's was to meet with 5 brokers that had been recommended to me by family/friends/colleagues. As i indicated previously, only 3 of the brokers were actually in attendance. Why did i seek them out at an Open House? Because, i wanted to see them in action. I've seen my share of sleek presentations from listing w**res on my previous sales(2), and i don't need for my time to be wasted by these types. I have selected a broker from that pool of 3, and my home will be listed next week.
Karen Brewer September 29, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Dear Baffled.Think you just proved my point...you werent there to buy a home at all.
Baffled Resident September 29, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Yet again Ms. Brewer, you have failed miserably. One of those 5 homes that we visited is very much indeed on our radar screen. I expect that we will be purchasing it once we have a buyer for our home.
fairfield newcomer September 29, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Commissions are negotiable, I sold my Fairfield home last fall and paid a 4.5% commission which included two open houses and if a broker tells you otherwise, find another broker.
EMR September 29, 2012 at 02:53 PM
RE Agent squabblings...Just love it!


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