The increase of Internet listings with video and multiple photos is quickly making open houses more of a preference, rather than a necessity for selling a home.
“There are still buyers out there that do not want to be tied to agents right away and they are searching the Internet for open houses,” said Realtor® Terry Kirkwood of Radnor. “I make sure all my open houses are on all the Internet sites.”
In 1995, two percent of home buyers used the Internet to look for a home, according to the National Association of Realtors®. NAR has reported that over 90 percent of home buyers today shop online. Many Realtors® now refuse to hold open houses, considering them a misuse of time. And many sellers now prefer to open their doors to serious buyers only.
“Opens don’t sell houses, rarely generate serious buyer prospects and can result in theft,” said Realtor® Andrew Wetzel of Havertown. “Today’s initial showings happen online and serious buyers would prefer a ‘private showing.’ The proof in the pudding is that many new agents won’t waste their Sunday sitting for a couple of hours.”
Since MLS listings began being featured online around 1996, the transparency of homes for sale has improved considerably. Through the use of multiple photos, virtual tours and video, home buyers can look inside each home without ever setting foot on the property.
“Many Realtors® make use of open houses when the normal advertising has not worked to secure prospective buyers to look at the property,” said Realtor® Conrad Vanino of Shillington. “In many cases, it is good as it allows the Realtor® that is holding the open house to meet prospective customers that may become clients.”
Without an open house, qualified buyers still may need to make arrangements see a home with the assistance of a real estate professional. In the end, running an open house is a matter of preference, not a necessity, in selling the home.