Living the San Francisco Dream


Are Open Houses More Important Than Ever?

Are open houses more important now than ever before?

That's a point of discussion that came up in my weekly telephone conversation this morning with my accountability buddy, Carol Skees.

Open HouseWhile open houses are common practice in my area of the country (San Francisco, San Mateo County, and the Silicon Valley,) I believe they are more important than ever. That seems to be the case in New Mexico too, where Carol practices.

Thinking just of condominiums,  this year I have had 4 condo listings -- all 4 of them sold to buyers who came to the open houses before they contacted their Realtor.

This is the pattern:

  • buyer goes online; spots an interesting property; goes to the open house
  • buyer likes what they see, then calls their agent to learn more (or I refer them to a colleague who would do a great job for them)
  • buyer makes an offer

I'm seeing a similar shift in preference with my own buyers, especially younger ones. They find interesting properties online (or I send them a list of ones I think they should see); they go to the open houses; they give me a run-down on what they liked or didn't like, and we take it from there.

In our fast-paced market, with little inventory and many buyers, I urge buyers not to wait for the open houses, but their preference really is to visit the open houses.

I'd love to hear from you: are open houses important in your area? Are you seeing a similar change in buyers' habits? Is this true in all market segments, or primarily entry level?

Let's hear it from you - perhaps we're on the edge of yet another tipping point? I'd love to hear from buyers as well as real estate professionals - share your thoughts, please.


--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 154 commentsLottie Kendall • July 14 2014 08:15AM


Lottie - Today's buyers are more independent as they can search online and pinpoint homes of interest in the comfort of their living room or neighborhood coffee shop. There is so much information at their fingertips they often don't feel the need for an agent until they are ready to submit an offer.  


Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) about 6 years ago

Exactly, Norma - that's what I'm seeing here. It certainly has changed the way my buyers and I interact, and makes the open house more important.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

This is such a refreshing perspective.  I agree with you, ever day we post our listings all over the internet - so, to have the house open for those buyers out looking on their own is a very important part of that marketing process.  

Posted by Mark Miranda, REALTOR (Juniper Realty Group at Silvercreek Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Lottie, we recently asked this question in a discussion on LinkedIn, "Are open houses still necessary for real estate success?" - there were definitely some polarizing opinions on the matter! Many were concerned about safety, but others believed they were a necessary means to an end. To your point, it makes sense that online house shoppers would check out the goods before hiring a pro. Great topic! Suggested!

Posted by Suzanne De Vita, Online Associate Editor (RISMedia) about 6 years ago

Lottie, we are lucky if a home lasts long enough for an open house.   Usually by the end of the first day on market it has multiple offers.    I know when it slows down, this will change, and open houses will again be necessary.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 6 years ago

I think Open Houses is a great way to attract buyer's they have proved beneficial for everyone involved.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) about 6 years ago

My new team is trying a strategy of putting the listing live by midnight Thursday. No showings until an open house event on Sunday. We'll see how it goes!

Posted by Joan Defenbaugh about 6 years ago

Agreed, Open Houses are fruitful in todays Austin TX area market. I have been intentionaly making listings active on Thursday evening and have open houses lined up for Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Recently had 85 people/families see a home in 3 days with multiple offers all over list price. I have been encouraging our newer agents to hold the houses open. As many have said buyers are "working ontheir own" until the right house comes up. An agent worked a listing of mine a couple weeks ago and is working a buy & sell family as well as another buyer/prospect. Not bad for an afternoon of work.


Bill Austin ~ 512-709-6343 ~

Posted by Morris "Bill" Austin, Exceptional service is my standard expectation. (Team Price Real Estate) about 6 years ago

I think the open house is very important not just to sell the house, but to make contacts.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Well, you don't have a lot to lose and quite a bit to gain!   It's a great way to get publicity for your listing as well as contract with new buyers!

Posted by Karen Berg, Experience Matters! (Queen Creek Realtor, San Tan Valley Realtor, United Brokers Group (602)919-2375) about 6 years ago

On the other side of the Bay in Oakland and Berkeley, Open houses are the norm and some buyer's are even attending the broker's tour. It is such a competitive market that buyers have to be on top of every house they find interesting.  Very rarely do I find a true buyer attending an open house who isn't already represented by an agent.   With our listings, we tend to post offer dates and stick to that date for offers.   I agree Lottie, almost every single listing that I have had this year, sold to someone who attended the open house.

Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) about 6 years ago

I still believe in Open Houses although it has been known that Open Houses seem to help the listing agents find more listings or prospective buyers than sell the house they were holding open.  If nothing else it continues to be a good marketing tool.

Posted by Trent Dalrymple (248) 854-0625, Allowing Mortgage Professionals to Lend Nationwide (Texana Bank) about 6 years ago

I agree that open houses are more important than ever.  Families seem to be more comfortable going to open houses on their own, sometimes to gain an idea of what they really want in a house.  Once they find something they really like, or at least know what they want, they contact an agent.

Posted by Rhonda Thompson about 6 years ago

It is the same here in Bronx, NY. I am noticing a huge uptick at my open houses especially in areas where the inventory of homes in the area are low.

Thanks for the insightful post.

Posted by Nirmala Caraballo (Green Kite Realty Group Inc.) about 6 years ago

While the market and price points in Texas are signficantly different than Califiornia, I have always found that Open Houses are a great place to meet  prospective buyers, and sometimes, prospective sellers.


My "conversion rate" from lookers to buyers for the house held open is very low, unlike Lottie's, but there is no subsstitute for walking through actual houses. And although upwards of 90% of buyers search online portals to identify properties that may interest them, those searches are like viewing the world through rose-colored glasses. It's a lot different (good or bad) when people actially see them.


Frequently, I am able to establish rapport with Open House visitors who immediately (or later) become clients. Many of them seem relieved to be able to make human, not just virtual, contact in preparation for buying or selling a home. It's a people business!



