Holiday Weekend Open Houses: The Right Move for Agents?
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
The Fourth of July and the subsequent holiday weekend are upon us. This may seem like an ideal time to hold an open house, but real estate agents are split on whether it’s wise to open the doors to buyers on a holiday weekend. Even though nearly half of home buyers use open houses as an information source in their searches, some agents claim it’s a waste of time to show homes during holiday weekends, noting many are out of town. Others, though, maintain some buyers prefer to use bonus weekend days to scout what’s on the market.
“The buyers that are out there [during holiday weekends] typically have a higher commitment to going under contract,” said Chicago-based Realtor Andrea Geller, who added that earlier in the day on holidays is the ideal time for open houses.
Boston-based Realtor Joe Schutt, meanwhile, indicated there are really only two holiday weekends he ever considers holding open houses.
“Typically, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day work well for open houses. Prospective buyers have their parents in town visiting the city and, a lot of times, will go visit open houses after brunch. No other time really works since people leave the city for the coveted three-day weekend.”
Heather and Steve Ostram of Roseville Coldwell Banker Sun Ridge in California noted that open houses during the holidays can pose challenges to the sellers, so they typically avoid these times. However, they note there can be an advantage to scheduling during a holiday.
“One of the benefits [of open houses] is that relocation buyers, folks who may be visiting friends or family in the area and who may not have a buyer’s agent yet, can see the home easily and quickly while they’re in town, and their entire ‘decision’ crew might be with them,” they said.
If you do opt for a holiday weekend, advance planning is more important than ever, according to the Ostrams. Getting the open house info populated on your MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and your company website is a must. According to the Ostrams,
“Folks may be planning their holiday trip in advance, and you need to consider that and not miss that opportunity,” the Ostrams added. “We like to have the open houses posted at least by Tuesday or Wednesday before a Saturday or Sunday open house.”
If you’re debating whether to host an open house during a holiday weekend, here’s here’s some factors to consider:
Factors to Consider for Holiday Open Houses
1) Is it a national holiday, meaning people across the country will get either Friday or Monday off from work?
If prospective buyers get Friday or Monday off for the holiday, they may be more inclined to take a trip to be with family and friends elsewhere. In fact, more than 40 million residents plan to travel 50-plus miles this Independence Day. On the flip side, buyers may use this extra time in their hectic schedules to check out some listings. You have a higher probability to bring in people during a holiday weekend than you would on your average weekday due to busy schedules, so even the holidays pose a more ideal time to host an open house.
2) How long has the home been on the market?
If a property you’re trying to sell has been on the market for a while and previous open houses on non-holiday weekends haven’t gotten much foot traffic, perhaps holiday weekend open houses wouldn’t fare so well either. Then again, if you market the home for sale appropriately — meaning through blogging about the open house — you can keep awareness of the listing high and attract big crowds of serious buyers during busy holiday periods.
“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.”
— Robert H. Schuller
3) Are the sellers willing to have an open house during holiday weekends?
National holidays not only offer millions of people some time off, but also serve as important days of remembrance. For sellers who celebrate these holidays with loved ones or simply prefer time to themselves, open houses are likely out of the question. Know your clients’ attitudes toward upcoming holidays to determine if open houses are an option.
4) Do you know interested leads who would definitely show up to the open house?
Research is an obvious part of the real estate marketing and sales process. Finding the right leads in your customer relationship management system (CRM) or via networking is another factor for your open house decision. Locate a handful of serious prospects, and you could have all the reason you need to hold an open house. Without knowing for sure that at least a few genuinely interested buyers will be around and willing to come to your open house, you could waste your time and that of your seller’s.
5) Are there a lot of events going on in your area during the holiday weekend?
Some holidays, like the Fourth of July, tend to come with parades, festivals, and other events. Many, though, don’t involve any social gatherings or celebrations. If your client’s property resides near a heavily populated event, you may get a few serious buyers checking out the listing. The majority of these people will undoubtedly be nosy non-buyers, however, so if you’re okay with a lot of people in the door who aren’t actually going to bid on the home, you could consider holding an open house.
6) Have holiday weekend open houses been successes for other real estate agents you know?
Get other real estate agents to talk about their experiences with open houses during holiday weekends. Fellow colleagues at your brokerage or in your network can tell you if holding showings during busy holiday periods has panned out well for them in the past.
Learn how to promote your open houses with your content by checking out our Academy post Real Estate Blog Posts Made Easy: Open Houses.
Do you think it’s worth holding open houses during holiday weekends? Share your thoughts with us below!
Published on July 2, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.