Open house sign

Is the Open House a thing of the past?

Open house signHere’s a new trend those of us in the real estate industry are questioning: Is the open house a thing of the past?

It just might be, especially for luxury home sellers. In fact, only 3.7% of the homes priced at $5 million and higher advertised an open house while 6.3% of homes listed below that price did.

Experts say the reason is that in the lower price range, sellers seem more relaxed about having open houses and want as many people coming through the door as possible. Agents across the United States have noticed that half the people who attend an open house these days are simply “lookie loos.”

Some agents here in California estimate that 70% of their clients with homes under $3 million hold an open house, compared with only 5% of clients with homes above $3 million. Instead, these luxury home sellers host unadvertised opens inviting just a few select agents. After that, agents invite potential buyers on a private tour.

Still, some agents say open houses at luxury properties can work wonders because people may feel an emotional pull after seeing a property in person. You never know where a sale will come from.

The bottom line is the proliferation of internet listings and other online real estate information makes an open house merely an option in selling your home. Look at these statistics:

1995 – 2% of homebuyers used the Internet
2013 – 77% of homebuyers shopped online

Many agents today refuse to hold open houses, considering them a waste of time and a security threat. Plus, many buyers say they don’t want to spend a day in the car with a Realtor like they did in the past. Instead, sellers rely on their agent’s contacts and targeted marketing campaigns to make a sale.

I am happy to discuss your options to create a winning strategy for you when it comes to selling your home in San Francisco. I keep up-to-date on home prices, inventory and all real estate activity here. For more information on industry trends including the question about holding an open house, please contact me via email at or give me a call at (415) 200-7744. Whether you are planning to sell or buy, I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you. In the meantime, be sure to check my website.