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Is an open house a waste of time?

January 6, 2010

  (© MacGregor & Gordon/Workbook Stock) Agents admit that few sales traditionally come from open houses. And now the Internet is making them even less valuable.

By Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate

Los Angeles real estate agent Liz Johnson loves open houses, but not because they move her properties. The real reason Johnson holds them is because they bring her more business.

Prospective home buyers walk through and ask what other listings she has. “They’ve always been better for agents than sellers,” she says.

The proliferation of Internet listings and other online real estate information is quickly making open houses more of an option, rather than a requirement for selling a home. In 1995, just 2% of home buyers used the Internet to look for a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. Last year, 77% of home buyers shopped online.

Indeed, only 2% to 4% of Johnson’s listings sell from open houses. “It’s not a necessity,” she says.

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