Are Open Houses a Thing of the Past?


For decades, open houses have been the go-to marketing tool for real estate agents and homeowners alike wanting to get as many potential buyers through a home as possible. But now that sellers are relying more and more on the internet to show their homes, how effective are open houses today?

According to the National Association of Realtors via Investopedia, only three percent of homebuyers visit open houses. Unless your home is in a high-traffic area, the numbers don’t appear to be in favor of the home seller.

Current studies show that Gen Xer’s and millennials are the largest generation buying homes today. They’ve grown up tech-savvy and as homebuyers, they’re doing things differently. It’s all about the internet.

How the Internet Has Changed Home Buying and Selling

The Pew Research Center reports that nine in ten Americans use the internet. In addition, about three-quarters of that population owns a laptop or desktop computer, roughly 50-percent owns a tablet, and 81-percent of all Americans own a smartphone.

As a society, we are plugged in and that has helped change how consumers research everything, even real estate. Most buyers begin their research for a new home on the internet.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 50-percent of buyers now find their home online. They can search for neighborhoods, school districts, proximity to parks, shopping, and major routes. Doing this online instead of driving around saves time and money.

With the internet, buyers have:

  • Thousands of real estate websites
  • Real estate websites with interior/exterior pictures
  • Easier research access for homes in cities/states far away

The internet benefits home sellers as well. Listing online requires less of a time commitment, and may save money. It can cost less to list online or skip the listing altogether and rely on a company, plus you don’t have to deal with an open house.