Friday, May 22, 2009

Public Open houses - are they still effective?

Back in the 80's and 90's Public Open houses in the Mississauga and GTA were a very hot commodity. Agents loved to sit at an open house on a Saturday or Sunday because quite frequently the property would sell from a purchaser who walked into the open house. The odds of selling the property from the open house were about 1 in 20. This has dramatically changed lately.
Open houses are not necessarily the best method to sell a property in our current marketplace. Agents like to do open houses in an attempt to try and pick up a buyer client, and occasionally the property sells from the open house.
Statistics show about 1 in 100 to 1 in 50 properties may sell through open house, but you never know, so they do work sometimes. The reason they are not as effective as they used to be is that most buyers are working with an agent and are being emailed all new listings or the buyer can find all the listings on the internet, so the buyers, just like you with your house search, have most if not all the listings to see already on their computer including address, price, closing date and inclusions. The buyer of today is nearly completely empowered and have most of the information ahead of time compared to the buyers of the 80's.
Of course, you have to see inside a property before you can buy it, but my point is that people often prefer open houses when they are casually looking or far in advance of a purchase or for curiosity, when they are ready to purchase, they call their agent and go see the narrowed down list.
The other reason that agents do open houses is to market themselves and their services to potential listing clients. If you are a potential seller in the area of the open house, you may go to the open house to see the property and meet the agent. When that agent sells the property, you may call them to list your property with them.
These are the facts in our Mississauga real estate market regarding open houses.
Have a great weekend!
Mark

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