Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Mr and Mrs Seller, Open Houses do NOT Sell Houses!!

Mr and Mrs Seller, Open Houses do NOT Sell Houses!!

I will state right up front that I understand that this is different in the different markets across the Country and Canada.  I'm writing this blog focusing mainly on my market, here in the Dallas area.

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, here is my marketing plan for your house.  Will I do Open Houses?  Did you see Open Houses as part of my marketing plan?  Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I do NOT do Open Houses.

In today's market, qualified and approved buyers are not the ones walking into Open Houses.  If a buyer is serious about buying a house, 94% of them start their search Online looking at pictures and price ranges.  They will then do a couple of different things.

One of those things is they will contact a Realtor and ask to view some of the houses they saw online.  Pretending that they contacted me, my first question to them is if they are approved for a loan.  They then get flipped to one of my mortgage guys for full loan approval, not just pulling the credit and giving a thumbs up.

Another scenario is that the buyers then turn around and call a mortgage person and tell him/her that they have seen some houses online and were wanting to make sure they were approved and for what price range.  This mortgage person will then flip them to a Realtor who will direct them in the right direction.

When one of the above steps doesn't happen, you have people aimlessly driving the streets on a Sunday afternoon, seeing a sign and thinking, "I wonder if that house is in our price range..."  They walk in, hear the price, and they grit their teeth while smiling and nodding trying to leave but the agent in the house tries to keep them there as long as possible. 

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, do you want unqualified and unapproved buyers walking through your house?  If the house is shown by appointment through a buyer's agent, 9 times out of 10, that buyer has already been approved for a loan as most Realtors don't like to spend gas money these days by putting a buyer in their car to show them houses unless they're able to buy.

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, do you want all your neighbors walking through your house?  For the most part, you won't really even see any buyers in your Open House.  What you'll see are your neighbors wondering how you decorated and wondering what price you're asking and things like that. 

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, do you want me to spend my time generating leads for your property? or do you really want me to spend 3 hours on a Sunday sitting in your house while you have to leave and entertain yourself?

That's a rhetoric question, because no matter how you answer it, I will NOT be doing Open Houses as part of my marketing plan for your house.  I rather have approved buyers walking through your house, not unapproved.  I rather people walking through your house that have already been pre-screened with a credit check at minimum, rather than someone just off the street who might be looking for the good stuff and come back later to rob you.

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I understand Open Houses used to be the way to go, but with the technology of multiple photos and virtual tours for your listing, buyers rather sit in the comfort of their own home in their underwear looking at houses than drive around aimlessly as they usually don't want to waste gas either.

Remember, I work all of North Dallas County and Collin County including Richardson, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Garland, Rowlett, McKinney, etc... my car will take us anywhere you need to go!! 


Comment balloon 10 commentsDonna Harris • September 18 2007 08:00PM


AMEN!  Well stated.  I am not an Open House fan and don't do them for all the reasons you stated above.
Posted by Fran White, Kansas City North Real Estate, 816-682-3897 (North Kansas City Real Estate, Reece and Nichols Residential) over 12 years ago
You are so right.  Just as sellers keep overpricing their homes -- they then think the way to sell them is through an open house!  In my opinion the real estate community has not done a very good job educating the sellers.
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 12 years ago

Fran, THank you and a double Amen back!

Joan, There are two agents in my neighborhood that advertise that they'll do an open house at least 2 weekends a month... they never get anyone in them, but they do it to appease the seller.  I do not market to appease a seller, I market to sell a house!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
Triple Amen !! and all for the same reasons as you !
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 12 years ago
I concur. 
Posted by Benjamin Harris (Rational Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago

Donna you Rock!! First the newspaper and now this one. Sign me up!! Whats next, flyer boxer vs phone sign ryders?

Posted by Keith Perry, REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago

Missy, Thanks, though I know you guys do open houses in your area pretty wide-spread.

Benjamin, THank you.

Keith and Robin, Actually, yes, I was going to talk about the Flyer Boxes next since I think they're quite a waste of paper and trying to keep up with them to make sure they're full.  Thanks for the enthusiastic comments!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago
So true Donna.....yet even though after you explain all of that to them -they still want you to do an open house.  I tell them that it may not be me doing it for them....we send emails out to other new agents in the office and ask if they are interested in holding one as they may pick up a buyer.
Posted by Jeannette Morrison, Central Texas Real Estate, NW Austin, Round Rock (Cedar Park,Leander,Georgetown & Lake Travis Areas.) over 12 years ago
You are so right!  It is always said that open houses are for the owner, not for buyers.  However, sellers seem to believe differently, and the open house is a great source for listing referrals.
Posted by Robert Monk, Florida Real Estate (100% Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago

Jeannette, I used to tell them that as well.  The problem is that many newer agents have gotten word that open houses don't bring in the buyers that they used to, and most won't do them.

Robert, Yes, it could be a good listing referral source, however, now you've just shown that next seller that you'll do an unproductive open house for them as well.  It's a cycle.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 12 years ago