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January 14th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org 7 Comments
Here are a few frequently asked questions about “Open Houses”. Many people worry about the usefulness of the “Open House” phenomenon that’s been with us for decades as a marketing tool for real estate.
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A Sunshine Coast Open House quiz
January 14th, 2013 by email@example.com 7 Comments
Here are a few frequently asked questions about “Open Houses“. Many people worry about the usefulness of the “Open House” phenomenon that’s been with us for decades as a marketing tool for real estate.
If you want to purchase a home, you could just ring your favourite realtor. He or she will show you a number of houses to choose from. Additionally, you could view some “open house” properties over the weekend.
Some people see an “open house” as a free invitation to see some houses they’re never going to buy. How much fun is it to see how others live?
DO PEOPLE BUY HOMES AT OPEN HOUSES?
Hardly anybody would ever walk into an “Open House” and decide to buy that property on the spot. Most people view many properties; then take their time before making this all-important decision. The “Open House” has been part of the real estate marketing sequence for many decades. It’s seen as an easy and soft way to view a home you may be interested in.
If nobody buys it on-the-spot, does that mean that the “Open House” was pointless? Of course not. The “Open House” might have triggered something that otherwise might not have been discovered. Prospective buyers might turn out to be more interested in this particular home than they would’ve been without looking inside. The urge to make a purchase might have been heightened by this particular visit to the “Open House”.
Visiting “Open Houses” in general is an efficient way to get acquainted with the local real estate market conditions. There’s nothing wrong with visiting a bunch of them on a Saturday or Sunday.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE ONLY QUALIFIED BUYERS COME TO THE OPEN HOUSE?
At an Open House, you never know what you’re going to get. It’s likely that some people may wander through the house although they’re definitely not intending to make any purchase, let alone of this home. Some people find it entertaining to look in other people’s houses. Some people extract decorating ideas for their own house by parading through other people’s “OPEN HOUSES”. Some are planning to list their own house and wish to get a general feel for the market. Whatever a visitors’ motivation, there’s the chance that one of them may be legitimate. It’s even possible that a person falls in love with your house during the first walk-through.
To many sellers, the thought of having a parade of anonymous lookers in their home is just frightening. What about your privacy, what about your valuables, what about basic hygiene? Still, many sellers overcome their reluctance and allow open houses, hoping for the best. Who knows, a real buyer might just walk in!
Fact is that Open Houses are an excellent way for beginning home buyers to quickly get a feel for the general inventory out there, on the market. Of course, it’s unlikely that they will buy a home right then and there, but it could happen.
IS THERE REALLY A BENEFIT TO HOSTING OPEN HOUSES?
Here is exactly one clear benefit of open houses: it brings in people who would otherwise find the barrier of directly calling an agent too high. It is an easy access point for buyers who would like to start the process of entering the market. More often than not, they will want to see other houses as well, if they haven’t already done so. Agents “pick up” buyers at open houses and end up working with them; eventually these buyers will purchase something.
Some will argue that open houses only benefit the agents. That’s not entirely true either. Open houses also benefit the seller of the house because all these legitimate buyers that may come through are eventually going to do something. It works both ways. These buyers may not buy your house right now. However, other buyers that were looking at another open house, may end up buying yours later. Therefore, our well-established system of open houses benefits all:
- The houses get exposed to the market;
- The buyers get acquainted with the market;
- The agent gets to know the buyers;
- Everybody wins!
HOW ABOUT THEFT AND VANDALISM AT “OPEN HOUSES”?
Real estate open houses remain a free-for-all. They are an excellent opportunity for those with bad intentions to scope the joint. Does that house have an alarm system? Where are the valuables? What kind of family lives there? Professional crooks know exactly what to look for.
Thank goodness there’s hardly any property crime on the Sunshine Coast. Open House crime actually exists in other markets. I’ve never had anything go missing at any of my open house situations! Still, I do prefer to host open houses in vacant properties. If people are still living there, I go through the house myself to make sure that all easy-to-remove valuables are simply out of sight.
ARE THERE OPEN HOUSES THAT ARE ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE?
There is one other type of “Open House” you should be aware of. It’s called the “Agents Open House”. We run these Tuesday and Wednesday mornings on the Coast. All agents that are working with buyers will quickly come and preview the new listing. They will alert their buyer clients. Quite frequently, this is how matches are made.
Many members of the general public find it amusing to see the parade of realtor cars on these viewing days, followed by a wave of exuberantly loud real estate sales people swarming the place. We’re in and out in minutes. A quick overview is all we need. There’s no requirement for us to see if the light switches match the towel holders and if the paint colours are quite to our liking. It’s really just to get a general feeling for location, exposure, size, style, quality of construction and lay-out. This system has proven itself over a long period of time. You may as well use it for all its worth!
OTHER blog articles on marketing are available by linking through the following suggestions:
Differences between list price and offer: http://www.mennorealty.ca/list-price-difference
Market developments: http://www.mennorealty.ca/Blog.php/up-r-down
About the ever-changing real estate market: http://www.menno.ca/?p=19508
How home staging influences a deal: http://www.mennorealty.ca/beware-of-staged-homes
Mortgage money might soon be harder to get: http://www.menno.ca/?p=19546
Open houses looking their very best: http://www.menno.ca/?p=17649