So why do agents use open homes?
Simply put, open homes benefit your agent, NOT you. At the end of the day, any old agent can put on an open home. It takes a good agent to find the right buyer and negotiate the best price. Do not be fooled by agent’s claims that open homes are the only way to sell a house – it’s the only way for lazy agents to sell a house.
Makes your agent look busy
Open homes are a great way for lazy real estate agents to look busy. They simply set a date and sit back while people walk through your home. They then have the audacity to boast about its success – even if there were no offers. A good real estate agent will make the effort to schedule personal appointments with qualified buyers. Some real estate agents might tell you that open homes are the only way to attract buyers, but remember this – if a buyer is truly interested in your property, they will always schedule a time to see it. If you were in the market for a property, would you turn down a chance to see your dream home just because it didn’t have an open house? Of course not.
A major problem with open homes is that it tends to attract the nosy neighbours and those researching rather than legitimate buyers. Open homes allow anyone to freely walk into your home, from curious neighbours to thieves. There have been many cases of thieves attending open homes to scope out potential targets. Open homes attract a lot of strangers, which makes it hard for the agent to keep track of everyone. Many agents only take a name and a phone number from attendees (this could be anyone’s name or number), so if a prized possession was to go missing you wouldn’t know who the culprit was. Combine this with the fact many insurance companies won’t cover open homes, they are a recipe for disaster.
The agent doesn’t know the buyer
Picture the following scenario. Your agent is conducting an open home and a potential buyer approaches and makes an offer below your listed price. You ask the agent if they think this is the best offer the buyer will make. The agent can’t answer, because they don’t know. Why? Because they haven’t had the time to get to know the buyer, what their budget is and what their motive is for buying. How can an agent negotiate the best price for your property if they don’t understand the fundamental position of the buying party?
Wrong kind of traffic
While foot traffic and lots of inspections may look promising, qualified buyers are the only ones you should worry about. Qualified buyers are buyers who can financially afford your home and are searching for features that your property possesses. It doesn’t matter how many people turn up at an open house, if none are qualified buyers then none of them will be buying.
Agents will tell you an open home is a great way to draw buyers in. What they won’t tell you is that open homes are a great way for them to find additional clients. Open homes present an opportunity for your agent to network with people in your immediate area that are in the market to sell. Don’t be surprised if your agent walks away from your open home with a new listing.