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Friday, December 6, 2013

Do I Really Need to Hold an Open House to Sell My Home?

The simple answer is “no.” Putting an ad out and installing signs typically notifies noisy neighbors and unqualified buyers “who are just curious” to tour your home. Agents who like to hold them this way, are going after making relationships with these people to get more business.

The reality is, qualified buyers don’t typically show during open houses. Most others go through with their agent for a private showing at a different time to avoid the crowd.

But that doesn’t mean ALL open houses are just a lead generating pool for agents.  A successful open house includes sending invitations to agents along with qualified buyers. Then afterwards, following up with them and asking for offers or feedback. This way targets qualified buyers and their agents by highlighting the best features of your home. This is especially important if your home has some very unique features.

Another open house that typically gets less spotlight is a Broker’s open. Unlike public open houses, this is held on a Tuesday just for brokers and agents to do a preview tour for their clients and is typically held just before or just after going on the market.

In our current market of low inventory, this is especially a great idea to get the serious buyer’s agents through before going public. In the Northern Virginia area, I’ve seen more houses sell this way with great, solid deals then with a public open house. On that note, the same invitation and follow up rules apply. A great, active agent outsells the passive agent who just advertises. If you’re curious where buyers come from, check out this chart from our local real estate board, NVAR (Northern Virginia Association of Realtors).