I don't read the Albuquerque Journal very often, but last week as I was sitting in my local Starbucks waiting for a client I picked up the business section and began to thumb through.
One of the first articles I read was the Real Estate Q and A column. A reader had sent in a question like this: "I have my house on the market and my Realtor won't do an Open House every week. What's wrong with him, isn't this the best way to sell a house?"
The writer of the column went on to talk about the diminishing returns that result from holding too many open houses at the same listing. She explained that open houses should be only one part of a balanced marketing plan that includes Realtor tours, flyers, internet exposure, etc. She wrote a nice, safe article that made some good points. However, I think she skirted around the real question "aren't open houses the best way to sell a house?"
*****So let me answer that question in a more direct and less polite way. ***NO!*** Open House are not the best way to sell a house!!! Not even close! In fact, they are totally ineffective at selling houses!*****
So if they are ineffective then why do agents do them?
- Uneducated sellers demand them.
- Real Estate agents want to look like they are trying hard.
- Some Realtors don't know what else to do to market a home.
- Brokers know that open houses can sometimes be a great way to find people looking to buy houses. <Other houses.>
- In spite of the internet and the fact that 90% of consumers now start their home search online, some brokers cling to old fashioned and ineffective marketing strategies because they don't know what else to do.
In fact I've heard more stories of brokers meeting buyers at an open houses, leaving that open house with them to show them a different house and selling it to them! In fact, I've heard this story many more times than I've actually heard of brokers selling the open house.
After all, what are the odds that some person ready to buy a home is going to happen to stumble upon an open house only to find out the house just happens to be in their price range, have the right number of bedrooms, the right size kitchen or yard, or the right colors? Let me tell you, the odds are very, very bad.
And even if lightning strikes and it is a good match, they're probably not preapproved for a loan.
You want to know what really sells a house? Price and condition. No amount of open houses, realtor tours, flyers, postcard or wine and cheese events (although I really like them, especially if the wine is good) will overcome a price that's too high or a house that's not clean and decluttered. And that's the rather unglamorous truth.
Don't believe me? Read another well respected Realtor's honest opinion about open houses. Want to hire a Realtor and get real information and straight-talk? CALL or TEXT Rich Cederberg at (505) 803-5012 and I'll be happy to help you!