Q: My spouse and I just listed our house for sale. We’re just off a very busy street and my Realtor wants to do a lot of open houses. But she also says we can’t be there for them, so each time we do an open house we have to leave for a few hours at a time. Is it really worth all the effort?
A: If you’re off a busy street and you get lots of people coming through the house, frequent open houses can be very productive. They bring lots of people and the more people who see your house the more likely you are to get an offer. True, some might just be neighbors, or “looky-loos,” many might not be qualified, or they might not be looking for what you’re offering. But, maybe one of the neighbors mentions the house to a friend. Maybe your house is what motivates someone to talk to a lender. Maybe a buyer falls in love with the house and they might not have looked at it if you hadn’t made it so easy. Open houses aren’t always the best way to get exposure for a house, but since you’re in an area with lots of traffic, it seems like a natural to me.
Another thing to consider is why you selected your Realtor in the first place. You obviously picked her for a reason. Presumably you trust her judgment, you were able to agree on a list price, and you must have had some idea of her marketing plan. Open houses are just one method of many used to sell a house. If you haven’t covered it already, talk to your Realtor about all of the things she’s planning to do, but remember, you have to be an active participant in the sale of your house. It’s not all up to her. If you create obstacles – like refusing to do open houses or to leave for showings – it will just take longer to sell and you and your Realtor will get frustrated.
One last thought: While open houses are a hassle for you, think about how time consuming they are for your Realtor. She wouldn’t suggest them if she didn’t think they were productive. True, a busy open house benefits the Realtor, but it also benefits you.
Talia Freedman is a Realtor with Signature Southwest Properties.