Will an Open House sell your house?

Open Houses Spring TexasIn some real estate markets the answer to “Will an Open House sell your house?”  is probably Yes.  At least it is in the market HGTV tapes their “Designed to Sell” program.  If you have never seen the program, the premise is the seller spends $2,000 for interior designers to make changes to their home.  After the renovations are complete, the sellers Realtor holds an open house which 20 people attend.  At the end of the open house the sellers have at least one if not several offers for their house and the offers are either at full list or over list price.

I wish HGTV would come and do an episode for their “Designed to Sell” program in Spring Texas because I suspect the open house would have very different results.  Over the last 6 years, I have sold houses through an open house.  The buyers visited the open house fell in love with the open house and a couple of days later we had the house under contract.  This has happened exactly 2 times.  Yes, only 2 times in a 6 year period.  Doing a rough calculation of how many open houses either I personally or another real estate agent from my office held one of my listings open the total would be 120 open houses.  Two sales for 120 open houses is a  1.7% probability of an open house selling your house.

Granted I did not do a scientific study and my sample was taken from only my experience so there is room for error.  The point is the likelihood of your Spring Texas house selling as a result of an open house is very small.  I don’t know if the 2 buyers who did purchase the house through an open house would not have bought the house if they had not attended the open house.  They could have been exposed to the house online and decided to attend the open house instead of scheduling a private showing.

Why are more houses in Spring Texas NOT sold via an open house?  I believe it is due to the increase in the buyers use of the Internet in their search for a home.  The last number I saw published had 87% of the buyers using the Internet in the search for a home.  Maybe the remaining 13% buyers are the ones who are attending the open houses.

With the abundance of information available to buyers online including multiple photos, satellite maps, listing details, virtual tours, and YouTube videos driving around looking for open houses is just not an efficient use of a buyer’s time.

But if open houses are not effective, why are real estate agents still holding open houses? Either because their sellers want them or they are hoping to pick up buyers from the open house.  I do very few open houses and I still get my sellers houses sold.

I do include open houses in my marketing plan.  I strategically schedule my open houses to occur the first Sunday after the house is listed on the market. The purpose of the open house is to immediately drive interest in the property and to create a sense of urgency from buyers.  In addition, open houses provide me with an opportunity to receive unfiltered feedback from potential buyers about the house.  It lets me know if there is anything that needs to be tighten up on the house which could kill a sale.

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