Posted by Phil Amodeo ABR,CRS,e-PRO,SFR, Carmel, Fishers, Geist, Indianapolis North (C21 Scheetz) about 6 years ago

Lottie - My team and I sell a lot of condos in our Toronto neighbourhood as well. I find a similar pattern with buyers. Even if they end up not going for our listing, they would contact us a few weeks down the line when they are ready to search more aggressively as they recognize us as neighbourhood experts.

Posted by Anne Lok, Toronto Modern Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Toronto Realty) about 6 years ago

I think we would all agree that holding an "Open House" increases the chances of it being sold even though some old timers say only 2%.

Here's a question, if you are an agent with multiple listings and you know you cannot physically sit at more than one Open House at a time, do you offer to your colleagues the chance to sit at an Open House at one of your listings?

If not, why not?

Here in Miami many agents do not sit on Open Houses and they refuse to let a colleague do so.

Posted by Tom Phelan about 6 years ago

I am finding that half are already represented, half are not.  So lets say 20 couples and 5 Realtors come through. When analyzing the effectiveness of the Open house for building my client base, I subtract (I was going to say through out, but that may leave the wrong impression) the Realtors and couples already represented. Out of the 10 left over, usually 3 are truly ready to buy, and one of those 3 needs to sell too!


Posted by Chris B Johnson REALTOR®, 5 Star Rated REALTOR® Quality, Not Quantity (Allison James Elite) about 6 years ago

Interesting topic Lottie...I am curious to see the answers from around the country.  I have a condo open house this weekend.  I do open houses when requested but we have so much inventory around here we don't always get the turnout we used to. But again depends on "location location location"!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) about 6 years ago

Interesting.  I haven't seen that happen but in certain locations, I could see it happen.  We are close to normal inventory and unless it is exactly what the buyer wants they tend to want to see a dozen or more homes.  Open houses still seem to bring in potential buyers but not necessarily for that home.  Mainly we are still getting neighbors that are curious or lookie loos.

Posted by Ric Mills, Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge (Keller Williams Southern Az) about 6 years ago

I agree that buyers are acting more independantly.  I see a lot of buyers viewing property they've seen only online.  Many buyers here in Brookings, SD are using open houses as an opportunity to preview the home before calling their agent or as a return visit after viewing with their agent before making an offer.  


I regularly host open houses.  I feel they are a great marketing opportunity for both the seller and me!

Posted by Justin Fjeldos (Best Choice Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Wow! very interesting comments from around the country and Canada. Keep the dialog coming!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Tom, #17, to answer your question: yes, I ask colleagues to hold open my listings when I have multiple ones the same weekend. I don't represent both parties--certainly not in this market--so am happy to have a colleague meeting potential buyers.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

I still think that it depends on your market to some degree and the TYPE of property. As an agent you need to know the "objective" by marketing your property with an open house. What are you attempting to gain? In most markets and open house does not actually sell the property (directly)... however, it is a good vehicle to meeting more people and finding buyers. An open house like most marketing will never TRUMP the real reason why a home sells, which is (PRICE).  In addition, unlike good online marketing strategies, open houses do not provide an evergreen component or lasting branding effect.

Many agents hold open houses for the wrong reasons... However, many agents have reaped great benefits from them.  The problem is that most of the benefits weigh more with the listing agent opposed to the actual seller.

Posted by Bob McTague, Syracuse New York Real Estate (RealtyUSA) about 6 years ago

It is kind of funny. When I got in the business in 1989, we held open houses to satisfy the seller and to find buyers and rarely did an open house actually sell that house. Now they do seem to be working as the sellers thought they would and actually sell the home that is open.  It is working much the way you described here in Marin and Sonoma counties as well. I am a lender but I work with a lot of Realtors and do open houses with them.

Posted by Hans Bruhner, Sonoma County Home Loans (First Priority Financial) about 6 years ago

As Joan Cox mentioned, many properties in Denver have multiple offers almost immediately upon listing. However, every day, in this hot market, listings expire as well. My position - with so many Realtors not holding an open house, what do we have to lose? Explore all avenues to bring the highest offer, why not? 



Posted by Tanya Brown, I can sell ANY property in 60 days! Ask me how. (Keller Williams Realty Success, LLC) about 6 years ago

It depends on the property.  It has worked for some properties that at forst seem to be challenging, but once a buyer gets in the home, they realize their fears are not materializing.  It's also a great way to showcase your abilities to the neighbors, who may be listing their homes in the near future.

Posted by Geoff ONeill (John L. Scott Medford) about 6 years ago

I have been making this point in listing presentations to clients for the last 18 months. As more traffic is on the internet I am finding exactly as you say more people attend the open houses. Even when I have a listing and am getting no showings, having an open house allows buyers to attend without any presure or inconveniencing any one and I find them well attended. I have sold several homes over the last two years from open houses.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) about 6 years ago

We have sold 5 of our 6 last homes at the open house ! With proper advertising and price its easily possible. 

Posted by Gina and RJ Hackworth, South Florida - The Hackworth Real Estate Group (Coral Shores Realty) about 6 years ago

While I do agree fully, I will say, as some have mentioned, that it largely depends on the market that you are in.  Here in Denver, the inventory moves at such an alarming rate that most all of my listings do not make it to the open house date without at least one offer.  The professional out here have all of their clients on daily alerts, so they see the home before the open house.  Great post, I love it, and agree that open houses are very powerful for both the agent and the seller alike.


Posted by Green Forest Properties, Your Local Golden, CO Real Estate Professional about 6 years ago

Very interesting, I have had a few open houses and have meet some interesting people this year.  I notice more of a trend in our area, that I am contacted by potential buyers about the properties that I have listed and end up working with them as their buyers agent.  Thanks for sharing your experience. 

Posted by Rob Marken, 25+ years experience in Bend (Bend River Realty) about 6 years ago

Lots of different opinions. I think open houses are a great source of reaching potential buyers for listing and also to reach out to new buyers for future listing. Most people who attend open houses are either actively looking home buyers or sellers checking out the completion, so either way its a win/win.

