The Advantages and Drawbacks of an Open HouseBy Teresa Cowart in Blog,For Home Buyers,For Home Sellers,For Homeowners,Savannah Area. Tagged: Bidding • Home Buying • Home Selling • Open House • Realtor • Staging
Open houses are a long-standing tradition in the sale of residential real estate to expose more people to a home for sale. Open houses are normally held on weekends to capture more traffic because that is when most people are off from work. The real estate agents put out signs on boulevards or near street corners to draw drive-by traffic and usually list the homes in the real estate sections of newspapers to bring in more people.
Ultimately, you’re goal is to bring in a buyer. But is throwing open the doors to your home really going to clinch a sale? Let’s investigate the pros and cons of an open house.
Buyers can examine the home freely
Because open houses last a few hours, potential buyers can investigate parts of the home and take photos without pressure to leave right away. This real-time research is something buyers cannot gain just by viewing pictures online. By physically walking through a space, it is possible to get a true sense of what the home feels like. A serious home buyer is going to want to see the house in person.
Create buzz and possibly a bidding war
Open house viewings can increase competition among would-be buyers – which is excellent news for you as a seller. Certain buyers, eager to secure their dream home, will not want to be outbid by rival buyers – so they may look to act quickly, to push through a fast house sale. If buyers are chomping at the bit to make offers, this puts you in a strong negotiating position.
Convenience is key
Hosting an open house can be a great way to limit the number of individual showings your house may get while on the market. Rather than arranging for four or five private showings, you can prep your home once to receive multiple visitors. A scheduled open house allows you to make arrangements ahead of time to be out of your home with children and/or pets.
Clean home, happy home
If you’re still living in the home, you have to go the extra mile to prepare your house to be shown, constantly focused on keeping things neat. Decluttering your home prior to an open house makes it easier for a buyer to visualize their personal items within the rooms and motivates you to keep your home tidy.
Feedback: the good, bad and ugly
Open houses are a great way to get feedback from multiple sources about the positives and negatives of your home. And while some comments can sting, it’s good to know what potential problems your home has so you can fix the issues in a timely fashion. As in any situation, some comments will be valid (the sink is leaking in the guest bath) while other feedback will seem random and unhelpful (the bathroom is too yellow). Take the good and the bad with a grain of salt, you cannot please everyone.
Little Chance of a Sale
Statistics prove that it’s rare to garner a sale or a bid from an open house. The percentage of homes that actually sell as a result of an open house is less than 3%. An open house may actually benefit a realtor more because it gives them professional exposure as well as an opportunity to sell other homes they are representing. An open house is about mingling and researching, not necessarily for closing a sale.
People with No Intention of Buying
Some of the people who show up to an open house may have bad intentions. Nosy people and thieves disguised as buyers often come with no intention of bidding or buying the house. Some people may innocently browse with no purpose, but thieves are there to scope the place out for valuables. Consider the security issue before scheduling an open house; and take inventory of any items within the home that could be easily removed in a flurry of visitors.
Don’t give your home a bad reputation
If a house does not sell after the first, two or three open houses, it means buyers are probably not interested for various reasons. Continued open houses can give the impression that there is something wrong with your home. Be careful of realtors who only focus on open houses as their key selling tool. A better realtor will use various resources to sell the home for maximum results.
Today’s technology allows you to get great results using online photos or a video tour of your home. Prospective buyers don’t have to change out of their pajamas on a Saturday morning to take a virtual look-see of any home on the market. Plus, you don’t have to invite strangers into your home.
Ultimately, it is the seller’s decision to schedule an open house. They are not required. Consider the pros and cons carefully before opening your doors to potential buyers, lookie loos and the like.
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