Real EstateIt used to be that if you wanted to sell a house, you would just hire an agent, stick a sign in the lawn, place an ad in a local paper, and schedule your open house.

Sigh! Those days are long gone ­— now there’s the staging, the photo shoot, the virtual tour shoot, the website, the social media marketing…and more. Something that might soon be dropping off the list: Soldotna open houses.

It’s the prevalence of sophisticated online marketing that has sellers wondering whether open houses really sell homes…or have they gone the way of the newspaper ad?

A National Association of Realtors® survey of last year’s buyer’s shows that while 45% did visit open houses, only 10% said they first learned about the home they later bought via yard sign or open houses. Meanwhile, 42% reported first spotting the home they bought online.

But it’s not an open-and-shut case. NAR spokesman Walter Molony says that while there isn’t a statistic nailing down open houses’ efficacy, they do have overall value. It’s hard to argue when he points out, “With nearly half of buyers attending an open house, they’re hardly a waste of time.”

Also, there are some homes that are just too unique to market without the benefit of open houses. Too, there are those where MLS photos can’t adequately showcase appealing features. And for the minority who don’t turn to their laptops to take online tours, open houses provide an opportunity for tentative buyers to get more serious — in a non-committal way.

Even with new marketing fads seeming to appear all the time, sometimes tried-and-true standbys still serve a valuable purpose. Open houses may be increasingly questioned for their effectiveness, yet they are only one of many available marketing techniques. They may be as old fashioned as black-and-white newspaper ads (remember those?), but in the hands of a qualified agent, it’s still possible that they can be major factors in getting the job done. If you’re looking for an agent to sell your Soldotna home this fall, call me today to talk about an action plan for you!

Real Estate Websites by Cherie Young