The Overrated Open House: Are Open Houses Still Important?

The sign on the busy street decorated with balloons piques your interest. So you pull the car around to take a look. It is an open house and we are smack in the middle of open house season.

You live a couple of houses down from the home with the “For Sale” sign on the front lawn. When the agent selling the house plants an open house notice, you decide to take a look.

Your interest in these homes is understandable. You’ve decided to put your house for sale but have yet to take any initial steps. So you look up the advertisements in the paper and visit some other sellers who have agents holding open houses and, if only for informational purposes, stop in to see what other sellers are doing to sell their home.

You are the reason open houses are a bad idea.

The Problems with an Open House

There are good reasons why open houses should never be held for the general house buying public. There is the security issue. There is the simple fact that it does not offer any one-on- one between potential buyers and the agent. And chances are, it is a junior agent filling in their training time by babysitting the house. Don’t forget the amount of work that goes into getting the home ready for this unwanted foot traffic and of course, the rescheduling your day, all of which adds to the reasons why open houses do not do much to create a sale.

Your Agent Suggests an Open House

So what do you do if your agent suggests an open house event? Ask them why and ask them to list specific reasons why this is a viable course of action. In their defense, the reasons they might continue to use an open house in their sales approach may be because they have not built a dynamic virtual tour of the home they are trying to sell on their website. They, in all likelihood, do not have the networking in place to attract potential buyers. And lastly, they probably still believe that this old-school style of selling a home still works.

Why an Open House might not make the Sale

Did I mention that the actual sale based on an open house is not as sure of a thing as you (or your agent) might think?

Statistically, based on a nationwide survey of realtors, open house accounts for less than half of the homes that were sold last year. This number is far less when the (for-sale- by) owner holds the open house. But if you dig deeper into those stats you will find that the open houses that did work were targeted. In other words, agents held open houses for other agents.

When agents open the home to other agents, they are forgoing the opportunity to network with random visitors, who some suggest are potential buyers, in favor of letting other sales professionals cull the herd so to speak and point prospective clients to the house. This takes the randomness out of the effort and gives the seller more in the way of security and less inconvenience.

The Reality

So if the open house is overrated, what should a seller do? To help answer that question, we have addressed this at the Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty in a number of ways. We employ a dynamic web presence with the added value of an informational blog that examines all of the aspects of buying and selling. Our virtual tour of available listings allows sellers to portray their homes in the best light. And we put the client first. While other agents actually use open houses to hand out cards for future clients, not potential buyers for your property, we already have a vast network in place.

So if your agent suggests that an open house is a proven way to sell your home, you might want to discuss your opportunities with us. We may not suggest a traditional open house, but we will open your eyes to a world of selling possibilities.

How can we assist you today?


On behalf of The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty

Nola Horton-Jones, Principal Broker/Realtor | ABR, C-RIS, e-PRO, GREEN, RSPS, CCIM Candidate

Bryce Jones, Broker/Realtor | ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GREEN, GRI, RSPS, SFR

Karen Marcy, Broker/Realtor

The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty | 57057 Beaver Drive | Sunriver, OR 97707

Mobile: 541-420- 3725 | Mobile: 541-420- 4018 | Mobile: 503-327- 9611 | Fax: 541-593- 5123



Licensed in Oregon