Tazz Weatherly

Is An Open House Necessary When Selling Your Home?

The day may come that you decide to go about selling your home in the Treasure Valley. Whether you're downsizing, upsizing, or moving somewhere else, you need to get your home ready for listing and then put on the market.

Cleaning things up, clearing things out, and doing certain home improvements are all part of the process. So is finding a real estate agent to sell with. One detail the two of you will have to decide on is whether or not to have an open house scheduled.

Real estate prices are on the rise, as Idaho's growth means housing is in demand. Is this event necessary?


What Is An Open House and How Does It Work?

An open house is a scheduled time when a residential property is available for possible buyers to visit and view. For most of the interested buyers, it is an opportunity to take their time to have a look at the property and its surroundings - as opposed to private viewing when they would have to make things work in the short amount of time that they have with the broker. Usually, home occupants vacate the property during this time.

Timing is decided upon in advance so a real estate agent can market the event and generate as much interest as possible. Visitors are given information when they enter and can tour the property at their own leisure while the real estate agent is available to answer questions.


How to Prepare Your Property for an Open House Viewing

Preparations for an open house involve detailed cleaning and vacating the property while the event takes place. However, as many personal touches as possible should be avoided. Potential buyers respond better when they can envision themselves in your home rather than noticing someone currently lives there.


Do You Have to Stage Your Home for This?

Selling in real estate involves many tricks, and home staging is one of them. If you are still living in the home, then staging might not be necessary if your furniture is still there. However, staging is a good idea if the home is empty or unoccupied. While staging can involve hundreds to thousands of dollars in interior design and furniture rental, it does make a marked difference in the level of offers you might receive. Staging can also be done for both open viewings and scheduled tours.





What Benefits Do Sellers Get From Having This Event?

The benefits to sellers of holding an open house are numerous. For starters, it means attracting potential buyers that your real estate agent might not personally know. It's also a chance to show off the home to prospective buyers who would rather tour the home without feeling any pressure or sales tactics. Finally, some buyers might not know how to start buying a home and are going to open homes looking to get going.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of an open event is getting feedback about your home. Buyers can tell you what they like and don't like. While this is something your real estate agent and own research should turn up, there's no substitute for direct feedback. You might generate ideas about home improvements to do after the fact. You might also find out where your asking price needs to be to get traction.


What Are the Disadvantages of An Open Home Viewing?

Open events aren't perfect, however. The odds of getting an offer from such are slim. Many of the visitors might not even be all that interested in buying the home or even any home. In fact, security and theft become growing risks with the more people you have tromping through.


What Should Your Real Estate Agent Do to Maximize the Benefits of This Event?

There are five things your real estate agent should do to make the most of any event you decide to hold:

  1. Tour the comps first. Know what the local market has available so they can highlight what's unique about your home.
  2. Schedule smart. Don't go head-to-head with another local agent or home, but consider unusual hours, too. After-work or even lunch-hour events on weekdays might appeal to professionals in the area. However, Sunday is the most ideal day for an open house, especially for neighborhoods where more people go around walking during weekends.

Also, if your home has a great view, make sure your event is in broad daylight to highlight that aspect.

  1. Create a sign-in sheet. Interestingly, people are more likely to sign in using a tablet than pen and paper. This contact information can be very valuable.
  2. Provide hand-outs. Don't ask, just pass them out. Copious amounts of information pay off since you never know what detail will make the sale.
  3. Market the event hard. A few signs on the street won't cut it. Digital marketing is the name of the modern game.


Is It Even Necessary When Selling Your Home?

An open house is not a mandatory part of the process when you sell your home. These events can result in offers being made, but most of the people that come in to see your home might not actually be people looking to buy homes!

Apart from the prospective buyers, people that come to open home tours tend to fall into three groups:

  1. Neighbors who just wonder what your home looks like on the inside so they can compare to their own.
  2. Competing real estate agents looking to see what your own agent has available.
  3. People driving by who are just curious but not really serious or interested.

Unless your home is near a major road or intersection, then your turnout might not even be all that high. This is where marketing comes in!

The main objective of an open home viewing is to secure interest from potential buyers and prompt them to make an offer. Given that they have personally seen the house and got a feel of what it is like, the buyers are more likely to be in a position to do that.

Their decision might also be influenced by what they hear other people are actually saying about the house as they go through the viewing.


Does It Guarantee a Faster Sale?

Only a small percentage of home sales wind up going to an open house visitor. You can look at the empty half of the glass and assume they don't matter based on that.

But you can also see the full half of the glass and realize that it might just be the additional percent by which you sell your home faster. At the very least, it might help start or drive a bidding war.



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