Posted by F U, Dead (nobody) about 6 years ago

Here it is realyy a question of inventory. We have lots of vacation renters here. If the house is close to the beach get lots of lookers. Not many real leads.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) about 6 years ago

I am changing my thinking on them.  Previously I was of the impression they held only 2 functions. First to keep a seller happy and second for the agent hosting the Open House, to gather prospective leads of buyers.  It seems now that they really are beneficial in marketing a specific home.

Posted by Bill Morrow, Bill Morrow, Associate Broker (Keller Williams of Central PA) about 6 years ago

It has to depend on your location - and local customs. Here in our small town, people simply don't attend open houses.  They're a good thing to do if you want to spend a day alone. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 6 years ago

Lottie, I really think that it depends on the market you're in, here homes that are priced right get offers fairly quickly!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) about 6 years ago

I am a big believer in Open Houses, although I rarely sell the condo or house that way.  As Anne from Toronto said, it's a chance to start a conversation with prospective buyers & sellers and demonstrate your expertise.  That being said - I held one yesterday and only one person came and he firmly declined signing in.  I love hosting them at vacant properties or new construction, hesitate to hold an Open House where people are living.

Posted by Susan McLaughlin, Monmouth County Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty - East Monmouth) about 6 years ago

I amnfinding that they are more productive.  But I also have been using them with Coming Soon so instead of a big Open House I might do 2 or 3 different times for a half and hour or Hour.  This gives more flexiblity for the buyers and give me more flexibility rather than taking up a whole saturday or sunday afternoon. 

Posted by Ruth Ballantyne, Rely on Ruth. (Re/Max Realty Services Inc. Brokerage) about 6 years ago

Good afternoon Lottie,
Bert with Key Realty from Toledo Ohio.....
I to am seeing the importance of Open Houses. I recently I sold 2 homes and a villa through an initial open house.
Let's not forget Facebook. Last month I closed on a villa in which the buyer initially saw the home on Facebook. She had been looking for two years and she and her husband moved into their new home last weekend.

Posted by Bert Spangenthal about 6 years ago

I think it depends on the demand of the market how busy the open houses are.  I wonder why if buyers are viewing your open's without a realtor, why not double end the transactions.

Posted by Bradley Potter, PLLC, National Association of Expert Advisors (Homesmart Realty) about 6 years ago

Hi Lottie, congrats on the Daily Drop and be prepared to spend your day responding to comments.  I think holding an open house in your geographic farm area and inviting neighbors via post cards, door knocks and directional signs has always been a good way to get more listings.  In today's listing-starved market some unrepresented buyers want some rebate from the listing agent, or think the listing agent is better positioned to get their offer accepted.  But yes, open houses change with markets and locations.  

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) about 6 years ago

I've seen a similar shift with my younger buyers as well.  It seems like 30's and over still like doing tours with me and getting my input on each property.  But more and more people in their 20's prefer doing the open house thing first and only calling me once they've found a property they want to write up.  I guess the younger generation feels like they know what they want and really just need help with the logistics of closing the transaction.

Posted by Tolin Peterson (Preview Properties, Inc.) about 6 years ago

An OH has always been open but back in the day agents hated doing this. Its just today agents can't leave any stone unturned. If you do it right then it becomes productive so always work on your planning, good luck out there...

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 6 years ago

I agree with Ken Jones above. In my market they are next to worthless and the ONLY reason to hold one is to appease your seller OR if you have a great listing. I loathe doing them because they have not been successful here since we had out "bubble days". We are still in a neutral market and with the occurrence/predominance of internet viewership the open house as a real estate tool has become antiquated. Mind you they are still being held but I can't tell you that they're wildly successful.

Thanks for your post.

Posted by Dave Leiderman about 6 years ago

No they are not more important than ever and are in fact one of the biggest wastes of time in real estate for a homeowner. Serious buyers will ALWAYS call to schedule to show a property with a Realtor for a home they want to see. Do they benefit a Realtor? Sure on occassion BUT there are far more productive things that an agent can do with their time than hanging out in someones home for an afternoon. The long and short of it is that an open house is not necessary when selling a home.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 6 years ago

Open houses are still valuable in our area.  Probably $125, 000 and up.  (our average sales price is $126,000)

Posted by Karen Pannell, Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond (Real Living / Home Realty) about 6 years ago

I'm always available to sit an Open House unless I'm out with buyers. I have sold homes through Open Houses and have attracted new listings the same way. It's part of the service and we are in a service industry.

Posted by Jack Fleming (Weichert, Realtors) about 6 years ago

Very good points both for and against open houses.  I like them and as an added value to my clients and their agents; assist with open houses.

Posted by Jeanette Parker, Staged Assets about 6 years ago

In our Southern California market, open houses are great.  I find that many buyers here are using  I add the open house date in the MLS and the open house shows up on Zillow, Red Fin and lots of other sites.  2 weeks ago a couple visited my open house because they saw it on Zillow - I just listed their home and once that sells they will buy.  It does depend on your market but it works for me.

Posted by Paul Armstrong, Serving Orange County & The Long Beach Area (Realty Network) about 6 years ago

I am with Bill Gassett, in my experience Open Houses are an absolute waste of time, at least for the seller.  Does everyone disclose to the seller that they likely will not sell their house at the Open but that you will probably be securing a buyer(s)

Posted by Daniel J. Hunter (REALTOR®) about 6 years ago

The homes that I have listed this year in the Greater Denver Metro Area have sold to fast to host a sellable open house. I do explain to my sellers that an open house is primarily for the agent to obtain more buyers and not necessarily to sell their home. And... that the home will probably sell prior to the open house. However, each one of my sellers has requested me to hold their home open. I am fine with hosting an open house, as I have had great success in securing multiple buyer leads. 

So, to answer the question of whether an open house is more important than ever, depends on the market and whether there is time to host an open house. To me, generating new leads is never a waste of time and if the seller wants their home open, then by all means do it.

