Do Open Houses Work in Maryland?

When a house first goes on the market for sale, some owners can’t wait for their Realtor® to hold an open house. They dream of multiple buyers lining up at the front door, continuously strolling through the house and saying, “Ooh and aah,” upon entering every room. And then at the conclusion of the open house, they dream of multiple buyers making offers.

Unfortunately, most open houses don’t work that way. Yes, there are some that will attract a steady stream of buyers, lookers, maybe not buyers. There are other open houses that may attract one or two buyers. And believe it or not, there are plenty of open houses that no one ever attends.

When Do Open Houses Work in Maryland?

So do you really need an open house? Should you insist that your Realtor® hold an open house? Open houses in Maryland can be most effective when:

  • The house is newly listed
  • When it’s in really good condition
  • When it’s priced right

That is when newly listed houses attract the most attention from prospective buyers.

Do Open Houses Really Sell Houses in Maryland?

Occasionally, but not very often. And why is that? Because the wrong people show up at the open house. Here’s a list of the people who typically show up at open houses:

  • The neighbors, because they’re nosy, because they’ve always wondered what the inside of your house looks like. So if they’re around and they’re available, they like to show up.
  • You also get people who are not sure if they want to sell their house. They will actually go to open houses, see what’s for sale, see what the competition is and make their decisions accordingly.
  • People who are renovating their house. They don’t want to buy, they’re renovating. They’ll go to open houses to get ideas.
  • Then you get those people who are just starting the buying process. They’re months away from actually buying a house, but they’re starting to do their research, and they’re starting to look and see houses in person so they can get an idea of what’s out there so that when they are indeed ready, they are more educated.
  • And last but not least, you have those folks who are wishing and hoping to buy a house, but they aren’t even pre qualified. So when they go look at open houses, they don’t even know if they’ll be able to get a loan.

The majority of serious buyers already have a REALTOR® they’re working with, and they will schedule a private showing to see any houses they’re interested in seeing. Occasionally they may attend an open house, but not too often.

Why do Realtors® Hold Open Houses?

There are 2 reasons why Realtors® hold open houses in Maryland:

  • If they’re working with a seller who wants an open house, that’s a service a Realtor® really should provide.
  • They want to meet buyers who aren’t already working with an agent. It’s a way to find buyer clients who aren’t interested in the open house, but might be interested in buying another house.

So if you’re selling your house, should you ask your Realtor®, should you expect your Realtor®, to hold an open house? That’s a personal decision. Some homeowners really want that open house because they think it will sell their house when in reality, usually it doesn’t happen that way. Although there are those occasions when they get lucky.

How to Prepare for an Open House

If you’re planning to have an open house, it’s important to properly prepare. You want your house to look its best, attract the most visitors, and of course, receive offers. The following Top 10 Tips will guide you in what to do:

Top 10 Tips for Preparing for an Open House in Maryland

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Have Questions?

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