Five Benefits to Having an Open House

Spring will be here in a matter of weeks; this is the busiest time of year for the real estate market. Prepare your house an open house because it is hugely beneficial.

With spring around the corner, now is the time a lot of homeowners begin to think about putting their houses on the market. If you’re considering making a move this spring, it’s time to prepare your home for sale. This means examining your finances, hiring a real estate agent, beginning to de-clutter and clean your home and all of its contents, and repairing and replacing anything that needs work.

It also means thinking about the advantages of holding an open house.

Much has been written about both the benefits and drawbacks of open houses, but there is a lot to be said for showing your home in this way. Here are just five reasons that an open house might result in a sale:

  • It gets eyes on your home. Open houses bring in potential buyers who would otherwise be too casual, lazy, or unmotivated to book a showing. And they draw in visitors in more ways than a simple listing will. Your friends and family can mention the event to anyone they know who might be interested in taking a look at your home. Neighbors who drop by might just be angling to have someone they know move into your neighborhood. Add in advertising and signage, and you’re going to catch the eye of both casual and serious prospective buyers.
  • You can set the scene – your way. When prospective homebuyers stop by your home for a traditional showing, they often do it with little notice, which is why it can be stressful keeping your home “show ready” for the entire duration that it is on the market. It can be very consuming to keep wastebaskets emptied and floors free of clutter, ensure that the laundry doesn’t pile up, and make certain that floors are routinely swept and vacuumed. With an open house, you’ll be able to prepare for an event that has the potential to bring in many prospective buyers with one fell swoop. It’s much easier to do some deep cleaning that will leave your home spotless if you know exactly when people will be visiting. And you’re also able to sweeten the deal by baking cookies and setting them out or filling vases with fresh flowers and cuttings.
  • You could lock in that interested buyer. There’s likely a limit to the number of times even the most interested buyer is willing to ask for a private showing. If your house has already caught the eye of a potential buyer, he or she might be more willing to come back for a second look in a less formal setting. An open house gives that buyer the opportunity to bring friends or family along for their opinions. And as a bonus, walking through an open house provides a visitor with plenty of time to look around without feeling rushed – during the hours that you choose. 
  • Buyers can compare and contrast. Any given weekend usually sees several open houses in a particular location. Buyers interested in purchasing a home in your area will be able to “comparison shop” by attending several open houses – giving you the opportunity to make your home stand out from the crowd.
  • You choose the timing. Some weekends see a lot of open houses, while some see very few. This year, Sunday, April 21st is Nationwide Open House. Make sure that your listing is one of them!

If you are looking for a lot of bang for your buck, holding an open house has the potential to put your home on the real estate map. By working strategically with your real estate agent to schedule and organize a successful open house, you may just get a jump start on that sale.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bill K. March 06, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Pictures and virtual tours only allow the viewer to see what the seller / agent want you to see.
Kim Clark March 06, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Paul, Michael, and Bill, thank you for your input! We have had 6 sales in the last year that sold due to an open house. A virtual tour and great photos are an excellent way to get buyers to view your house online but that is not the same as viewing the house in person. Last week I had several calls on the same property and decided to make the best use of my time. I held an open house for 2 hours and had 18 people view a home that otherwise would have only had two showings. The best part was the seller was only asked to leave her home for two hours instead of and hour for each showing….again best use of time for everyone. It was advertised on-line and in print. Open houses work but they are not for every home owner and as agents we do what works best for our clients.
Ryan Cook March 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Like anything in marketing, there are plusses and minuses. Open houses are really for agents to pick up potential buyer clients, and that's ok. I know of no agent that says they're holding an open house so they can sell it - it's about leverage. The right thing to do is to prepare the seller properly - have them put away valuables, etc. On the way out the agent should check every window and every door to ensure the home is secure. The good thing is traffic and creating a buzz. When I work with buyers, open houses allow me to leverage other agent's time so my buyers can see more homes in less time - I just give the buyers a stack of my business cards and ask them to give it to the agent who's holding the open house. We'll see homes sell as a result of open houses at a higher rate this year than in the past due to lack of inventory. The challenge we face is the volume of people walking in the door. Great tip about bringing along a partner. Lastly, in terms of the iPad sign-in...I've used different iPad open house apps and found them to be ineffective. For starters, I didn't like handing over my $700 device for somebody else to use. Second, it slowed down the process of signing in. Third, I was surprised but there were many people that didn't know how to use the device. I bring it along to share market data and that's it.
Steve Hopkins March 17, 2013 at 03:52 PM
One thing mention here was "great photos". I have read the same suggestion on Ebay. Insert high quality photos with your item being listed. In reality most people with a camera of any type form iphone to an expensive dslr cannot not capture quality photos. They re ften dark (underexposed), blurry, not illuminated well nor composed well. Hire a professional for those great photos. Relative to that cost vs the selling price of your home, it is "small change". I came across a realty ad and announcement of a new employee. I viewed some of their real estate photos and most were not very good. aome taken at wrong time of day, composition was off and when clicked on so as to en;rage, they were all blurry. Not very inviting to investigate further or call the realty company. Steve Hopkins
longtimer March 25, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I love realtor's placing giant pictures of themselves on the signs, as if anyone cares about that but them. The bigger the picture and the fancier the graphics, the bigger the ego. Lame and without class. Not to mention desperate. I would never use a realtor that did this.


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