Are OPEN HOUSES a waste of time? A broker’s perspective.

Are open houses a waste of time?

The truth is that open houses have always been better for the agent than for the seller.

Prospective buyers will show up to open houses but the likelihood of that particular listing being “the one” for them, is slim to none.  As soon as they shoot down that listing, most agents will immediately try to retain them as buyer clients.  The bottom line is that the internet has changed how people shop for homes.  Consider this…2% of home buyers used the internet to look for a home in 1995.  Today, a staggering 96% of home buyers shop online!


Only 3 of my listings have sold as a result of an open house in the last 5 years…out of over 200 deals!  But I’ve picked up buyer clients and sold them other houses.

In fact, I don’t hold open houses for my sellers unless they ask for it.  Open houses are an ineffective way to market a home and a security threat.  Consider this…you are letting complete strangers (and nosy neighbors) into your home.  They haven’t been pre qualified and we have no idea if they are prospective buyers, or thieves casing out the seller’s home.  I only schedule private showings for buyers who have been pre qualified.

So the next time your agent says….

“Trust me, we’re going to sell your home this weekend at the open house Mr. & Mrs. Smith!”

Instead of….

“Hello Mr. & Mrs. Smith…I’d like to do an open house this weekend. Now, I’m going to lead you to believe that the primary purpose of the open house is to find a buyer for your home, but in reality, the odds of that happening are very, very, very, very low.  The real reason I’m doing the open house is to attract potential buyer clients. Once I realize that a prospective buyer isn’t interested in your home, I’ll go into my spiel about how I should be the agent that helps them buy their next home. Is that ok?”

…which they probably won’t say, you can respond accordingly knowing the truth.