The College Station real estate industry is a very competitive market, which means that real estate professionals have to be dedicated and creative when it comes to selling a listing for top dollar and in record time. Marketing a new listing starts on day one, when the listing agreement is signed by the current property owner. The first step to marketing a property is publishing it on the Multiple Listing Service, or the MLS. This service is exclusively offered to licensed real estate professionals, and it is a huge database of property listings where agents and brokers can browse and share their findings with their clients. Popular home search websites like Zillow and Trulia pull all of their information from the MLS, so if your home is not listed on the MLS, then it most likely isn’t receiving the exposure it needs in order to get sold in today’s market.
Once a property is listed on the MLS, ideally your College Station real estate agent will continue to market the property with emails to their contacts sharing the details of the property, door knocking the neighborhood to see if any of the neighbors have friends or family looking to move into the community, sending out postcards with information, posting the listing across their social media platforms and doing everything in their power to get as many eyeballs on the listing as possible. The greater the attention on the property the better the chance that your agent will quickly find an interested buyer.
One tactic that many agents employ when trying to sell a new listing is to also host an open house event at the property. An open house is exactly what it sounds like, the agent sits in the home for a designated time block on specific days and greets potential buyers and their agents as they come to walk the property and see it in person. The seller is not present for the open house – typically the agent will want them to step away for a couple of hours so that potential buyers can freely browse the home in peace without feeling like they are being watched.
The big question in today’s day and age is do open houses sell houses? How effective is this old school marketing tactic at actually acquiring tangible offers and converting a potential buyer into an open escrow and a sale? Most buyers who are serious about looking for a new home are also working with a College Station real estate professional. Their agent will share information about new homes as they come on the market and then set up private tours of the property for their clients. For the most part, by the time an open house is held for a property a serious buyer has probably already seen it.
The other thing to note is that with modern technology and software like virtual tours, many buyers won’t even need to physically step foot in a home to determine whether it is a good fit for them or not. A lot of buyers will submit an offer sight unseen and then pay for very thorough inspections to make sure that the property is in good condition physically and not just aesthetically.
Why do agents host open houses?
Some agents go to great lengths to showcase an open house – they’ll go all out with balloons, ribbons, catering and refreshments, fresh baked goodies and more. They do this in the hopes that neighbors will stop by so that they can try and earn their business if they are interested in selling their home now or in the future. An open house is a wonderful networking opportunity for a real estate professional because they can meet with new potential clients, expand their professional network by meeting other agents and it allows them the chance to market their personal brand and build up their business. The other reason that an agent is likely to host an open house is simply to make the seller happy. Like we mentioned before, the more attention there is on the property the more likely it is to sell for top dollar and in record time, so even if the open house gets limited attention, you never know if one of those visitors may pass the information on to a more interested buyer.
Who attends open houses?
Apart from the occasional house hunter, here is a brief list of other candidates who will stop by an active open house:
- Passersby – When an agent is marketing an open house, they will mark it with their personal branded signage that features arrows pointing in the direction of where the property is located. These signs can oftentimes be seen from a distance, so it’s likely that individuals who are driving by or walking around the neighborhood may stop by to check out the home.
- Lookie Loos – Some people really enjoy visiting open houses to see what the home looks like, find inspiration for their own property or they might be individuals who aren’t ready to buy a home just yet but they are interested in looking at the existing inventory as it pops up. There are also people who enjoy going to open houses just for the treats that the agent will prepare and serve!
- Neighbors – In some communities, neighbors might make up the only people who visit an open house. Neighbors are always interested to see what is going on in their community, they may want to see what the home looks like in comparison to theirs or they may actually turn into a solid lead if they have friends and family who are looking to move into the neighborhood.
- Real Estate Agents – Other agents who may have competed for the listing may stop by to see how the home has been prepared for sale. Or an agent may stop by to look at the property on behalf of a client who couldn’t make it on the date and time of the open house.
- Criminals – As horrible as this sounds, there’s no better way to case a home than to visit an open house and take stock of the goodies that a thief may want to come back for and steal. This is why it’s important for the agent hosting the open house to be diligent about paying attention to visitors during an open and making sure that nothing gets stolen.
How do you host a successful open house?
College Station Real estate professionals will estimate that at least 20 percent of their sales are a direct result of an open house, which translates to one in five homes. The best way to host a successful open house so it can turn into a sale is to prepare and present the property in the best way:
- Choose the best day and time to show – typically this will be a mid-morning to late-afternoon on a weekend
- Clean and declutter the home, if necessary bring in some rented furniture to stage the property and make it look nicer
- Create a nice atmosphere so that potential buyers are pleasantly welcomed into the home
- Open windows and blinds to let in natural light
- Don’t use air fresheners, but do light a soft candle
- Have soft music playing in the background
- Serve refreshments and snacks, maybe even a catered lunch depending on budget
- Artfully display pamphlets and brochures that offer more information about the home
- Interact with visitors
Once an open house has finished, real estate professionals should always make sure to follow up with any real estate agents or potential buyers who requested more information.
Do open house sell houses?
Whether or not an agent hosts an open house for a new listing is not going to make or break a sale. It’s impossible to guarantee that an open house will be successful and bring in multiple offers and competing buyers, however what we do know is that an open house won’t hurt the chances of bringing a qualified buyer to the table and selling the home fast. At the end of the day, an open house is just another marketing tactic, and the better the property is marketed the better the chances of the property selling. This also depends on the state of the market – in a seller’s market an agent may walk away from an open house with multiple offers, whereas in a buyer’s market where there is plenty of inventory within the same neighborhood, it may take longer to see a qualified offer regardless of an open house.
If you are looking to sell your home in College Station, TX contact our team at Brazos County Realty. We would love to meet you and come up with a customized and targeted marketing plan so we can help sell your property quickly, efficiently and for the best price possible! Once we sell your home, we would also be happy to help you find your next dream home. Take some time to look through our featured listings and let us know if anything catches your eye. We can be reached at 979-693-0201 or you contact us online directly.