There was once a time in real estate when the open house was a real ta-DOO! The events were marketed heavily, catered and the home was pristine, often selling within hours. As time passed and the Internet boomed, the marketing prowess of the open house faded, but realtors continued to use this tactic in order to “SHOW" the home owners they were really trying to land a deal on the house.
While it is more than likely that the open house will not disappear out of sight just quite yet, once must ask who is really benefiting from this played down version of a once glamorous affair?
The Home Seller and the Open House
The home seller wants to ultimately sell the home. The open house seems like the logical choice and the seller often feels excited about the chance of hundreds of people storming through their home and just falling to pieces over the low asking price. In all reality, the realtor is the one who uses the open house to list prospective buyers.
The Real Estate Agent and the Open House
The agent used to be able to market an open house and see floods of people storm through the doors hoping to buy. But, that was when the market had fewer homes for sale and more people looking to buy. Today, with inventories through the roof, homebuyers are more savvy than ever with their money and often take their time looking through hundreds of homes before choosing one to underbid on. The real estate agent may get a few leads from the open house, but nothing that will pan out to much in the future.
The Home Buyer and the Open House
Buyers are looking to save money and frugally choose open houses as a means to cut the agent costs out of the equation. When they find a home they like, they feel if they haggle with the selling agent they will lower their commission and become the buying agent as well. This is simply not the case all the time. AND, how is the buyer to really know if the home is a good deal. If the home buyer enters the home with an agent of their own, the game is on. The selling agent will show this perk and the buying agent will point out that flaw.
All-in-all the open house is a deflating marketing tool. When home buyers have tens of thousands of homes to choose from in some markets, they are not in the mood nor do they feel the need to roam from house to house. They want to hit the ground running and see many homes before choosing one to look into further. Real estate agents need to look deep in their hearts and decide why they are still planning those open houses. Are the home owners apt to feel better if the open house exists or is the real estate agent really trying to produce a sale?
Julia Vakulenko is a licensed broker associate with Tampa4U.com Realty. She has one of the hardest working Tampa Real Estate team in Florida specializing in Tampa Condos .