There are a lot of opinions on whether open houses are useful or not. Really it depends on what side of the real estate deal you are on.
Here’s a look at what’s in it for you as a…
If you are in the market to buy a home, open houses are a great place to start. You get the opportunity to start browsing for homes without the pressure of meeting with an agent and setting up home showings. It gives buyers a chance to see what’s out there, check out certain neighborhoods and start to get an idea of what you are looking for in a home. By going through a few open houses a buyer can start to get a feel for what type of home is best for them and what is available in their price range. Working with a real estate agent as a buyer is, of course, the best choice when you are ready to get serious, but open houses are perfect for “window shopping”.
As a seller, open houses will give your home more exposure which is what you want. The more people who see your home, the more likely someone will make an offer. Of course, an open house means curious neighbors and others who have no interest in actually buying your home will stop by, however, you never know when someone will walk in, fall in love and take the next step. As a seller, there’s really nothing to lose by asking your agent to host an open house. It’s generally only a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and it gives potential home buyers to look through at their own pace. It’s efficient because you can get a large number of showings in a short amount of time.
Most say the biggest benefit of an open house goes to the hosting agent. The reason for this is, it's an opportunity for them to turn people who stop by their open house into potential clients. If they don’t like the house that is open, the hosting agent can find out what they are looking for and offer to show those to them turning them into a client for themselves. It’s a great networking opportunity as often other realtors will swing by open houses to check out what’s on the market. This why open houses are good for new agents to host. And if the hosting agent is also the listing agent, you get the potential of finding a home buyer for your home seller.
If you are working with a buyer and they find a house they want to put an offer on that they find an open house, then some of your work is done already. As a buying agent, it’s good to keep an eye out for open houses that your clients might be interested in and letting them know ahead of time so they can stop by. It saves you the time of setting up a showing and they can go at their leisure. Some buying agents will tour open houses with their clients so they are available to ask questions and get a better feel for what they like and don't like in a home.