What Are The Most Common Open House Myths In Real Estate?
One of the most controversial topics in the real estate industry are open houses. If you ask 10 real estate agents their thoughts on open houses, you’re likely to get 10 different opinions. The same can be said about asking home buyers and sellers about their opinions on open houses in real estate.
As with most things, there are PROs and CONs of open houses. If you’re thinking about selling a home, it’s critical that you know whether open houses are going to be a part of your strategy.
Before deciding whether you’ll use open houses as a vehicle to sell a home, you should be aware of some of the most common open house myths. Below you’re going to find out what the top 5 real estate open house myths are. Home sellers who are aware of these myths greatly increase the chance they make the right decision whether to have open houses during the sale of their home.
Open House Myth #1 – They’re Necessary To Sell A Home
There are some home sellers who believe that open houses must be hosted in order for their home to sell. This is one of the most common open house myths, in fact, the number of homes that sell as a direct result of an open house is very small. There are dozens of other effective real estate marketing strategies that agents use to sell homes than using open houses.
Are you asking yourself, “how will buyers tour my home if there are no open houses scheduled?” It’s pretty simple, serious buyers will find time to schedule a private showing with a real estate agent. There are 168 total hours in a week when a buyer can schedule a private showing for a home.
If open houses no longer existed, the number of homes sold wouldn’t change. A serious buyer will make time in their schedule to visit a home they potentially want to buy, bottom line.
One of the most important things you need to know before selling a home is whether you believe that open houses will be necessary to sell your home.
Open House Myth #2 – All Realtors Host Open Houses
All Realtors host open houses, it’s part of their job, right? Wrong!
Each and every real estate agent runs their business differently, ranging from the way they market their clients homes to how they market themselves. One of the most important interview questions to ask Realtors when selling a home is what their stance is on open houses.
A confident agent should have no issue explaining what their stance is on open houses and also provide reasons for their stance. One of the most popular lies that real estate agents tell home sellers is that a Realtor who doesn’t host open houses is lazy.
Certainly some agents are lazy, however, just because an agent doesn’t host open houses doesn’t mean they’re lazy. It’s maybe more beneficial for an agent to spend the 2-3 hours they’d spend at an open house working on promoting their sellers home in different ways, such as increasing web traffic to a real estate website which is promoting their clients home.
Open House Myth #3 – Open Houses Benefit The Home Seller The Most
A home can potentially sell as a result from an open houses, however, the chance is very small. The obvious reason that a home seller would want to open their home up to complete strangers would be for it to sell.
So, if the number of homes that actually sell as a direct result from an open house is small, who is actually benefiting the most from it? Another open house myth is that the home seller is the biggest beneficiary of an open house being hosted.
The chances that a real estate agent is able to pick up potential buyers and sellers is much higher than the home selling, thus resulting in an agent benefiting the most. There is absolutely no problem that some real estate agents use open houses as an opportunity to pick up new clients, however, the problem is most agents will not explain that they’ll likely benefit more from the open than the seller will.
Open House Myth #4 – Open Houses Never Result In Crime
An open house myth that exists is that some home sellers believe crime can’t occur during or after an open house. Unfortunately, nowadays crime is occurring more and more because of open houses.
When selling a home you need to determine if you’re willing to open yourself and your home up to potential crime that can result from an open house. There are definitely some extra tips to avoid getting robbed at an open house that can reduce the chance of crime occurring, but you still need to understand that the chance does exist.
If you’re selling a vacant home or selling a home from long distance, you definitely need to give it extra consideration whether the risk of crime happening is worth having an open house. Over the past several years there has been a big increase in vacant homes being broken into after open houses since an open house provides criminals the perfect opportunity to case a property.
If you’re planning on having open houses when selling a home, it’s important you don’t fall for this open house myth. If you understand the potential that a crime can occur because of an open house, you won’t be as shocked if you happen to be unlucky and experience a crime as a result of an open house event.
Open House Myth #5 – Only Qualified Buyers Attend Open Houses
There are many different types of people who go to open houses. Some of the people who you can expect to attend an open house are nosy neighbors, people who’re driving by a directional sign, or qualified buyers.
It’s extremely important that you don’t fall for the open house myth that some sellers believe which is that only qualified buyers attend open houses. It may not make any sense to you or I as to why someone who isn’t qualified to buy a home would waste their time walking through it, but it does happen.
It’s especially common when selling a luxury home or waterfront property that people who cannot afford to purchase the home want to walk through and see the home, just because they’re curious. If you’re selling a luxury home or a waterfront property, you need to strongly consider not having open houses because the chances of unqualified buyers attending is much greater.
One of the top benefits of only allowing private and scheduled showings when selling a home is the probability that your home is being looked at by qualified buyers is much higher. There are dozens of reasons why real estate agents ask buyers for a pre-approval, one being that they aren’t wasting the homeowners time by showing them a home they cannot afford.
There is nothing worse then having to explain to a home seller who insists on having open houses that there were only two groups who attended or even worse, that the home didn’t sell while they were inconvenienced having to spend 2-3 hours outside their home during the open house.
A listing agents job is not to be a tour guide for strangers walking through an open house. Representing the best interest of a seller is making sure that they’re aware of these common open house myths and letting them decide if they believe having an open house would be beneficial.
As experienced Rochester NY real estate agents, our job when representing a seller is to sell their home for the most amount of money while reducing the level of risk, stress, and headaches. Our team, The Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group, sells on average about 80-90 homes per year in the Greater Rochester NY area. On average, we only host less than a half dozen open houses per year.
There are agents and teams in the Rochester NY area who host open houses every weekend who sell a significantly lower number of homes per year. As you can likely tell by reading this article on the top five real estate open house myths that we don’t believe that an open houses will result in the sale of the home. It’s not because we’re lazy, but, because the time spent letting strangers walk through a sellers home during an open can be spent more effectively promoting their home in other, more effective ways.
Other Helpful Real Estate Resources
- Does an open house sell homes via Bill Gassett
- Why Isn’t My Home Selling?
- The false hope of open houses in real estate via Kevin Vitali
Are you thinking about selling a home in Rochester, NY and are unsure whether open houses are right for you? If you’re aware of the PROs and CONs of open houses and also realize these open house myths, you should be able to make the right decision for your circumstances. I’d be happy to discuss in great detail what you can expect from open houses, who benefits from open houses, and discuss other effective ways to get your home sold without opening yourself up to the risks an open house can result in.
About the authors: The above article “Top Five Real Estate Open House Myths – BUSTED!” was written by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group. With over 35 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.
© 2017, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.