Open houses have become somewhat controversial among Realtors®. There are safety concerns for those who do open houses. Open houses are not needed to sell a Seaport condo. In fact, most Boston condos that are for sale will never have an open house.
Sometimes homeowners do not want open houses but they believe they are needed to sell the house. Most homebuyers find their next home on the internet and or through a real estate agent, not at an open house.
Boston condo buyers who wait for an open house to tour a home are missing out. Only a small percentage of homes for sale are held open each week. With the low inventory of homes for sale, it is best to ask your real estate agent to set up a private showing.
Open houses are an opportunity for Realtors to prospect. It is a great opportunity to collect names, phone numbers, and email addresses which are the lifeblood of the real estate business.
Attending open houses is wonderful for neighbors and for people who may eventually buy a house. It is shopping and there are people who love to shop.
If you are a homeowner and do not want to have open houses just let your agent know. If you believe that open houses are necessary and an essential part of the sales process let your agent know that too.
Pre-pandemic, open houses were seen as a great helper to get a Boston condo sold, in some markets they were seen as a crucial tool for selling a home. At the start of the pandemic, many things shut down to keep large crowds from gathering and people from coming in contact with strangers in hopes to greatly slow the spread of virus germs. This physical distancing caused a halt to in-person open houses. Now that things are opening back up some Boston real estate agents are offering open houses with safety precautions while others have opted to move to stick with the creative alternate options they used in the height of the pandemic distancing.
According to many Boston real estate experts, there are two main groups of “buyers” that most often show up at open houses: those just wanting to see what that home looks like from the inside, and actual buyers that are just beginning their search not really sure of what or if they want to purchase a downtown Boston condo yet trying to get a feel for the area.
Pre-pandemic a good open house turnout was considered about 10 to 15 people, now it is considered about 3 to 5. Some Boston realtors are not fans of the open house, especially since the pandemic has brought out new alternatives to the good ol’ open house. While some Boston realtors stand by the effectiveness of an open house and say they cannot wait for the day they can hold one without precautions again.
With high-quality pictures and virtual tools available to look at online any time a potential Back Bay condo buyer wishes, a home can easily be toured through online search sites. Social media has been used much more to show live virtual tours as well and seems to draw many more watchers. With new technology offerings, a home can still be marketed successfully without an open house.
In slower markets, in-person open houses are very helpful, in sellers’ markets they are not quite always needed. In some areas, Boston condo buyers are anticipating and watching closely for new homes to hit the market and in some cases when one does an offer is made just minutes after it is listed. In these Boston neighborhoods, a home is sold before there is even time to organize the logistics of holding an open house. In other locations, Boston real estate agents are really missing the chance to hold an open house with no restrictions, even in this seller’s market much of the country is experiencing because they really are a benefit to marketing homes.
So the answer to the question of if open houses really are needed anymore is, it depends. It really all depends upon the area in which your home is located and the culture of the local market. Some homes are perfectly fine letting go of open houses altogether, while other markets are still greatly benefitted from an in-person open house.
For more information on the Boston real estate market, contact our office at any time. If you’re looking to sell your Boston condominium in 2021, give us a call at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454.