The Insider’s Guide to Real Estate / Getting Ready / Open Houses Don't Help Sellers

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Hosting a party at your house will never lead to higher prices

Open houses mainly benefit agents

Do open houses actually benefit home sellers or have any impact on their net proceeds? The short answer is that open houses don’t lead to higher prices, but they may decrease some of the inconvenience associated with home tours.

At first, it seems like a good idea to bring buyers wholesale into your home once it’s for sale, though most buyers who tour homes don’t make offers. Once a home is listed in the MLS, there is nothing you can do to attract any additional buyers, even by hosting an open house. More frequently these days, 3D tours are automating most of these ‘unnecessary’ home tours within minutes of the listing being live, so open houses are becoming an even more antiquated thing of the past.

An idea not frequently discussed with civilians is that open houses actually serve to create buyers agent work for other houses. Agents hosting open houses know that the odds that any buyer will buy a specific listing are low, and especially at open houses. However, agents can make a key connection and then show that buyer other homes in the MLS tomorrow. Experienced real estate agents that work mostly with listings will often let newer buyers agent do open houses for their listings, sometimes for a referral fee.

Anecdotally we have heard of the person who goes to the open house and then eventually purchases the home. But is it also just as likely that the same buyer would end up purchasing the house if they saw it in the MLS? Certainly and likely because the MLS is a monopoly and all serious buyers know that is the place to start a home search.

Open houses don’t get you better prices or more new buyers. Agents promote open houses for their benefit, which is to connect with new buyer leads, but home sellers don’t get any extra exposure that they didn’t already have with the MLS listing.

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