Open House – Old Fashioned?
In the digital age, open houses may seem like a nostalgic marketing method from a bygone era. Serious buyers search online photos then text the real estate agent to make a viewing appointment, and the only people who attend open houses are looky-loos and curious neighbors who always wanted to know what the inside of your bedroom looked like—right? While tools like virtual tours and Google Street View can help buyers narrow down their search, nothing can substitute viewing a home in person with your own two eyes.
There is an emotional element to selecting a new home, but few buyers let emotion rule their search for the right property. Savvy shoppers research their ideal neighborhood, educate themselves on the local real estate market and check comps without the input of a real estate professional. Attending an open house may be a buyer’s final step in confirming they are ready to make a purchase. Once a potential buyer tours a property, she can truly visualize herself living in the home.
Preparing your home for individual viewings is inconvenient. Getting ready for a two- or three-hour open house event is much easier than tidying up and leaving your home every time the agent wants to stop by with a potential buyer. Private appointments can be a waste of the seller’s and agent’s time, but an open house allows many people to view the home at once. A well-attended open house may motivate a serious buyer to make a stronger bid when he sees how many others are interested in the home.
Agents may need to modernize their methods for hosting an open house, and the Internet makes it easier than ever to gather interest in a home for sale. But the open house is still a vital and effective tool for buyers and sellers in the real estate market.