There are very few open houses in July as many agents as well as buyers are vacationing. Last weekend there were only two open houses listed on the MLS in zip code 55013 and both were mine. I thought I must be the only crazy agent in town until I sold both to visitors of the open house. The previous weekend, I had the same success at another open house.

There are many differing opinions when it comes to the value of an open house to sell your home. Most sellers don’t like them and fear that that nosey neighbors will want to check out their home and they feel an invasion of privacy. The upper bracket home owners have additional fears that non-qualified buyers will come to the open house and they may also have security concerns over valuable art or other collections.

 Some real estate agents love open houses and some refuse to do them as they see them as a waste of time. Some sellers and real estate agents don’t see the value in an open house to sell the home but rather see it as an opportunity for the agent to attract new buyers to work with that are not interested in purchasing the home being held open.

 According to the National Association of Realtors, 87% of today’s buyers their home searching on the internet as they like to educate themselves on the real estate market before they look at homes with a real estate agent. Once they find homes of interest on the internet they drive by homes to check the curb appeal, the neighborhoods, and home values. They love the opportunity to visit open houses to help determine what they want to buy and sometimes they purchase the home being held open.

 The benefits of an open house are: internet exposure as many of the major real estate websites color code the listings that have an upcoming open house bringing added attention to the listing, the listing shows up on open house lists, buyers tend to go farther on their own than they would with their own agent, the listing agent knows more about the property and the neighborhood than the buyer’s agent so we have an opportunity to sell features and benefits that the buyer may not notice with their own agent, we get valuable feedback directly from the buyers, open house signs bring more attention to the listing and neighbors may call someone that may be interested. Even if buyers don’t show up to the open house we see a bump in internet activity on the listing and showings typically increase after the open house.

 Every home requires a unique marketing plan and an experienced real estate agent will provide the best plan for you.

Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.