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Is the Era of the Open House Closing?

Today's open house: useful or meh?

This past weekend was Nationwide Open House Weekend. This annual event is supported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and offers an opportunity for Realtors to highlight homeownership, and engage consumers, buyers, and sellers in the housing market.

Open House Weekend or not, the spring market in Arlington has been hopping, and – from our own experience – open houses have reflected this activity.

"Want to pick a fight in a roomful of real estate agents? Ask them whether they think open houses are worthwhile." – Inman News

Inman News, a resource of information for real estate, recently posed a question to real estate professionals: Tell us what you really think of open houses. The idea was to get input about how real estate agents use open houses to market a home, and whether they think it is a useful technique.

Of course, you know we REALTORS® are an opinionated bunch, and thoughts about whether open houses are valuable fall on both sides of the white picket fence. Some feel they have low conversion rates, others think they’re useful buzz-creators.

Personally, I think open houses are a necessary piece of the marketing mix – but they’re certainly not the only part (you can read more in the comment I posted to this article). I believe people still need the tangibility factor – the use of their senses as part of the decision process – to discover things that might not be obvious online:

  • Sight – Are there cracks in the foundation? Is it bigger/smaller than it seems?
  • Smell – Were the previous owners smokers? Does the basement smell musty?
  • Sound – How loud is that highway? Is the home below a flight pattern?
  • Touch – Is the deck flooring rotten? Are the cabinets loose?

Today’s prospective buyers are inundated with any number of methods and means for scouting out new homes: mobile apps, Internet sites, complex and detailed reporting, instant alerts, etc. 

What I’m interested in is not whether Realtors think open houses are a valuable tool, but whether prospective buyers and sellers think open houses are necessary and/or useful.

So let us know what you think! Whether you’re actively searching for a home, selling a home or have been through the process – what role did the open house play in your situation?

Do you believe open houses are still necessary in today’s home buying and selling process?

Visit our Facebook page and let us know!

If you have an opinion about open houses from a seller’s perspective, leave a comment! If you have an opinion about open houses from a buyer’s perspective, let us know!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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