Do Open Houses Work in the Santa Barbara and Montecito Areas?

As a real estate agent here in the Santa Barbara and Montecito area, it is almost impossible to sell a home unless you get people in to first see the home.  With this said, one of the main first questions a Realtor is asked upon listing a home for sale is...how will their property be shown.
That begs the question: Are open houses a big selling tool?
Answer: No/Not really/ Barely/It can be...
Most likely you will get some version of this answer from a seasoned real estate agent. The problem for many agents is that the majority of home sellers in the Santa Barbara area view open houses as a right.  If an agent is unwilling to hold their home open for 2-4 hours on a nice sunny weekend afternoon, week after week, waiting for prospects to come rolling through the door with an offer in hand, they feel cheated.
But do open houses work for the seller.  Here is what Realtors know and sellers should know about open houses if they don't already:
1) According to the NAR's latest profile of buyers and sellers, "only 7% of all buyers visited open houses as a first step in their safari for a new house.  Most people start their hunt on the Internet."  Additionally, most all buyers use a Realtor and based on the client's needs, they will view properties on their own schedule with their agent.
2) Open houses do work, but not necessarily for the seller's home.  Instead, open houses are mainly held open by agents as a form of branding, farming and/or to attract potential new clients in the form of buyers for other homes or possible sellers of other homes.
3) For the most part, most agents would prefer not to hold open houses except for the first few weeks of a new listing.   Anything beyond this feels excessive for most agents.
For most agents, an open house is needed and should be done for the first 2-4 weeks. More important is the weekly scheduled "caravans" during the week that allows other agents to preview the home.  This is key in getting initial exposure for the home.  Then, if your home fits a need of a client of one of the agents, the agent can bring their client back for a much preferred private showing.
If your home is still not selling after several weeks, it is most likely a combination of some of the following factors:
1) The many different skills that your agent does or does not have for selling your home
2) Price
3) Price point...fewer buyers for more expensive homes
3) The overall market and knowledge of the market
4) The ability to show the home when needed
5) Location of home etc.
For information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Sotheby’s Int’l Realty.
Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative. Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.

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