So, if you’re selling a home, should you have open houses? Almost any decision that has to be made will have it’s positive outcomes but also it’s negative outcomes, and this is no different when it comes to open houses in real estate. Ultimately, if you’re selling a home and you’re unsure whether you want to have open houses, you need to be aware of the possible positives from having an open house but also need to be aware of the possible negative results from an open house.
Why You Shouldn’t Have an Open House
Security issues – One of the biggest drawbacks of an open house is the potential for theft. Letting strangers in off the street to wander around your home carries some obvious security risks. While the majority of visitors will most likely be there to view your home and learn more about it, some may be there for other reasons. The fact is, during an open house anyone can come in – even people who are looking for access points, security weaknesses and valuables.
Risk of theft – There have been documented cases of people breaking into houses for sale and stealing things. Sometimes they do it in unoccupied homes and sometimes they do it in homes that people are still living in. The temptation is too much – they can walk into the open house, see what they want to take and how they can get in, and then they later burglarize the place.
Nosy neighbors – An open house is like a beacon to neighbors curious about your home. Unfortunately, there is no real way to stop them. Once you open your house, most anyone can walk through the doors. Expect the busy bees stopping by your home to be discussing it with all the rest of the neighbors who failed to show up.
Why You Should Have 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.
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.
schedule and organize a successful open house, you may just get a jump start on that sale.