Private Showing vs Open House Visit- Which is Better to Sell Your Home?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 17 August 2017 07:38

Private Showings vs. Open Houses

Listing your home if done properly can be a lot of work for home sellers while trying to juggle a busy schedule.  Preparing your home properly for the market can take days, weeks or sometimes even months.  Then its on the market!  Your hope are high, lets get it sold fast.   Today I want to talk about private showings vs open house visits and what they mean to you. 

Many home buyers, because they are trained by agents, have the mind set they need open houses to sell their homes, while others feel it is just a lot of work to prepare for.... clean and organize the house, pack up the family and find somewhere to go for several hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  The question is are open houses necessary and should you have an open house to sell my home.

Some of your better listing agents are saying a open house is not necessary to list your home.  I have compiled a list of articles over at Listly on whether a open house is a neccessity in selling your home.  Many major news sources and listing agents feel the risk reward of open houses are not worth it.

Why I Would Much Rather Have Private Showings Than An Open House Visit

Private Showing-  A private showing is when a buyer identifies a home they like and calls the listing agent or more often their buyer's agent to view your home.  They schedule a time that is convenient for them and they are the only ones in the house, with their agent.  The benefits of a private showing:

  • The buyer has actively selected your home and have taken the time to schedule a visit and not wait for an open house. 
  • Most likely they are coming with their buyer's agent that they have been working with and the agent generally know who they are they have phone number email and contact information.
  • An agent assisting a buyer in a private shwoing is not going to shuttle around a buyer that is not qualified to buy your home. What do I mean by qualified?  The buyer has the ability to close on your home in the next 30-90 days.
  • The agent has been working with the buyer and knows the wants and needs of the buyer and can present the home in a way that is condusive to the buyer.
  • The buyer can take the time to take "ownership" of your space without the pressure of a listing agent or other buyer's milling around.
  • The buyer and their buyer's agent can speak openly about the home with out fear of offending someone or tipping off their hand how exctied they are about your home.
  • It is more likely to get feedback from the agent and buyer from a private showing.
  • Private showings allow buyers to view homes at their convenience.

A motivated home buyer will not bypass your home if their are no open houses.  They will schedule a showing with their agent immediately.  Ill be honest, my clients don't go to open houses.  They want to see the house with me and get my opinion and they want to get in before the open house so they have time to make an informed decision.  The buyer's agent gives the client their undivided attention and sells the home.

Open House Visit- An open house visit is when a person identifies a home that they want to see either by driving by, via the internet or their agent and shows up at a scheduled open house. in contrast what is wrong with an open house:

  • If they are waiting to view houses only at open houses how motivated are they?
  • The only qualification is they can get to the open house and walk through the door.
  • Here's the biggie.  Many open house visitors in my experience are not qaulified to close in the next 30-60 days.  You have nosy neighbors, future buyers not in the market, moms looking for their sons, curiosity seekers on a Sunday drive, buyers who are ready to buy and saw the sign but the house is too expensive and the occasionl qualified buyer.
  • The buyer may sign in but they can give false information.  The you have the lurkers who won't sign in and do everything to avoid talking to the listing agent. 
  • National statistics show that less than 2-3% of homes are showed at open houses.
  • Ever notice a home that isn't selling and an agent ramps up the open houses? Why? It is an activity the seller can see and they can show their seller they are working hard.  When in reality there are probably other issues that should be addressed.
  • Agents love open houses because it is a way to market themselves, the greater benefit is to agent and not the home seller.

I recently had a home that expired with another agent.  In 6 months they had approx 16 open house visitors with no private showings.  They actually thought that was acceptable and the agent sat there weekend after weekend.  I repackaged the listing at the same price and immediately received 18 private showings in 5 days and sold the house immediately.  Unfortunately open houses can dissappoint sellers

Home sellers see 6 visitors came thru and open house but often we don't even know how many of them are truly qualified to buy their house. 

The Take Away of Private Showings Vs Open Houses

It boils down to quality of showings vs quantity of showings. I want private showings to occur on my sellers homes and a lot of them.  While yes you can get traffic thru an open house it is not the quality traffic of private showings. 

For home sellers who don't want to do open houses because of the work and time and the theft risk that goes into them, don't feel like you have to. The chances of selling at an open house is slim and the buyer will schedule a private showing anyways.  So many home buyers are making decisions based on the internet.  So much information about a home is available at their finger tips anytime of day.  With digital cameras and quality real estate photographs and drone photography, the imagery of a home is far superior compared to 20 years ago. 

Am I saying that I won't do open houses? No.  I do a few open houses strategically scheduled thoughout the listing. If you don't want to do open houses I won't argue with you.  The whole point of the article as a home seller don't put so much stock into the open house.  Agents have you trained they are a vital part of selling your home.  While that was true years ago, it is a practice that does not carry the benefits it once did. 

Open houses are not necessary to sell homes in this day and age don't feel obligated to do them.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Kevin Vitali

I have been a full-time real estate agent since 2002.  When it comes to helping home buyers and sellers experience matters.  I have hundreds and hundreds of successful transactions under my belt.  Each one brings a set of challenges to the table for me to draw on to help you buy or sell a home.

Home Buying-  I work as a Massachusetts Buyer's Agent representing your best interest in a home purchase.  I can work with you throughout the entire process from deciding if buying a home is right for you, to recommending a great home inspector, to a successful close on your new home. 

Home Selling-  Over the years I have developed a Marketing Plan that gets your home sold.  I can work with you on preparing your home for maximum return, to pricing it properly, to leveraging professional photography and the internet.  All adds up to getting your home sold for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of hassle.

I am based out of EXIT Group One Real Estate in Tewksbury MA and cover all of Essex County and Northern Middlesex County in Massachusetts.  If you are looking to buy or sell give me a call.

Agent Resource

How to capture your next prospect - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.