If you’re trying to sell your home, it’s likely your real estate agent has suggested hosting a broker’s open house. But, what is that, exactly? Long story short, it’s an open house not for home buyers, but for their agents so they can determine whether your home is right for any of their clients.
Here’s how to decide how to make the most of this marketing opportunity.
How a broker’s open house is different
The biggest difference between a broker’s open house and a standard open house is who ends up on the invite list. While standard open houses are quite flexible about who can stop by—and might include anyone from potential buyers to curious neighbors—the guest list for a broker’s open house is strictly limited to other real estate agents and industry professionals.
Time is another differing factor. Usually, standard open houses are hosted on Sunday afternoons, because the vast majority of potential buyers have weekends free for house hunting. On the other hand, because a broker’s open house caters to agents—whose weekend schedules are often packed with home showings for clients—it is often held midweek, when agents are more likely to be available.
What happens at a broker’s open house?
At its core, this is another tool that real estate agents use to help market a home. In addition to internet marketing systems like the multiple listing service, it’s a method of debuting your listing to industry professionals in your community.
Once your agent schedules a broker’s open, he will advertise it to his network of industry contacts. Usually a free lunch is also offered as an incentive to show up. On the day of the event, the other agents will be given a chance to tour your home, enjoy the free lunch while catching up with colleagues, and offer your agent their opinions on the property.
Typically, broker’s open houses are held within the first few days of a home being put on the market in order to capitalize on the initial burst of interest that often accompanies new listings. But if there is ever a dramatic adjustment to how your home is being marketed—such as a significant drop in price—your agent may suggest hosting another broker’s open house in order to spread the news.
The benefits of a broker’s open house for sellers
If you’re the type who doesn’t relish the idea of opening your home to crowds of looky-loos who’ll tramp through your rooms and open every closet and medicine cabinet, then a professionally targeted broker’s open may be appealing.
If all goes according to plan, the agents who tour the house will go through their mental Rolodex to see if your property would be a good fit for any of their clients. If so, they’ll likely bring those clients back for a private showing in the near future, especially if the broker’s open was well-attended.
“It creates a sense of urgency“, says Stephen Marchese of Re/Max Central in Blue Bell, PA. “And, a higher perceived value of the house.”
However, even if an offer doesn’t come directly from the broker’s open, it can offer a valuable critique of how your home looks in comparison with other properties currently on the market in your area. Since Realtors regularly have the chance to view a variety of homes, they have the ability to give your agent feedback on how your home is being perceived by others—and how to better attract buyers.