Have you ever attended an Open House?
Chances are Yes! Whether you just popped in to check out your “dream home”, or you truly were a serious Buyer stumbling across a home you hadn’t considered previously, while searching online.
What I have found recently is that Open Houses have made an aggressive comeback! They are once more, popular amongst buyers. I am yet again an advocate for hosting Open Houses on my listings. I will say that there was a period in recent years past that they proved to be a waste of time for both Agents and Sellers. But, I am happy to report that the most recent Open House I hosted brought through nearly 20 people in a matter of two hours; and this home is located in a VERY rural area!
Here are my thoughts on why the sudden resurgence in Open House popularity…
2-D Viewing Isn’t Exciting
I believe the statistic is something like 90% of Buyers begin their home search ONLINE. The whole online search experience is such a great tool for Buyers! But, I believe that Buyers are beginning to understand the one big component of their online search that’s missing…EXPERIENCING the propety first hand. Now, unless you are someone that figures blueprints/floor plans for a living, it is difficult to envision the spacial orientation of a home just by looking at a few pictures and possibly an aerial floor plan. The only way to experience a property’s true layout and set-up is by physically experiencing it. And, what better way than to leisurely check out a home during it’s Open House!
An Open House allows a Buyer the opportunity to view the property on their own time without the feeling of guilt that they may be wasting their Agent’s time. The voided expectation of “is this the one”, allows Buyers to be put at ease while checking the place out and even taking SIGNIFICANTLY more time to go through the home and envision themselves living there.
Believe it or not, a decent portion of people who stop in at an Open House have already viewed the home! This is another no pressure opportunity for Buyers to take a very thorough 2nd Look of the property that they believe may very well be “the one”. I can attest that you would much rather have a well informed Buyer who is confident in their decision to purchase your home! An Open House can be the event which allows for this to happen.
This goes hand in hand with the first idea mentioned. We are emotional creatures…did you know that?! An Open House helps to create the setting for a Buyer, granting them the opportunity to envision themselves living there. Have you caught on to the theme here, yet? I know the advice is always, “…don’t purchase on emotion…”, but let’s be honest, when it comes to purchasing a property YOU are going to live in, it’s nothing but EMOTIONAL!
Some things to keep in mind, regarding what your Open House will achieve…
Straight to the Source
What better opportunity to give Buyers the chance to ask questions about your home! Buyers will have direct acces to the Agent who knows the information on your home the best; your Listing Agent. Compare this idea to the game of Telephone. Buyers ask their agent questions on your home, who then in turn contacts your Listing Agent to get answers, by the time the answers get back to the Buyer, it may not be relayed the way in which your Listing Agent had initially intended or vice versa.
If your Listing Agent is doing their job correctly, they will follow up for feedback each time your property is shown. Let me tell you, more often than not, trying to get constructive feedback from a Buyer’s Agent is like pulling teeth! An Open House gives your Listing Agent first hand experience in how your home is being scrutinized. Yes, that is what happens when a Buyer checks out your home, they criticize nearly every square foot of it! You want your Agent to have an accurate reading on how your property is being received by Buyers, so that they can guide you on improvements and get it SOLD QUICKLY.
Every Seller wants their home to be unique and stand out from the crowd. Any additional advertising you can get, TAKE IT. And an Open House falls into this category! It definitely brings additional attention to your property.
Looky Lous = Buyers
I’ve heard many times from Sellers that they aren’t interested in having an Open House because they’re worried about nosey neighbors. I’m going to be the one to tell you….THAT’S THE POINT! Generally speaking we like to have people we like, for our neighbors…right? Oftentimes, it’s our nosey neighbors who are the ones that get the word out about our home. They have a friend, relative, co-worker who’s in the market for a home, and guess what, they would love to have them as their neighbor! So, don’t worry about the Looky Lous. Yes, they may be obnoxious, BUT they will be a great advertising mouthpiece for your home.
I will finish with this…if you have a Listing Agent telling you that Open Houses are just a waste of time, and they are not willing to meet your requests as the client, FIRE THEM! I mean it! You are paying good money to trust your Agent to sell your home for top dollar. If they are an Agent whom is actively in the Real Estate trenches right now, they should already know that Open Houses have made a very serious comeback!