Do Open Houses Help Homes Sell?

Special Reports

Do Open Houses Help Homes Sell?

With the National Association of Realtors’ big Nationwide Open House Weekend just around the corner, we thought it would be interesting to dig into Redfin’s stash of real estate data to answer the question: Does holding an open house make a home more likely to sell?

To answer this question, we analyzed over a quarter million listings across eleven different cities around the United States.

In San Francisco, an astonishing 83% of listings held at least one open house. In Phoenix and Las Vegas, less than 5% of listings had an open house. In the remaining cities, 20% – 65% of listings had an open house.

Open-House-Chart-01

Apparently every weekend is open-house weekend in San Francisco. In fact, holding an open house is so expected there that homes that don’t hold an open house are a full seven percentage points less likely to sell than those that do.

In Las Vegas and Phoenix, where open houses are rare, the exact opposite is true. Homes that don’t hold an open house are 17 percentage points more likely to sell than those that do.

Everywhere else, the picture gets a little more fuzzy. In the other eight markets we examined, there was virtually no difference in the percentage of homes that sold, whether they had an open house or not.

Open-House-Chart-02

But what happens if we break that data down a little further and take a separate look at homes that held an open house specifically within the first week of listing versus those that held an open house at some later date?

Open-House-Chart-03

Interestingly, when an open house is held within the first week, a home is 13 percentage points more likely to sell than not having an open house at all, and 26 percentage points more likely to sell than if an open house is held sometime after the first week.

So is there some sort of magic that makes a listing so much more likely to sell if you hold an open house in the first week? Probably not.

What’s more likely is that an open house in the first week is just a sign that your listing agent is working hard to do everything he or she can to sell your home. In contrast, an open house later in the life of a listing is a sign of desperation—a “Hail Mary” attempt to move a listing that simply isn’t priced correctly or doesn’t show well.

So should you hold an open house? If you’re in San Francisco, absolutely. If you’re in Phoenix or Las Vegas, probably not. Everywhere else, it most likely doesn’t really matter whether or not you hold an open house, but if you’ve got a good agent, he or she will probably hold one anyway.

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