For those of you that follow this blog regularly, or listen to my radio show on WDIR.net, you know that I am not a huge fan of open houses period let alond for Windsor houses. Certainly, at one point, they were mandatory when selling homes. But today, because of the Internet and virtual tours, the open house as lost its appeal and significance when selling a home. In fact, as I have pointed out, if open houses really worked, we would be having them every single day.
However, open houses are still happening most weekends throughout the year. Many real estate agents as well as home owners like to have them despite the fact that the majority of people walking through are looky-loos. And while I don’t believe open houses actually sell homes, I do stand back at times and look at what they can offer a seller. We all know the saying, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Well, in case of selling your home, there is no such thing as “over exposure.”
So let’s look at why an open house is good and ignore, for the moment, what it doesn’t do. If you are selling your home and contemplating on whether to have an open house, here are some reasons you might want to take a few hours over the next couple of weekends and have your agent host one.
1. Buyers come to you:
Well, as I said, buyers can get access to your home 24/7 via the Internet. However, there are those that are thinking about buying that are beginning to tour neighbourhoods to see what fits in with their lifestyle. This type of buyer often visits open houses to see what types of home fit their location preference. For example, if you live in an area of tract homes, and a buyer may be thinking of your particular area, they will walk in to see what the homes are like.
But you can get serious buyers who don’t necessarily want to visit a home with their agent, or don’t have one yet, who will tour open houses. If you are having an open house, make sure your real estate agent properly advertises it with signage as well as through their website.
2. Increases home’s visibility:
An open house that is properly advertised can bring large amounts of people through your home. This is a terrific way to show your home in its best possible light. It also allows those that visit your home to spread the word among their friends or family members who may be looking for a home.
3. Gives valuable feedback:
I’m a firm believer in getting feedback from buyers who tour a home. The comments an agent receives provides a valuable service. If one buyer feels something is wrong, like it is overpriced, or not enough storage, chances are others will feel the same way. No matter how much you prepare, update and set a price, you never know what the reaction will be until the buyers visit your home.
4. Time saver:
Sellers who have appointments scattered throughout the week, including weekends, often like to have open houses because it means that there will be just one time frame where you know you will need to get out of the house with kids and pets in tow, to allow buyers to tour your home. Sometimes, an agent will walk through with buyers if they see you will be hosting an open house rather than make a scheduled appointment if they will be out your way.
5. Gives you an idea of market value:
Many agents believe that if your home is priced too high, then serious buyers will ignore your open house. But again, it’s often difficult to assume this because, as other agents insist, not many serious buyers tour open houses. I for one, would not take it to mean that a home is not priced correctly by a lack of buyers touring your home. In today’s world, our weekends are busy with family obligations, sporting events and other time commitments that make touring open houses difficult. Years ago, schedules weren’t so packed and open houses were often filled with potential buyers. Times have changed.
Etiquette for Sellers Regarding Open Houses:
1. Leave! Buyers don’t want to talk to the owners of a home as it can make them uncomfortable.
2. No pets! Make sure your pets are gone. Take Fido to a friend’s house or a pet day care but please, don’t leave them at the house.
3. Keep cars out of driveway: Leave room for visitors.
4. Make your home spotless: No doubt about it, your home should be sparkling clean.
5. Set out house related material: If you have created a booklet on your property, such as information on school districts, what your house looks like during the various seasons, nearby entertainment, etc., then leave it on the kitchen countertop where visitors can see.