Are Open Houses Still an Option?
The internet represents the most convenient and readily-accessible option for viewing available properties for homebuyers today. Online listings offer potential buyers the opportunity to see multiple images of homes from a variety of perspectives, allow for 24-hour access to information, and can be viewed from any location. With all the benefits of online home listings, it’s no wonder agents and sellers are beginning to question the value of traditional open houses. The truth is that open houses offer a unique opportunity for buyers to get a real feel for a home and its location, showcasing the true potential of a property in a way an internet site cannot.
One reason that an open house is so important, is that great photos give potential buyers almost all of the visual information they need to make a decision on if they like the house. However, for photos such as bathrooms, and closets, they can’t get a true feel for the size unless they are physically looking at it. Not to mention, these spaces usually are smaller, so the photos are angled instead of open, so you cannot see a picture with every detail like other rooms.
An open house allows buyers to see the home in person, and gives them an opportunity to see the rooms and surrounding neighborhood from yet another important perspective. For sellers, open houses offer the chance to get a feel for the housing market in their area based on the number of buyers in attendance. Open houses can also be significantly more convenient for sellers, who can show the house to a large number of prospective buyers in one day, meaning fewer individual showings in the future.
Hosting an open house can be a positive experience for motivated sellers, but there are some common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure the event is a success. Don’t try to host an open house yourself, allow your agent the responsibility of coordinating the event. In fact, buyers will feel more comfortable if you, your pets, and your family are not present at all. And although it’s critically important that you make your home look clean and neat, don’t restrict access to any rooms. Rent a storage unit or move excess clutter elsewhere for the duration of the open house.
Be sure to give buyers something admirable to view. Make sure all interior surfaces are clean and open, and that all exterior landscaping looks trim and healthy. Bring in fresh flowers, both inside and outside, and take down any highly personal effects. This is an opportunity to catch an interested buyer’s eye and in order to do so they need to imagine themselves and their things in your home.
Take full advantage of technology to advertise the event, and be sure to choose a time when the majority of home buyers will be available to view your property. Allow your agent to help you get the word out, and ask for suggestions that will bring out the special character of your home for everyone who attends.