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Is the Realtor Open House A Thing of The Past?

How DO buyers search for homes?

This weekend, March 26-27th, 2011, Florida Realtors held a Statewide open house event. The entire weekend was a chance for buyers to see thousands of homes for sale from the panhandle to the Florida Keys. Locally, the Tallahassee Board of Realtors have over 245 homes open for buyers and sellers to view.

However, there are some facts that I wonder if others have noticed.  Local Realtors have had months to prepare for this weekend. Many of us are participating by holding multiple houses open, using this opportunity to showcase as many of their listings as possible. Yet, inevitably, there are those who elected not to participate. There are also reports from others of open houses with no attendance, others open for 2 – 4 hours with one showing, etc.

There is a ton of preparation, and expense that people go through when preparing a home for an open house. Some Realtors advertise,  spend hours on marketing pieces, etc., (I’ve even been known to sweep, vacuum, clean toilets, etc.), all in efforts to ready a home for an open house.  Sellers clean, prepare yards, some prepare food and drinks all in an attempt to make their property “shine.”  Is a seller’s preparation for open houses a waste of time? What do you think?

So, how do people find homes these days? I’m asking both Realtors and consumers. Where do you go to search for homes. When you get there,..wherever that is, and you find a home that interests  you, how do make arrangements to see the home, and with who? Are you a “just-by-luck” shopper who calls the person on the sign, or do you research Realtors before you attempt to purchase a home or even look at them?

What is your method of home searching? This is a fact finding mission, so tell us Realtors how you shop for a home. Are Realtors wasting their time at open houses? How are you treated when you enter open houses? Why would you attend an open house versus a traditional showing appointment? If you are working with a Realtor, does that Realtor encourage you to attend open houses, give you any instructions before you set out? Does your Realtor offer you a means of searching for homes on your own or provide you with listing information on homes in your price range and preferences?

Tell us what you think of open house events! Leave us a comment on this blog!

3 thoughts on “Is the Realtor Open House A Thing of The Past?

  1. Great question. I’m looking forward to seeing the responses, especially from consumers. I have practically stopped doing open house, due to little if any attendance. You can advertise, put out signs/balloons and market to your heart’s content. It doesn’t seem to matter.
    I am seriously considering doing the online open house, in a similar fashion to what Leslie Lambert did. I want to see if that would draw more interest than the traditional “in person” method.
    I’ll be checking back to see the responses. 🙂

  2. Lisa, There were many more responses on twitter of course (@FloridaSunSales) but interestingly enough, one person found their Realtor, or lucked into finding the right Realtor at an open house. Another said he would shop for a home online first, and thinks the economy and job uncertainty has a lot to do with why people are not home shopping. We’ve lost an element of the “American Dream” in my opinion. I believe, holding a virtual open house is a great opprotunity if you advertise it ahead of time, create interest for the tour, etc. How would you host a virtual tour? What kind of preparation would you do ahead of time to get the word out about it?

  3. I believe, holding a virtual open house is a great opprotunity if you advertise it ahead of time, create interest for the tour, etc. How would you host a virtual tour?

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