Anyone selling their home has been trained to believe an open house is a good way to find buyers. These days, open houses have the potential to do more harm than good. Thanks can be given to the Internet. The days are gone where buyers drive around from one open house to the other on weekends. Buyers choose and narrow down homes online before they even bother to contact a realtor.
The longer your home sits on the market the more costs you will incur, including the cost to host open houses. The air conditioning or heat may have to be on longer which means a higher utility bill. Let’s also not forget the time and cost of keeping your house in show-ready condition. Not to mention hiring babysitters for the kids, and boarding the pets.
Open houses are supposed to draw buyers but often all they do is bring your real estate agent new clients. That’s because unrepresented buyers often go to open houses, which means potential new business for your agent. And even if they don’t like your home, they may like the other homes your agent is talking about during your open house.
It’s also important to remember that serious buyers don’t have to wait for an open house as they can contact your agent directly to get a showing. One of the risks of an open house is that your belongings may get stolen. Since anyone can go to an open house, it’s not impossible for burglars or thieves to attend one in hopes of stealing cash, heirloom jewelry, expensive electronics or prescription drugs. They can also use it as a way to check out the residence so that they can plan a future break in.
Bottom Line: A couple of decades ago, open houses were the only way to view homes. But the Internet, and cell phones changed that, making it easy for buyers to search and view homes online. For another article with useful information, read Should You Have an Open House When Selling Your Home?