Open Houses & Realtor Luncheons

Christy Crouch|April 27, 2023
Do Open Houses and Realtor Luncheons really work?
I get asked this question often when meeting with sellers about putting their homes on the market and I always pose that question back to them.  Do you think an open house is what will cause your home to sell?  Most respond with a  probably not just that kind of answer.  Then my next question if they're living in the home is, do you feel open houses are safe?  I mean imagine that you're opening your doors to anyone that wants to walk in.  In today's world I don't feel it's the safest idea for the seller's belongings and the privacy of their home for that matter.  My next question is do you really want a bunch of strangers coming through your home without even knowing if they're financially able to buy your home?  Most answer with well, no, now that you put it that way that doesn't make much sense. 
I have been selling homes since 1991 and have not done more than a handful of open houses yet have continuously sold over 100 homes a year for the last 32 years.  I did a few just to test the waters to see if they actually worked.  Do people come, yes!  They come but what we mostly see is nosy neighbors, unqualified buyers, and professional open house goers, those that have made visiting open houses a weekly hobby.  Undoubtedly these are the types of people you want coming through your home.  So then question is why do Realtors do them?  Well that's a great questions.  There are a few reasons and the first is they do them to keep the seller pacified and to make the seller thing they're doing something to get the home sold.  Meanwhile they sit there for a few hours hoping and praying someone, anyone, will come through or they send a new agent to sit in the open house for them because they know it's completely pointless.  Second they're hoping to pick up buyer leads for themselves.  Knowing that less than 3% of homes are sold at an open house they can then convert those buyers to leads that they can help find the right home for them if of course they aren't already working with a Realtor who sent them to the open house to save their time from having to personally show it to them.  And the third reason agents do open houses is to have something to advertise and promote giving them more branding and exposure.  I think it's almost safe to say they're using your home to benefit themselves while making you believe it's for you and the benefit of selling your home.  With all that said if I were a seller I would never want an open house.  As an agent we don't do them and if our sellers demand them then we have another agent sit there who's looking to pick up buyer leads for themselves.
Realtor luncheons, do they work and why do agents do them?  Well, let me ask you do you think the Realtor is the one that chooses the house or the buyer?  Correct, the buyer!  So does it matter if the local Realtors come through the home for a free lunch?  I mean is that going to cause a buyer to buy their home?  In fact, in today's market rarely does the Realtor even decide which homes to show a buyer.  The buyer decides which homes they want to see!  Where do they go to find those homes?  Online on the public platforms that pull their data from the multiple listing service.  Or perhaps the agents have searched through mls and set up a portal search for their buyers.  Either way the point being it doesn't matter of Realtors come through a luncheon or not the buyers are the ones that choose which homes they're going to look at.  
So then why do them?  Well here again, agents do them to make the sellers feel like they're doing something to get the home sold.  It also makes them feel busy and like they have something productive going on.  Meanwhile it's merely a social hour with their fellow agents that are looking for a free lunch or a free gas or starbucks card that they all seem to do a drawing for if you pleeeeeease stop by my Realtor luncheon.  
In personally coaching other Realtors across the country what I've noticed is the also do open houses and Realtor luncheons because they're afraid to tell the seller the truth.  If a seller says I want lots of open houses they simply agree.  Rather than be the professional and educate the seller on the statistics behind the activity.  I mean why waste a seller's Sunday afternoon on a no non productive activity rather than tell them the truth?  I can't for the life of me understand it honestly.
Reach out if you're thinking about selling your home here in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding locations and we'll share with you the four things that actually cause a home to sell and how we've helped thousands of families successfully sell their homes.  
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Christy Crouch

Founder, Team Leader

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