Open houses are a bit of a controversial topic in real estate. Ask 10 real estate agents their thoughts on open houses and you’re likely to get 10 different opinions. As with most things, there are pros and cons to open houses. Understanding them will make the decision to do one or not a lot easier. If you’re a seller whose thinking of whether to do an open house or not these are the myths you need to dispel.

Myth 1: They’re hard to do

The most common objections people have to do an open house is the effort and money they believe it takes to do one. How much time and effort you put into it is entirely up to yourself. Your agent will know how to market a property based on the current market and the neighborhood, knowing what’s essential and what can be left out. For even easier and better results it also helps to hire a home staging expert.

Myth 2: You don’t meet serious buyers at open houses

Another big objection people have is that open houses only attract noisy and curious neighbors. No doubt, you will get some of those but most people who take the time out to see an open house have at least some interest. It only takes one serious buyer and if you can get enough people through the door you’re bound to find at least one.

Myth 3: They never result in crime

It’s not all good. Open houses have a lot of benefits but as with almost everything there are pros and cons. Thievery does happen and it’s hard to protect against when you have over a hundred people passing through in a day. The only real way to protect against this is to have most of your personal objects stored away.  A home staging expert will typically have furniture and ornaments of their own which can be put in place for an open house. This will usually be recommended anyway as a way to make a home look more stylish and modern.

Myth 4: They’re necessary to sell a home

Open houses are a great way to attract buyers and get the market buzzing about a property. However, don’t let anyone tell you that they are completely necessary. In the digital age, most buyers now look online. If they see a property they’re interested in they will call the agent to schedule a showing. An open house won’t always be required so don’t ever feel pushed into it if you have doubts.

Myth 5: An open house is not effective

There’s a flipside to that. While an open house is not always necessary it would be wrong to believe that they’re never effective. Those who believe so point out that if there is no offer then the ROI is zero. While this may be true it overlooks the in-person feedback you can get. Feedback which can be used by you and the realtor to modify the property for future events. The 2017 NAR report on home staging found that 49% of buyer’s agents cited home staging as having an effect on a buyers view of the home. Not a huge number but that and other statistics in the report show that open houses are far from ineffective.

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