If you’re thinking of having an ‘Open House’ then you should read up on the pros and cons before setting a date.
Once considered an easy and hassle-free way to sell your home, ‘Open House’ days are popular with clients but not always embraced by agents or buyers. Used extensively in Real Estate listings in America, the UK has yet to adopt ‘Open House’ days as part of the estate agency culture. But why is this?
In this feature, we explore the pros and cons of an ‘Open House’ to help sell your home and give you all the information you need to decide whether an ‘Open House’ is right for you.
What is an ‘Open House’?
An ‘Open House’ is an event, usually planned by the buyer and/or their estate agent when viewings can be made of a property, without an appointment. Unlike typical viewings where estate agents firstly screen potential buyers and then show them around the property, an ‘Open House’ is what it suggests, an open invitation to prospective buyers.
However, you can also organise a pre-vetted ‘Open House’ where only those parties who have been invited may attend in block viewings.
An ‘Open House’ is usually held for a set period on a specific date which has been advertised in advance.
What Are The Benefits of Holding an ‘Open House’?
There are a couple of reasons why having an ‘Open House’ to sell your home is a good idea.
The main benefit of holding an ‘Open House’ is that it can save time and effort when preparing your house for viewings. By having a bulk series of viewings on one day, you can focus your attention on making your property shine for its big moment. Traditional viewings, by prior appointment, can take place at short notice when you are least prepared and, sometimes, when it is not convenient.
‘Open House’ viewings are also known (on occasion) to raise the competitive element of buying a home. With enough marketing and a good turn-out, any potential buyers will immediately see the interest in your home. Anyone who is serious about property may be prepared to offer the full asking price and sometimes more in order to secure their dream home.
The Downsides of Having an ‘Open House’
There is no doubt at all that having an ‘Open House’ can mean a lot of preparation in advance and, if you want to make sure you present your home in the best possible light, it can take a lot of time and energy. Decluttering and stage your home are all essential ways to make it more appealing and an ‘Open House’ gives your property a prime spotlight.
However, compare this effort to having to do a last-minute clear and tidy a few hours before a traditional viewing. The latter will probably not be anywhere near as comprehensive a job as the former and, if you have to go through this process twenty times whilst your home is on the market then an ‘Open House’ could end up saving you time.
If you are holding them yourselves, ‘Open House’ days can be exhausting with a non-stop barrage of questions and queries, showing people around plus collecting follow up information and noting any negative feedback.
If your home has been on the market for a while then, the chances are, that the majority of buyers interested in owning property in your area at the price you are marketing for, have already seen the listing. If they haven’t already arranged a viewing then an ‘Open House’ is unlikely to tempt them in. In these circumstances, an ‘Open House’ is only likely to appeal to the following types of visitors:
- Prospective buyers who are new to the market.
- Neighbours who are curious.
- Passers-by who are equally as curious.
- Future buyers who are not currently looking to buy.
- Other agents keen to find out why your home is not selling.
- ‘Open House’ hobbyists. Yes, there are people who like to spend their weekends attending ‘Show Homes’ and ‘Open Houses’.
- Potential burglars looking to scope out your property and opportunistic thieves who are looking to steal something on the day.
Lastly, holding an ‘Open House’ is not a silver bullet and managing your expectations is important to avoid disappointment. Whilst the event could rustle up some interesting leads, don’t expect to walk away from the day with a full asking price offer.
Why Having an Agent to Run an ‘Open House’ Day is a Good Idea
As we mentioned in the previous comments, holding an ‘Open House’ can be hectic and requires a lot of energy, knowledge and professionalism. Depending on how successful your marketing has been for your ‘Open House’, you could be escorting dozens of would-be-buyers around your home.
Not only could all of the people that turn up be the next potential owners of your property, but those that aren’t interested are extremely useful to a professional property agent in order to gauge how your home is faring in the eyes of the buyers.
Some buyers may see obstacles with your home and not everyone is forthcoming with their feedback. Sometimes it takes an experienced property professional to find out what the potential barriers to a sale are and help to remove them.
Collecting contact details of all the visitors to your home and following up after the day is essential to boost your chances of selling quickly and to keep the momentum any competitive spirit that the day evoked.
A professional agent will usually invite pre-screened visitors and manage the flow of people in your home. They will field questions, collect feedback and personal data and encourage would-be-buyers to talk about their current position.
A good agent will also advise you on how to manage the security on the day, ensuring that all your valuables are kept under lock and key.
Why The Timing of Holding an ‘Open House’ is Essential
Holding an ‘Open House’ when your property has been on the market for some time is not generally considered a good idea unless this is accompanied with a drop in the asking price. The act of lowering your price widens the chances of your home being looked at via online searches and an ‘Open House’ will encourage a new selection of buyers to come and view your property.
If you are new to market and conditions favour the seller rather than buyer, then an ‘Open House’ is considered an excellent way to start your marketing campaign off. If you do not hold any viewings until the day of the ‘Open House’ then sufficient interest can be roused with your advertising and the day can be a big success.
Why Choose Property Assistant?
We like to think that working with Property Assistant is like working with family; with people that you can trust. Some agents are happy to suggest holding an ‘Open House’ because it is what the seller wants and it generates a promotional day where they get to talk to plenty of prospective buyers whom they can sell other houses to (maybe not yours).
As professional estate agents, we only ever provide services to our clients that we know they need, whether that’s in our interests or not. Choosing to host this kind of sale day is a big commitment and we would always talk through the pros and cons of having an ‘Open House’ with you so that you know what to expect.
For more information about the way we work with clients to maximise the selling-potential of their home, contact us today on 0118 912 2370.