Do open house days really work and do they produce the best sale?

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Many estate agents profess that they do, and as a consequence they bombard consumers with statistics in support of justifying their claims. Such promotion, in my opinion, is misleading and in truth indicates a liability on the part of the sales agent to play Russian roulette with someone’s greatest asset.

Typically, most agents claim that they generate enough viewings through an open house viewing to bring about a sale, or that the sale was agreed as a result of running an open house.

Having years of successful property sales to my credit, I do not subscribe to ‘tricks of the trade’ as a means to sell property. The gimmick becomes akin to an intimidatory psychological tactic on potential purchasers through a process of herding them around like sheep corralled within the property.

The viewers are afraid to catch the eye of each other as they shuffle uncomfortably past one another in corridors and doorways, whilst trying not to give anything away about their real opinion of the property, or conversely, calculatingly voicing their opinions and denigrating the property with subjective statements.

I do not believe that the best sale price is obtained in such a manner. Selling property is not a game of poker, bluffing and pressurising buyers.

I understand that many estate agents will disagree with my viewpoint and argue that an open house is less intrusive for the property seller as they suffer little disruption to their normal lifestyle in that it affects them for one day only. That placing potential purchasers together stirs up a sense of urgency and competition.

I have known this sales pitch used too many times and in my opinion it does not provide the vendor with a proper service, which in turn short-changes them out of the highest valued price.

The weaknesses of the open house proposition are many. Did the viewing reach the whole market? What does a one-day sales window actually achieve? Maybe some purchasers could not make the viewing on the appointed day?

Additionally, purchasers rubbing shoulders with one another have the liability to communicate their likes and dislikes which in many circumstances loses sales rather than generate them. It’s easier to put someone off purchasing a house than to sell it. Therefore, any instances which could produce negative comments need to be eradicated from the sales process.

However, my concern is that open house days are not for the benefit of the seller. I feel that they are a convenient sales vehicle benefitting the agent much more than the vendor.

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BA (Hons) Natalia Gombalova
Digital Marketing Manager, allAgents