Posted by Mike Ortiz, I Aim To Please about 6 years ago

Open houses are great for exposure..especially if the house is in a good location and shows well. Often I see buyers coming through for a second look during open houses, or their agent is busy that day (hosting an open) so they come through alone.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 6 years ago

Activity usually creates more activity, so open houses are beneficial for a variety of reasons.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 6 years ago

Lottie-Inventory is not as tight here as in other parts of the country. But if the prep work is done, Open Houses work well here too.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 6 years ago

If, did I say "if"? If the open house is marketed correctly with signs, advertising, etc. it has a chance to bring offers. I love open houses, I market them with many signs, calls around the neighborhood and actually find buyers for the specific home over 20% of the time. 

And, of course will pick up a buyer almost 100% of the time...Win, for the seller, win for the agent.

Posted by David Demangos, REALTOR (Keller Williams Realty Carmel Valley / Del Mar) about 6 years ago

Good for the agent, not much chance of working out for the seller.

Posted by Derrick Guevremont, Rochester MN Homes for Sale (Counselor Realty of Rochester) about 6 years ago

Lottie - Open houses do sell homes!  I just don't think they get the real credit they deserve in the studies - How are home sold? Where did a buyer first become interested in a property on-line, then they see it at open house, but it gets counted as an agent sale because they call their agent after they have seen the property.   Open house sold the property, on-line got them there, but the agent closed it! Glad you're having a lot of success with them these days!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) about 6 years ago

And there are those who say they should become extinct.

Posted by Jeff Jensen (The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states) about 6 years ago

Interesting comments.  We have all seen this public Open House conversation a lot.   I personally do not believe that open houses benefit the Seller as much as the Agent sitting the open.  My team does open houses and they prosper, but they do it to make it convenient for agents and prospective buyers look at the home but their main goal is to sell something and not necessarily the home they are hosting an open. A real buyer will not wait for the open house and neither will agents who have buyers to show.  I know there will be a lot of backlash on this topic as some agents have better luck with open houses but just don't agree they are the best use of time. 

Posted by Teri Pacitto, Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty (Compass) about 6 years ago

I think Open Houses are a good thing, I've secured several transactions by sitting them.  However letting buyers go unaccompanied is asking for trouble unles you have a Buyers Rep Agreement in place with the client.

Three weeks ago I lost a buyer on a $550K purchase because they went to the open and wrote their offer with the listing agent. I worked with them for six months and didn't have a Buyers Rep Agreement in place because we had grown close and I trusted them.

The listing agent would not give me a referral fee and since I didn't show them the property prior to the open, I couldn't even argue for procuring cause.

I know it's getting difficult to stay ahead of buyers because of all the Real estate apps out there, but do your darndest to get that agreement in place!

Posted by Blake Russell about 6 years ago

Tolin Peterson, #43, has seen the same shift in younger buyers that I have. In the next 4 weeks I'll be holding open listings of several single family homes more likely appealing to a move-up buyer. It will be interesting to see if move-up buyers also come to open houses before contacting their Realtor.

Stay tuned!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

When working with a buyer, open house is great because they like to fit visits into their own time schedules. As a listing agent I often suggest open house to "bunch together" showings that would otherwise dribble throughout the week and interrupt sellers' busy lives.

Posted by Sylvia Jonathan, Broker Associate, SFR (Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties) about 6 years ago

Lots of comments in this thread. That's a good thing! So I suppose location and regionality have a lot to do with it. If I have an oceanfront house for sale I might consider holding an open. However, a property in a gated community, not so much. I recently lost such a listing by the way. The seller couldn't understand why I hadn't been holding any open houses. After 8 months of being priced above market value he has since gone FSBO. He has held an open house to which no attended ;)

Posted by Dave Leiderman about 6 years ago

Lots of neighbors checking out the furniture in hopes of a 'moving sale'. Criminals will drive great distances to case homes about to become vacant. I'll pass!

Posted by John Rakoci, North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas (Eagle Realty) about 6 years ago

Lottie, I agree with you as much as I'd rather be doing something else on the weekend rather than holding Open Houses.  I have seen a turn around from something that was a waste of time to a valuable way getting the many buyers through the property at on specific block in time rather than one at a time scattered throughout my schedule all week long.  The buyers are shopping on line, going to open houses and then making the followup second showings with their agent for advise.

Posted by John Crosby (Real Property, Inc.) about 6 years ago

Used to hate open houses; I'd wear paths in the carpet! I've changed my attitude 180 degrees...most sellers are buyer's first (unfortunately), so I pick up new seller clients from open houses. About 40 to 60% of buyers coming through my open houses, aren't working with other agents, so I meet more buyers than I can service. It comes down to your attitude...if you're happy to be there, and truly interested in THEIR needs, there is no shortage of good people to work with. Wasn't a fan before, but I've seen the light!

Posted by Sterling Watkins about 6 years ago

I have alsways had mixed feelings about open houses.....I recall a NAR statistic from abotu 5 years ago in which only 3 percent of hmooes sold as a result of an open house...better served for gaining new clients was the conclusion then. 

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( about 6 years ago

Interesting as we aren't seeing that type of activity here in Phoenix.  Our activity has slowed the last month more than year over year, so open houses aren't as effective.  Glad it's working for you though!

And in almost 12 years, I've sold one house to a buyer by open house and she brought her agent back through a bit later!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 6 years ago

The inventory is low in this area so buyers prefer to schedule appointments to view the homes.  To wait for an open house may mean a missed opportunity.  I think open houses are still beneficial for both buyers and sellers. 

Posted by Diana White-Pettis, GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale (Bennett Realty Solutions) about 6 years ago

Not a big deal here, YET. The Market is starting to pick back up, which will help IMMENSELY!

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (Travis Realty) about 6 years ago

Many listings do not make it more than one day on the market, which results in fewer open houses.  You're right, it's best to see a home prior to an open house.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 6 years ago

We're about to find out.  We are having an open house for my home this Sunday.

