How Real Estate Agents Can Make Open Houses Work

By: Craig Berger

On any given weekend, there is a home somewhere in the area subjected to an open house. While some feel that open houses do not really help the sale of a home, others have had plenty of success selling after showing it to the public. Either way, real estate agents can use the open house to their advantage in many ways.

Real Estate Agents And The Origins Of The Open House

Before the Internet became the way people searched for information on real estate, open houses were one of the only ways to find out what property was on the market. Buyers could browse homes without having to go through a real estate agent.

However, today most interested parties consult websites first. Serious buyers typically work with a Realtor who uses MLS to help find them a home, developing a schedule to look at homes on the market privately. It is up to the agent to know whether to view the house publicly.

Real Estate Agents Can Make Open Houses Work To Their Advantage

One of the benefits of holding an open house is not necessarily to sell the home, but to draw in other sellers. People in the neighborhood who are also looking to sell will be able to meet you, thus giving you a built-in opportunity to network with potential clients. Though this can work, you should combine this tactic with other serious marketing efforts.

Of course, the main reason to have an open house is to attract buyers. Instead of showing the house individually to many clients, you can get all interested parties, plus a few more, to see the property.

Making Open Houses Work And What To Watch Out For

Since open houses are public, you need to be extra careful with any kind of potential liabilities. A swimming pool is a big selling point, but if someone falls in you are the one in charge at the time. Take precautions around the house and keep a careful eye on everyone coming in through the door.

Another option for an open house is a 'broker's open,' in which the open house is for other agents. Again, this is a great way to network, but it does not necessarily sell the home. In any case, hosting an open house gets the word out about the property while giving you the opportunity to connect with other agents, buyers and sellers.

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