The last few weeks have been extremely busy open house wise for us in Seattle – mostly in the $400,000 and under price range or close to it. Agent hits on the NWMLS for those listings has also soared and the web traffic in general has increased for this price point. The buyers are definitely out there poking around!
Many of my recent open house visitors have been Redfin buyers. They seem to expect to be treated poorly by other agents at opens. Maybe this is just my own perception, but they are physically cringing upon entrance. I guess it could be my outfit or my hair, but more likely it must have to do with the typical reception a Redfin buyer might get. The point of an open house has always been for the hosting agent to meet, network, and possibly pick up new clients. Although it is also great exposure for the listed property, very rarely does the open house sell the home – at least it didn’t used to.
Redfin arguably has one of the nicest real estate search websites and their open house feature is probably second to none. I can’t keep up with their changing business model and have no idea how effective or not they are for their clients, but do love their site and always welcome Redfin buyers to my open houses. Redfin buyers seem to almost always be actively looking for a home. They meticulously schedule and map out the open houses they plan to visit and they come with questions prepared. In short, they are serious.
One little problem:
Open houses that show up on the site are swept from the NWMLS when a listing agent enters the information in the “public open houses” field of their listing and not all listing agents do this. Some companies prefer to hold on to that information and only enter their open houses on their corporate site alone. Soon enough, though, most agents will hopefully catch up and realize that not entering their opens for all to see is a disservice to the seller. Just looking at Seattle stats alone in the NWMLS, Redfin has sold 62 residential properties and 9 condos since the beginning of the year. Redfin buyers are clearly putting a dent in the inventory.
Redfin aside, it is just smart business and good representation to enter your open house into the NWMLS so that you expose your seller’s property to as many potential buyers as possible.