Posted by Patsy Overton (Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia) about 6 years ago

Patsy, wishing you many buyers at your open house!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

With a healthy inventory here in Maryland, I don't believe that open houses have the same performance that they do in your market area.

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 6 years ago

I have not had much luck with open houses this year. Thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 6 years ago

Your property appeals to a buyer on line but five states away. In a different time zone. He is not trotting over for a two hour open house somewhere between 9-5 during daylight. And wants his open house at 10:30 at night your time.

Videos. Real full motion videos with natural sound and the on demand open house happens. Priceless. Help yourself, rewind, rewatch, leave your shoes on. All the house inventory is open house speed of thought ready when you are. All your front doors are unlocked, come on in, lights on and ready to stroll up down, around.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 6 years ago

I think open houses work for some people and for others (like me), it doesn't.  I'm not against them, I just don't have the personality for it.  I prefer to attract business, not chase it.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 6 years ago

If done right, they can perform and even exceed expectations...IF DONE RIGHT

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

Lottie, I feel the origin of the trend is due to the fact that the agents are not doing their jobs. I hear many, most in fact, buyers at open houses tell me that their agent told them to let them know when they find a home and they will write the offer. I don't know if this is due to the strong sellers market and bidding wars or just "lazy" agents. That's what I am hearing from buyers. Some buyers have decided to drop their agent and work with me because I offer service the agent they were working with did not ... and they wanted agent service.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 6 years ago

Lottie, I do agree that Open Houses have so much to do with the area/region.  In our market, it is so brisk right now that no one even has time to go or do them.  That being said, I have seen a decrease in them in the Houston area simply for safety for all involved.  Agents doing them alone don't feel safe in many areas and Sellers don't like the risk of their homes being "cased" in some instances.  Guess it is a sign of the times and living in a large city.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 6 years ago

In our market they seem less and less important, poorly attended and majority of my clients don't even want them. If a property is well presented on the internet... that's the "open house."

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 6 years ago

Yes, we try to do them early in the listing to see what kind of feed back we can get FAST.

Posted by Team Brokered by eXp Realty, Canton, Alpharetta, Roswell, Woodstock, Atlanta (eXp Realty) about 6 years ago

Being a new Realtor I thank you all for your views and prospective on the issue.

Posted by Sandra Rincand-Idrogo about 6 years ago

I wish they'd be even more important. Most buyers who come in start with the words, "I'm working with an agent," who, of course, is nowhere in sight.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 6 years ago

Nice post Lottie. Glad to see you got a featured post. You deserve it from the wealth of information you have provided everyone. Thank you.

Posted by Cliff Keith, Redwood City Real Estate (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) about 6 years ago

In our local market with limited properties, if homes are priced right you will have multiple offers rather quickly, open houses are good for obtaining more buyers or sellers.

Posted by Holly A Biltz about 6 years ago

Thanks for the insight. I'm located in the Philadelphia area and typically hold open houses for my listings. Unfortunately, the open houses have not produced a sale. However, they have produced clients, one of which turned into a sale. So, I do believe in open houses.

By the way, there are lots of open houses in Philadelphia and the suburbs.

Thanks again.

Posted by Barbara E Woods about 6 years ago

I live in Jacksonville Florida and "Open Houses" are rebounding here as well.  Many agents are bringing in catered lunches and are really promoting the property.  There seems to be more people viewing open houses.  Agents seem to be doing a better job promoting these homes.

Posted by Mary Stewart (Keller Williams Atlantic Partners/Southside) about 6 years ago

Many of my new listings have multiple offers within days so i do not even get to have an open house. I do LOVE open houses for condos and new homes. But not all homes show well in an open format.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 6 years ago

Open Houses inspire buyers to go out with out without their agents.  That's good.

Open Houses also allow a sense for buyers to see/feel the market. That's good.  Ditto the sellers.  That's good.

Open Houses also are like a grand opening, to the market saying "okay...ready to sell. now".

There are lots of benefits to them, and yes.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) about 6 years ago

In my area, I have very unscientfic feedback that open house get agents buyers, but rarely result in a sale of the house holding the open house.  

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 6 years ago

Buyers are very knowledgeable and they have access to a lot of data. Houses that are priced correctly are seeing a huge surge of visitors during OH. I seen many listing agents state on their remarks that offers won't be presented after the weekend of OH.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) about 6 years ago

You bet, Lottie - it's happening so often that one open house is sufficient for a home to sell in this market! (Fortunately, some nice agents wait for a day or two to accept all the offers).

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 6 years ago

Lottie I defintely think it depends on the Real Estate Market. Though I haven't done Open houses here in Washington DC,my colleagues are telling me that when they hold open houses,they get a lot of traffic. I need to start doing some myself. Thanks for sharing Lottie.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 6 years ago

My area does open houses.  The reasons a new Realtor should do open houses is experience with talking to prospects face to face.  With few exceptions, anybody who walks though an open house is interested in buying or selling sooner or later.  Open house guests are real prospects!

Posted by Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor (Carlson Properties 325-721-2429) about 6 years ago

I see the same pattern with my buyers, but I will confirm for you that they are doing exactly what you describe.  They have been pre-approved, they scour online resources for homes that meet their criteria and when they know the ones in which they're interested will be open, they definitely try to make it there.

As professionals, if we think today's open house visitors just "saw the sign" and walked in, we have to change our mindset.  At least here in the San Franscisco Bay Area, they usually know exactly what to expect once they're physically at the home.

Posted by Rob Spinosa, SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County (Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA) about 6 years ago

I agree that open house is important. It makes it very convenient for the buyers to go to open house and see if they like the area and the house without having to ask their agent to show.

Posted by Vicki Paparella about 6 years ago

Lottie, I'm sure it happens, but there isn't really a pattern here that you're seeing. Normally, if a house is a good one, it is under contract before any Open House. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 6 years ago

Same here in Manhattan NYC. Most of my listings sell directly from open houses. I also send my buyers to open houses as well. It's the way to go in Manhattan.

