Category Archives: Open Houses

Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

 

 

Despite what consumers may think, open houses are less effective at selling homes than in the past. In fact, less than 1% of home buyers actually found their home through an open house. (*statistics provided by NAR, 20112 profile of buyers and sellers. ) However, there are still benefits of having them that could make it well worth the effort.

TIMES ARE A CHANGING

Buyers today see less value of an open house. Before the “net”, the easiest way for a buyer to see the inside of a home was to actually go in person. Therefore, attending a Sunday open house was critical.  In fact, this is how we bought our current home. We looked in the Sunday newspaper, saw which homes were open, and went to see them.

Now, with so much information available on line, potential buyers are doing a ton of research on homes using their laptops or even smart phones. They are basically eliminating homes they see on line that in the past, they would have likely seen by attending an open house.

The role of the listing agent acting as the sole “gatekeeper” of getting into a home has also changed. The evolution of buyer’s agency, where a buyer can have their own representation, makes buyers less dependent on going to a Sunday open house.

Also, the lifestyle of today’s buyer is very hectic and many don’t want to spend their time driving around seeing homes. Therefore,  the buyer’s agent ends up doing a lot of the leg work and screening of homes in advance. When a home is deemed worth a look, the buyer’s agent schedules the showing for a day/time that is convenient to the buyers, not necessarily on a Sunday.

WHY HAVE AN OPEN HOUSE?

Open houses still have their place. From a listing agent’s perspective, they owe it to their sellers to make sure they are doing everything possible to market their home. Even if only a few people show up, it’s still better exposure for the home then doing nothing.

A listing agent can also grow their business by having open houses.  Many buyers who actually attend a Sunday open house are not quite ready to buy.  They are more casual lookers, typically 6-18 months away from making a buying decision. However, they will buy at some point and this is a great opportunity for the agent holding the home open to earn new business. Basically, the open house is like bait on a hook to reel in buyer leads.

It’s also good for a busy buyer’s agent. If an agent is with one set of buyers on a Sunday, and another buyer wants to see a particular home, sending them to a home that is open makes things convenient.

Also, although it’s hard for me to believe, some people simply don’t like real estate agents. There are a small percentage of buyers who will refuse to work with a buyer’s agent, but they still want to see homes. These buyers end up utilizing the Sunday open house to find a home and work directly with the listing agent.

For the most part, an open house won’t likely sell that particular home. However, they still serve a purpose for acting as a catalyst to bring buyers and sellers together.

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Do Open Houses Sell Homes is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©February, 2013

Attending An Open House – What You Need To Know


Attending An Open House - What You Need To Know

Although the Internet is helpful, nothing compares to seeing a home in person, and an open house is an easy way to do this.  If you are planning to attend an open house and already have an agent, here are some things you need to know.  If you are undecided whether or not to hire a buyer’s agent, this article may be helpful to you.

THE AGENT HOSTING THE OPEN HOUSE REPRESENTS THE SELLER

When buyers attend an open house, most don’t understand the rules.  Typically, they see a great house on line, go see it during an open house, and if they like it, they call their agent.  This is a bad move and can cost you your representation, not to mention a lot of money.

The listing agent represents the best interests of the seller.  Therefore, we believe you should never go to a property without your own agent.

As a real estate agent, there is nothing worse than having one of our buyer clients going to an open house without us.  There are too many things that can go wrong.  So, here are a few things to remember when it comes to attending open houses.

DON’T GO ALONE

We highly recommend having an agent with you when viewing homes.  First, they will point things out in the home that the listing agent, who does not represent you,  will not.  Also, it ensures that you get to have your own representation.

Buyers often feel like they are “bothering” their agent on a Sunday afternoon, and just go look on their own, but this can end up hurting you.  Your agent is there to service you and should make themselves available to you whenever possible.

If for some reason your agent cannot be there with you, be very careful.  Ideally, your real estate agent will call the other agent ahead of time and let them know to expect you.  However, if this doesn’t happen, you can still protect yourself.

Before entering the home, tell the agent hosting the open house  that you are being represented by another agent, and let them know who it is.  It is also a good idea to make sure that agent will honor your relationship with your agent.

Protocol in a real estate transaction can be really tricky, and is not always cut and dry, so you need to establish this up front.  Most agents will honor the relationship with your agent as long as they know about it up front. However, if you fail to mention that you have your own agent, you could be out of luck.

HAVE A BUYERS AGENCY AGREEMENT SIGNED

In order to avoid any problems, it is a good idea to consider signing a buyer’s agreement with your agent.  This agreement will solidify your relationship with your agent and should protect you from an overzealous listing agent.

If you know that you want your own representation,  talk to your agent up front before going to open houses to make sure you are all on the same page.

Disclaimer: The Schuman Team practices real estate in Ohio.  Since many states have different laws and protocol regarding a real estate transaction, we recommend consulting a qualified local legal professional prior to entering into any written agreement. This blog contains observations and opinions related to our first hand experience working with buyers and sellers in Ohio, but should not be construed as legal advice.

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About The Authors

The above information pertaining to Cleveland Real Estate News was provided by The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna. They are Solon residents and can be reached at 216-346-3235 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

We service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Attending An Open House – What You Need To Know is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©February, 2011