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The Truth About Open Houses

Open houses are a real estate tradition. Once your home is for sale, the next step is to set up the open house, right?

The truth is the open house may be in danger of outliving its usefulness. Homebuyers are choosing instead to tour potential homes anonymously online.

Handy, but It Doesn’t Seal the Deal

In the National Association of Realtors 2011 Home Buyers and Sellers Guide, 92% of homebuyers found open houses to be at least somewhat useful in their search for a new home. But that’s compared to 99% who found their real estate agent very or somewhat useful and 97% who found the internet very or somewhat useful.

But as useful as open houses may be in helping buyers find potential homes, only 11% chose to buy a home they found through an open house. Compare that to 75% who found their homes through the internet or through their real estate agent.

Before You Count It Out …

With all that said, open houses still have a place in some markets. If you have an unusual home for example, it may be helpful for buyers to see the property in person without scheduling a showing.

As with any showing, you’ll want to make sure your home is in tip-top shape inside and out for your open house. And make sure you are not present. It’s difficult for buyers to envision the home as theirs if you’re camped out on the couch.

With the right agent, taking on the housing market can be easy.

Buy or sell your home with an agent the Ramsey team trusts.

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A New Idea

Another option is to hold an agent open house. Instead of opening your home to the public, your real estate agent invites other agents to tour your home in hopes that one or more of those agents will have buyers who are interested in a home like yours.

Sellers choose to do this for two reasons:

  1. It’s possible that public open houses are more beneficial to listing agents than to the home sellers themselves. Your open house may not attract a serious buyer, but it can attract new clients for the agent.
  2. Public open houses are potentially dangerous since there is no way to distinguish between a serious buyer, someone who’s just looking, or someone who has bad intentions.

So, do you need to host an open house? If not, what marketing strategies are best for a home like yours? An experienced real estate agent can handle these questions and more so you can get your home sold quickly and for a great price. Let us help you find an agent.

What do you think about open houses? Are they all business or more for entertainment?

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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