A Sunday open house (in the summer weekday evenings) is usually the first showing and often it's the only showing neccessary to receive multiple bids.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) about 6 years ago

A lot of different responses here.  I personally love Open Houses.  Have sold dozens of homes using them...many times that particular home and many times a different one to buyers and new listing from sellers.    Nowadays with the internet I push buyers to websites and encourage buyers on websites to come to me for a persoanl view...

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) about 6 years ago

Lottie, I truly believe that open houses are not only of great value for potential buyers,  but from a geographic 'farming' marketing perspective, ALWAYS of value (possibly even more of value) in terms of being able to meet other prospective sellers from the farm.  Open houses attract ('nosy') neighbours from the feedback I always get from Realtors. This value is ESPECIALLY true of condos where door-knocking is not a viable option.

Posted by Matthew Weinstein (Morris Real Estate Marketing Group) about 6 years ago

Lottie, most of my open house visitors are neighbors, and 1st time homebuyers.  If the home is priced to sell and is in good condition buyers will find it on the internet well before an open house.

Posted by Jimmy Williams (352) 874-2354, Lake and Western Orange County Real Estate Expert! (Classic VI Realty) about 6 years ago

We have always believed in holding open houses, both to promote the property being held open and as a way to meet potential buyers. Also, neighbors frequently come to open houses out of curiosity, and they provide us with a wealth of extremely "local" information. Open house signage is also a plus. There are so many reasons to do them, but Realtors have been snubbing their noses at them for years. So, we just keep doing them and reaping the myriad benefits! Sellers typically love the idea, and even the ones who don't like the idea at first will usually come around when they see how successful they can be.

Posted by Carol Miller about 6 years ago

I don't see open houses as being a particularly effective strategy in selling that particular house; I agree that the greatest benefit is agents gaining new listings.

Posted by Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc., 29 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area (Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.) about 6 years ago

Sorry - I wasn't logged in when I posted above. Great article and great comments here. Thank you!

Posted by Carol Miller (Fred Miller Group, Inc) about 6 years ago

I have been advocating the use of an OH for more than 10 years to agents.

With that statement let me say this:

Since potential car buyers surely use the internet to research and price the car they may want to buy, do you think that a car lot should be open to people who have an appointment?

Maybe you did not understand what I just said but this should sound silly to you.

Stop worrying about the product and learn to understand the consumer.

Good luck out there


Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 6 years ago

I do believe open houses are important, just hard to do when you get no one showing up time after time and on different properties. So, it is definitely a regional or maybe even seasonal thing. In my are it is definitely hit or miss. 

But it does keep the property in front of as buyers as possible.

Posted by Jamie R. Bell, Your Central CT Realtor (Bell Realty Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NEP) about 6 years ago

I agree open houses can be very beneficial.  In todays market with buyers searching on the internet prior to meeting with a REALTOR, open houses gives them the opportunity to look at homes they have an interest in viewing.  One of my clients viewed an open house, called me and we wrote up an offer.   However, I have also had a bad experience while hosting an open house.  I will no longer hold open houses by myself.  I strongly recommend that agents think of safety first and ask another professional, whether it be an agent, lender, warranty company, etc., to join you during your open house.  Not only does this give you help with the home, it also exposes the potential buyer to other people who could be involved in the sales transaction. It could also be a great training ground for a newbie agent in your office that you are mentoring.   BE SAFE and happy selling. 

Posted by Carolyn Hernandez (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty) about 6 years ago

The Sacramento Market is very different.  We are seeing an interesting lull right now.  Open houses are netting only a few lookie loos, usually the neighbors.  I have a great lising priced right in Roseville.  Larger home, but very affordable. It was held open on Saturday and Sunday for 11 hours total.  We only had 2 groups through ove the entire weekend.  It was listed on the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, Craigslist and over 20 signs each day.

Posted by Gary Meek, (916) 995-9385 (NewVision Realty Group) about 6 years ago

I have not found them to be a good use of time at all. I'm not sure if it's my region or what. I'll advertise them heavily, have signs leading the way in, and make sure everyone is aware. But, in the last five open houses, I have only had one couple show up at an open house, and they ended up buying a different house in the neighborhood. 

At this point, I'll only hold an open house if the seller specifically requests it.

Posted by Wendy Remley (Utah Prestige Real Estate) about 6 years ago

I believe they r an important part of the selling representation for the client. A realtors responsibility is to expose the home to as many potential buyers as poss and this avenue certainly does that! 

Posted by Kevin Green, Residential & Equine Properties (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) about 6 years ago

No matter what you are able to see on a computer, even video, there is no substitution for stepping foot into a home.  I actually have an upcoming blog that touches on this subject matter in a few days.  Good post!

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) about 6 years ago

In all of my years, I've never sold a house that I've done an open house for.  I have picked up Buyer clients from doing open houses, though.  In my market, even this is becoming more of a rarity, as many of the open house visitors are already working with a Realtor.

Posted by Tg Glazer - The Right Realtor® for the Right Results!, Westfield/Cranford, NJ area (Coldwell Banker, Westfield, NJ) about 6 years ago

We do multiple open houses almost every weekend, and while we have sold a couple homes this year as a result of an open house, that result is indeed rare. We can count on 2 hands the number of sales we've had in 13 years due to open houses, and still have fingers left over

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) about 6 years ago

So true, my best friend and his wife just happened to stop in to an open house and of course the agent holding the home open was not the listing agent.  That agent gladly helped them write an offer on the spot. 

Posted by Raymond Edler, #1 Real Estate Office in DFW (Keller Williams Realty Dallas Fort Worth 214-552-2091) about 6 years ago

I think open houses bring the whole buying and selling process out in the "open". Buyers feel more in control when they can easily visit as many homes as they want. Agents can easily interact with interested lookers and possibly neighbors who are wondering how their house stacks up. An open house may especially attract buyers who haven't been comfortable working with or choosing an agent yet.

