Friday, February 11, 2011

The Truth about Open Houses

The process of selling your condo can be somewhat stressful and as Realtors, it is our job to market and sell your property to the best of our ability with the least cost and disruption to you and your family. There are many tools that we use to help in the sale of your home but one common misconception is that open houses and advertising it in the newspaper sell your condo. While these marketing tools may seem like a good opportunity for you as the seller, the truth is, open houses generally don’t sell a home.
According to The National Associations of Realtors, only 1% of homes are sold by conducting public open houses. Realtors use open houses as more of a prospecting tool then a way to sell the home. It is not uncommon for a listing agent to pass on the job of hosting an open house to a newbie agent as there is a very low chance of the home selling through this avenue. For newbie Realtors, open houses present a great opportunity to meet prospects who are in the market for a condo. When parties come through the open house, the Realtor has them put down their information on a sign in sheet. In addition to being a security measure, this list allows the Realtor to follow up with them and help them in their home search.
Another type of open house is what is called an "agent open house." This type of open house allows Realtors in the neighbourhood to have the opportunity to visit the property before it is exposed to the public. What is commonly forgotten is that Realtors have access to the most important tool for selling your home and that is the MLS system. If an agent has a client for your home, they will book a showing for their client through the MLS system. Not only is the property advertised freely to all the Realtors on MLS, but is also published on the public MLS site. From the public MLS site, buyers can search for your home and contact the listing agent if they want to view the property.
Another common misconception that sellers have is that newspaper and magazine advertising increases the odds of selling your home. Again, according to The National Associations of Realtors, only 3% of homes are sold by advertisement inquiries. Also keep in mind that these advertisements can be very expensive.
Realtors understand that sellers want everything possible done to sell their home however, Realtors also know that conducting open houses and newspaper advertising generally will not sell a home. In reality, Realtors bring the most serious and qualified buyers so focus on the types of marketing that attract the Realtors; having a well put together home that shows well and pricing right and then the qualified buyers will follow.
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