During the housing boom, open houses were viewed by sellers as a way to generate offers; but these days, buyers are depending on the Internet and their real estate agents to locate their next home. Of the buyers polled by the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent found homes online and 88 percent through agents last year. However, the NAR survey indicates that yard signs attract 57 percent of buyers, open houses attract 45 percent, and print ads entice 36 percent. Experts say open houses still should be part of a home’s marketing plan, but Internet listings with quality photos and marketing to other real estate professionals should be a top priority. At the very least, sellers who shun public open houses should allow real estate agents to tour their home on a particular day. Open houses should be scheduled within two weeks after listing, but they should not be held week after week because this emphasizes that the property is sitting on the market. These events should be held strategically, such as after a price reduction. Agents should accompany buyers on their tour of the home to point out special features and discuss any objections. | Read More