The only party who doesn't really have a lot to gain is the seller in my opinion!

Posted by Tessa Skeens, Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors (Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign ) about 6 years ago

Lottie: I think the answers to this question vary with the product, location and the weather, cold/hot temperature snow, rain, etc. , the football schedule, the age, size condition, and pre-open marketing exposure and signage In my opinion the most important is the agent's internal attitude and preparation brought to the Open as well as his/her behavior and pleasantness while communication with visitors.

I love Open Houses and make them a challenge and opportunity to meet people, establish relationships, and create future business for me and hopefully a sale for the current seller. I have a written questionnaire survey that I request everyone fill out. This has given me tons of information and why these visitors come . I had 17 groups through this past weekend, and the only problem was that there were so many visitors that it was difficult to greet, meet, and establish communication. However, I did get more time with two of them who are in the "just looking at our options" stage since this is a one level style patio and they are both changing their styles and sizes of their homes. i followed up immediately with answers to their questions and hope to help them or their friends in the future.

I have been selling real estate for 36 years, and it doesn't happen overnight. Constant education, patience, communication, and an honest servant type attitude with the business being about the prospect and client rather than all about self goes a very long way. Good luck to us all.

Posted by Nancy Middleton about 6 years ago

It's not like the old days Lottie. Would be buyers of all generations are not signing up with any particular agent for help finding a home. They prefer to DIY. They'll attend Open Houses and surf the net for possibilities. It's only when they find something they  might like will they call the listing agent for a showing or enter into a contract for guidasnce through the pyrchase process. 

Posted by Rick Cignoli, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer (Norcom Mortgage NMLS# 71655 Equal Housing Lender) about 6 years ago

I have been doing Open Houses for the past 18 years in Topanga Cyn and will continue to do so. It is just another way to stay plugged it. People always go to open houses and it can be also a great way to meet neighbors for perhaps a new listing. I have always picked up some qualified buyers and turned them into working with me. It is always chemistry between people and if they trust you they will work with you.
The way the internet has destroyed the one on one, yes I believe in open houses.
Make It a Great Day

Posted by Carol Darrow about 6 years ago

I generally get 5-7 groups through most open houses. Mostly it lets the seller know we're still alive and working for them. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) about 6 years ago

Interesting blog Lottie and Im starting to learn that open houses are a regional thing as David said ^. In Hawaii on Kauai where Im from open houses are not as effective and I was stoked on my last one that 3 people came by. Where as on the island right next to us Oahu open houses are crazy and normally need a couple Realtors to be there at one time. 

Posted by Kela Caspillo, Kela Caspillo (Kauai Dreams Realty) about 6 years ago


We see a fair number of open houses here but I'm not sure how effective they really are as far as selling the homes. A good humber of homes sell before any open house is held, or sellers simply don't want them, or need them.

In a fast moving market waiting until there is an open house could be risky, unless they do not put the home on the MLS until the day of the OH. That said, I have been to a few and in this market they are pretty busy. Not sure how many serious buyers are actually going, unless they are with their agents


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 6 years ago

Lottie - Good to see a post from the SF Bay Area! 


Anyway, I do hold open houses and have for the past many years.  My particular success rate for either finding the buyer for my listing or securing a potential buyer for another property as a result is weak at best. I know of many local agents who generate the bulk of their business from open houses and it seems to work for them.  The other thing is they are very hit and miss here in the metro-Phoenix area.  It is definitely based on location and price point, and sometimes which day of the week!  There is no consistency to it as far as I can tell.  I still think they are beneficial overall, I'm just simply one of those who hasn't had a ton of success with them even thought I've done many of them for years.

Posted by Greg Mona, Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU! (eXp Realty) about 6 years ago

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. The regional differences remain striking.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

I've avoided open houses in the past as they were a waste of time, but our market has slowed and it's probably a good time to pick that back up again.

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 6 years ago

It is one way to try and find buyers that are NOT simply out for a ride. Mostly a waste of time here.

Posted by John Rakoci, North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas (Eagle Realty) about 6 years ago

Open houses are definitely not the norm in my market.  Most people just use their agents to show them around.  No one wants to waste time wandering around open houses that may or may not fit their criteria.  It is interesting to see the regional differences.  I think open houses might be good in VERY hot markets, but I don't think anyone here has such a sense of urgency they can't wait for their agent to do a tour.

Posted by Dawn Brenengen, Sales and Management (Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty) about 6 years ago

Sometimes Open Houses are a waste of time, but usually that's because I (or whoever is holding them) didn't do a good job of getting it in front of people. Usually...but definitely not always. My team and I have gotten new business from them AND sold houses from them. We have changed how we advertise for them and tweak it for the house. Also, we are more picky about which homes to do them in.

For example, we have a luxury lising on the mountainside. A standard open house would not really attract true buyers, but would bring in many looky-loos. So we did a neighborhood invite only for others in the neighborhood hand-delivering custom invites to the closest and mailing the rest. We had great traffic and met the neighbors. Within 2 weeks we had friends of two different neighbors scheduling to see the home. We'll see how it turns out. It's okay to be picky.

For more standard open houses we use a flyer delivery service which takes flyers to 500+ homes around the neighborhoods of the open house and is much cheaper than mailing. We door knock directly around to meet neighbors and personally invite them. Advertise on the big sites. And email our database. Plus put twice as many open house signs up than necessary. Right now, it works. After it snows...not so much.

Good article and comments.

Posted by Heather Smith, Utah Home Selling Team (Keller Williams Success) about 6 years ago

I have always believed in doing open houses and here's why.  You sign a listing agreement to sell a home with the seller.  You agree to do your best to try and sell their home.  In school, I was taught that about 2% of homes were sold, due to an open house.  As easy as it is to do an open house, my translation of that is that if you don't hold an open house, you are only doing 98% of your job.  This is because you are not showing the home to those 2% of the buyers that might be interested.

