Open House Visitor Arrives In Nothing But Bathrobe And Slippers

Open House Visitor ImageIf you have ever tried to sell a home, then I suspect that you've had a conversation or two about "Open Houses" and how they are used to sell a home. Traditionally, when people were thinking about moving, they would "prowl" their favorite neighborhoods by car to see if any homes were for sale. Sundays were always popular prowling days, because many real estate agents would hold open houses for the purpose of letting interested people see inside.

It is very rare that somebody buys a home without first seeing the insides. Open houses offered prospective buyers a chance to get the rare glimpse inside the home, so they were willing to kill several hours on a Sunday afternoon going from one open house to another. But this is not so much the case anymore! In fact, that is why my headline reads ...

Open House Visitor Arrives In Nothing But Bathrobe And Slippers

It is my belief that the "one day per month" open house has been replaced. Prospective homebuyers are no longer prowling in their cars on Sunday afternoon, rather they are prowling the internet, dressed in nothing more than their bathrobe and slippers, and they are doing this 24 hours a day, seven days per week!

You have to be able to offer your open house 24/7, and you do this with a virtual tour. I'm always amazed at agents who think that old fashioned open houses are an effective method at getting homes sold. Even in the past, studies show there is less than a 1% chance of selling a home through open houses. Sure, they occasionally happen, but the agents time used at an open house would better serve the seller being spent on active internet marketing of the home.

Recently, I was reading a blog by a real estate agent who had just done an open house, and she was lamenting a wasted Sunday afternoon. She wrote:

Why do we continue to do open houses if we feel this way?  First of all, we will continue to do them because by holding them, we are showing the customer that we are doing everything possible to sell their home.

I think this is very bad. This type of dis-information occurs all the time. The fact is, this agent most likely "sold" the sellers on doing open houses when she listed the home. Then, after being on the market a while, she resents wasting her time with an open house. But who's to blame here? We cannot expect home sellers to know what needs to be done to sell a home, that is the job of the real estate agent!

This is why I take the time to show home sellers how we sell a home with today's most progressive home selling plan. I do not promise to do ineffective techniques, and then resent them for wanting me to do what I said! The key is to do what works, and do it a lot.


#1 By Nikky at 7/11/2017 3:46 AM

We are relocating from out of town and virtual tours have been imperative in our home buying process. Virtual tours allow the prospective buyer the preview they need. Often, we choose to not waste time seeing a house in person if we have NOT had a true "virtual" experience. I'll admit that I figure the seller is trying to "hide" something if the listing is lacking pictures. Through the virtual tour, I am able to get an immediate feel about a house to determine if it is something I want to take the time to see. If sellers offer a virtual tour, they can feel confident that the buyer is truly interested when they make an appointment to see their home.

#2 By Joe Manausa, MBA at 7/11/2017 3:46 AM

Thanks Lynda. I agree that you can get leads from open houses ... but this is for our benefit, not really the benefit of the seller (less than 1% of homes get sold through open houses). I just happen to know of much more beneficial ways to engage with prospective buyers.

#3 By Joe Manausa, MBA at 7/11/2017 3:46 AM

Nikky, I am quite confident that you have looked at every virtual tour, of every home, in Tallahassee! :)

#4 By Darlene Greene Provo at 7/11/2017 3:46 AM

Great article Joe.....I don't do open houses any longer for the very reasons you site. I do however do a neighborhood party to show off the house and for obvious reasons to let them know who I am. Also if the entire development does an open house event I will participate in those. Hope more realtors see your article and start telling the seller the truth about open houses! :-)

#5 By Joe Manausa, MBA at 7/11/2017 3:46 AM

Thanks Darlene. It's funny, they say they'll do them (because it is part of their dated listing presentation) and then they feel trapped into doing open houses...

#6 By Joe Manausa, MBA at 7/11/2017 3:46 AM

Hey Jack, thanks for your opinion. I wonder how qualified it is though. Have you spent 20 years measuring source of sales? Your link is to somebody else's website, does that mean you don't have one of your own?

Even before the internet, open houses had less than a 1% success rate at getting a home sold. So real estate agents did them to generate buyer leads for themselves, not to help sell the home for the seller. I still think open houses have their place for real estate agents who need to meet people (because they don't have a great website), but I do not mislead home owners into believing that it will get their home sold. Let's see how this plays out during this weekend's "national open house week." Maybe all the homes will sell.

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