By: Amy Chism Haynes, Principal Broker/Owner StoneGate Realty 270-422-7970 (02/22/2019)

Prior to cell phones, internet, Skype, Facetime and all the other technological advances in real estate, the open house was a common staple used to market homes new on the market.  With all this new technology available should you     host an open house?  I don't think it's necessary.  There are far better ways to market your home to today's savvy home buyer than the time and effort it puts in to preparing for an open house.  

Most buyers are previewing homes on the internet that feature professional quality photographs and video.  These buyers are making major decisions on which homes they want to tour base on online viewing.  Just a few years ago this type of information was not available.  Listings were sent out to agents in books.  The only way a buyer knew what a home looked like was to physically view a home.  Hence, the concept of hosting and open house.

The main purpose of an open house is to produce a buyer who is ready to buy now.  But, is that really who is showing up to your open house?  Generally it's nosey neighbors and thieves.  Yes, I said it, thieves.  One scheme that open house thieves use is to come in a group, one creates a distraction while the other unlocks a windows.  Then they revisit when no one is home and help themselves to your property.  

Another purpose of the open house is used to benefit the agent.  Agents use open houses to get new buyer clients.  Agents are targeting the "looky-loos" who are thinking about buying in the future who just happen to stop by your open house.  The agent obtains their contact information and "bam" they have a new buyer client and it may not be for your property.

Whether or not to have an open house is a discussion for you to have with your agent.  Discuss with them the benefits and drawbacks.  Just keep in mind that any buyer that is ready to buy will have already called and scheduled a showing as soon as your property hit the MLS.  

To open house or not to open house.  What are your thoughts?