Posted by Deleted Account about 6 years ago

The only reason you should have an open house is to get leads!

Posted by Ben Yost - 303-587-4297, FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De (First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval) about 6 years ago

What I'm curious about is --- do your buyers like them? Do your buyers want to go to open houses and then follow up with you about them? That's what I'm seeing in the entry-level condo market, with younger buyers in particular.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Young buyers do like visiting Open Houses because they get to see inventory.  They don't feel the pressure to make a decision right away but, they are getting their education on what is out there.


Posted by Dan Derito (Success! Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Dan, that's what I'm seeing. Even when already working with a Realtor, they like the freedom of seeing places on their own first.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Lottie, I like the response of a Realtor's point of view- since I'm on the financial side of pre-qualification or approval process. There is many very good comments and responses to this forum-The only information I can give you for Irvine, California is that I hear most of the buyers in this area are "cash" buyers and the reason for why the inventory was low. They say its from Asian buyers and secondly, the market is shifting in another direction that there is more activity due to market values increasing and many multiple offers. As for your comment- young buyers and even savvy ones want to look online and shop for homes and open houses. Yes, you are correct, especially when we live in a very fast pace lifestyle where people want instant gratification-most people are visual-they want to see it now- they see it online by a picture, video or social media. They look at that picture over and over again to make their decision and then they make that decision to go and look at the property  and in most cases "make and offer".  For instance, today I went online to look at a car and their inventory- I've been looking at for a week. I printed out all the cars I was interested in and today I finally went in. I was interested in the internet discount with $2,000.00 off the asking price. I wasn't going to buy until I actually looked at the car and it was exactly what I wanted and then I got pre approved and bought the car. The same example goes for someone buying a house. Some good ideas here to use! 

Posted by Lori Kellett, Loan Officer (Kondaur Capital Corporation) about 6 years ago

Very good ideas to use here both in the blog and the comments. Thanks for the blog. Open houses are useful.

Posted by Mark Neighbor, Sell House Fast In Georgia (A O Home Solutions - Sell House Georgia - Buy House Georgia) about 6 years ago

Lori - nice to get your perspective as a lender. Thank you.

Mark - open houses are very useful; but the shift in how buyers want to find a home is even more interesting to me.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Hi Lottie~ I'll add my 2 cents worth. When I got started in the biz about 10 years ago, open houses were very popular and they were well attended. They have slowed down, traffic-wise over the years and most of those in attendance are just lookie-lous. 

Most of the open houses I see now are in the "move-up" price range, so those are not first time buyers. 

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Interesting, Donna. Open houses are still vitally important in our San Francisco and San Mateo County area.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

My area is a little bit different. If you have an open house here, depending on the house, you are lucky to get more than 1 person through the door. I don't think people put that much effort into them as a result and it is a vicious cycle! I'd like to host a party and see how many people show that'd be great!

Posted by Eren Millam, Certified Negotiation Expert (Realty World Cosser & Associates, Inc.) about 6 years ago

Eren, it's interesting to me to see the differences in our various parts of the country--and Canada. Real estate really is local, including buyer patterns.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago


My two cents worth. I sell homes and  land exclusively on a recreational lake located in a remote location. Open houses are a rarity as personal safety, the ability of prospective buyers to locate a property and the travel distance become factors not normally associated with subdivision, or "in town" situations. 

Posted by Sharon Miller (RE/MAX Platinum) about 6 years ago

Sharon, I can see why open houses aren't important in your market.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

I think open house are not only important to the consumer but are also a great marketing tool if used properly. plus we have the most educated consumers coming in, they have reviewed all the info they can find on the home in the Internet in advance,  however, seeing a home in person and experiencing it first hand can take a perfect fit on their must have check list,  to I'm just not feeling it, or from let's check it out,  to this is it! Buying a home is a personal and emotional decision so the consumer needs to experience it first hand. Is a great way to let the house sell its self. 

Posted by Jen Silverman, Consider it...Sold. Cape Cod & Plymouth Specialist about 6 years ago

That's how is works in my area, Jen. I'm seeing buyers liking the freedom of seeing places first at the open house, then following up with their agent if they have interest.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Open Houses ARE more important than ever.

Posted by Jordana Tobel, Broker Owner (Premier Real Estate Advisors) about 6 years ago

They are in my area too, Jordana.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Open houses are important in my area as well.  I believe that most buyers in today's market are husband and wife and their both working, so an open house works great for them on the weekends.  

Posted by Graziella Bruner, Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County (NCS Premier Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Graziella, I agree--that's what I'm seeing.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 6 years ago

Open houses can be a great lead generation tool just like all the others.  As a REALTOR® you need to find the niche that works for you and your market.  I recently met a $400,000 seller, who will be a $600,000 buyer, at an open house that I posted on Zillow (for free).  The client said they came to the open house because they saw it on Zillow.  Every type of marketing works - you just need to find your niche and do it!  I've met buyer and sellers from open houses,  door knocking, Craigs List, FSBO's, Expireds, Referrals, etc...The second sale I had was a FSBO and that listing turned into 30 other sales!  You can meet buyers or sellers anywhere...time is the challenge.

Posted by Paul Armstrong, Serving Orange County & The Long Beach Area (Realty Network) almost 6 years ago

Hello Paul Armstrong - you're so very right--there are marketing opportunities everywhere. What I think I'm seeing in our area is a shift in how buyers like to find properties, and that makes open houses in San Francisco and on the Peninsula more useful than ever.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 6 years ago


Open houses are an outstanding marketing tool . . . . and can have a positive effect on the sale of the property.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing the success of open houses in your community.

They are also very effective in our local market.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 5 years ago

I host open houses for my listings. In my market area first time buyers go to open houses more than move up buyers. 

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 5 years ago

Hi Gita Bantwal - open houses are essential here; they create the sense of urgency that results in great offers.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 5 years ago