The Power of Open Houses in Closing Home Sales
Nationwide, homes with open houses sell for $9,046 more and spend seven fewer days on the market than homes without open houses, according to a new report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the tech-powered real estate brokerage.
The analysis looked at homes that were listed in 2018, comparing the relative selling success—measured by sale-to-list price ratios and time on market—of those that had an open house within their first week on the market with that of homes that never had an open house. The benefits associated with open houses vary by metro, and they likely have more to do with the desirability of the homes themselves than the open house itself.
“Holding an open house is an efficient way for sellers to get more eyes on a home, and a bigger pool of potential buyers can help lead to a higher ultimate sale price,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “In many areas, homes that are already primed for competition tend to be the ones with open houses because the listing agent knows it will attract a lot of attention and wants to set up a convenient way for multiple potential buyers to pop in at once instead of making several appointments for private tours.”
In San Francisco, homes with an open house during week one sold for 7.9 percent more relative to their list price than homes with no open house, the biggest premium of any metro area in the U.S. In nearby San Jose, homes with open houses sold for 5.2 percent more and in Raleigh, North Carolina, homes with open houses sold for 4.6 percent more relative to their list price than those without. For a home in Raleigh listed at the metro area’s median sale price of $286,000, that could mean a difference of more than $13,000 in the ultimate sale price.
“San Francisco real estate culture is dominated by open houses. The majority of my clients attend open houses because they know it’s their best chance to see a competitive property or multiple properties on the same day,” said local Redfin agent Miriam Westberg. “If a home in the area doesn’t have an open house, it’s often because it’s either owner-occupied or tenant-occupied. Those homes tend to sell for a bit less than comparable homes with open houses because they’re difficult to show and don’t get as much traffic or as many offers.”
In San Francisco, homes with open houses during the first week spend a full week longer on the market than homes without—but that doesn’t mean the open house is harmful. “It’s standard here to host two weekends of open houses before accepting offers. Listing agents usually prefer 10 to 14 days of active on-market time, particularly for homes with open houses, before they’ll set an offer date,” Westberg said.
In the Miami area, open houses are correlated with faster sales. A home in Miami with an open house during its first week on the market typically goes under contract within 27 days, compared with 38 days for those without an open house. And homes in the Miami area with an open house during week one sold for 1.2 percent more relative to their list price than homes with no open house.
“I usually list properties on a Thursday or Friday, then hold an open house on Saturday or Sunday. I also hold private showings because it’s so important to get as many potential buyers into the home as possible,” said Jessica Johnson, a Redfin agent in Miami. “When homebuyers see other people at an open house, it can motivate them to place an offer more quickly than they otherwise would. I had two listings go under contract last week after just one weekend on the market. In both cases, the buyers first saw the home at the open house.”