An open house can make a difference in Miami

by Andrew Morrell

Hosting an open house event within a week of listing a home on the market may help that listing sell faster and for slightly more money in Miami. But in other parts of the U.S., not so much, according to a recent study by Redfin. The brokerage firm’s data on open house trends reflects the complex market dynamics at play in each major metro area.

“Nationwide, homes with open houses sell for $9,046 more and spend seven fewer days on the market than homes without open houses,” Redfin’s Dana Olsen wrote to begin her analysis of open house patterns around the country. However, she continued, “the benefits associated with open houses vary by metro, and they likely have more to do with the desirability of the homes themselves and the way they are marketed than the open house itself.”

Open house events are a given in some markets, and may make a difference in others, but it’s difficult to draw broad conclusions from the data. In Miami, listings that hosted an open house within the first week on the market sold 11 days sooner, on average, than those without an open house. In addition, open house listings in Miami sold for around 97 percent of their list price, 1.2 percent more than what sellers typically received without an open house.

Still, only 5 percent of the 2018 Miami listings analyzed by Redfin hosted an open house within the first week on the market. Nationally, 24 percent of listings last year had an open house. Meanwhile, in some cities, open houses were correlated to spending more time on the market, not less. In Newark, listings with an open house spent 23 more days on the market than the median. This was an extreme example, but Redfin noted several other hot metros like San Francisco, Nashville and Phoenix saw similar trends.

This could be because open house events serve a purpose beyond simply selling a listing. Agents may host them to market themselves and their services, not just to make a sale. One Redfin agent from San Francisco said open houses in that market were almost universal — indeed, 85 percent of San Francisco listings analyzed hosted an open house within the first week on the market. In other situations, it could be that a listing was going to take longer to move whether or not the agent hosted an open house.

“When a home seller and their agent know a property is going to be a challenge to sell, they do everything they can to make it easy for buyers to see it,” Redfin senior economist Taylor Marr said. “It’s very possible these homes would have taken even longer to sell without the open house.”

The only trend that did seem to stick: Listings that hosted an open house within the first week sold for more money relative to their list price in all but one metro (Baltimore). But even in that case, the difference was equal to just 0.4 percent.

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