Open houses aren’t for selling: REP poll

by REP30 Mar 2015
A recent poll on the REP site has a majority of agents agreeing that open houses are not for selling, but their value goes far beyond closing the deal.
“I’ve never sold a house through an open house,” says Savanna Lemieux-Ellement, an agent in Winnipeg. “But they’re very important. You pick up buyers, but I don’t think you sell the house from an open house.”
Lemieux-Ellement isn’t alone in that sentiment. Some 73 per cent of REP readers said they’ve sold a property via open house less than five per cent of the time.
“You’re not going to get a buyer there, but it does display your skills as an agent – how you put the staging together,” says Danilo Martinez, an agent in Toronto. “You can increase your own leads and your own business.”
However, in some cooler markets, the opposite is the case. Another 15 per cent of REP readers said they’ve closed the deal via open house between six and 15 per cent of the time. A total of five per cent of readers said they’ve sold a property at least 31 per cent of the time.
“My luck has been that, in most cases, I end up being able to find a client and sell the house,” says Edmonton-based agent, Ron Blache-Fraser. “A lot of times a house will sell to somebody from the neighbourhood, whether [they are] referred by someone or not. It’s often someone who is close by, whether they want to upgrade or downgrade.”
Have your say: Is an open house a good place to find buyers? Or is its value in marketing for the agent?


  • by judy 3/30/2015 1:04:18 PM

    An open house is really all about keeping the home-owner happy. I have only sold a couple of properties over almost 30 years from open houses. I have picked up a few buyers and a few new listings from traffic.
    The biggest advantage has been advertising an open house when a buyer has sat on the fence about that particular property, fears losing it. The ad has "sealed the deal" and I have gone ahead and done the open or if the offer was really strong, cancelled it.

  • by jeff 3/30/2015 1:31:32 PM

    I don't disagree with the general sentiment that agents do not typically double end the home from an open house. The average numbers I see around my market are only 10% for all double ends, from all sources.
    But is an open house effective in selling the home, you bet. How many times have you seen a slump in showing activities, no calls, no agent appointments on a particular home?
    Do an open house and it is not unusual the next week to have agents booking a showing open house for one of their clients that came through your open house on the weekend. Why did their agent not show it to them in the first place, who knows.
    I tell my sellers that we never know where the buyer comes from, internet, paper ads, the neighbours, open house, web site, that is why I do it all. Leave no stone of opportunity unturned. Obviously, if open houses are inconvenient to the seller then don't do them, but if your telling prospective sellers that open houses are not effective I think your missing the boat.
    In this Market place that is changing I think we need to do more than just tell sellers and buyers what we are doing for them , we need to tell why we are doing it.

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