What is an Open House?
An open house is an event wherein potential homebuyers get an opportunity to tour a property that is on the market. Usually hosted by a seller’s agent, or by the seller themselves, this event is an opportunity to display the home and to respond to questions from homebuyers and their agents. In a hot real estate market, it can be rare to find an opportunity to view a home multiple times, making it paramount that potential buyers make the most of open houses to understand important details about the home.
Open House Tips for Homebuyers
While an open house is a wonderful opportunity for homebuyers to learn about the home, there are a few things to keep in mind before and during the visit to maximize the experience for all those involved.
What are Your Preferences and Essentials?
Before you visit an open house, determine the ideal neighborhood, budget, size, and amenities that you are looking for in a home. A home is the centerpiece of life, so it is key to ensure that it fits in with all the most important parts of your day-to-day. For example, what is the distance of the home from your professional, social, and cultural hubs? If you currently have or plan to have children, what school district is the home located in, and how child-friendly is the community? Internally, will the layout of the home be conducive to your family’s lifestyle? This may range from the number of bedrooms to the amount of sunlight available. If a home does not meet your criteria for multiple reasons, especially for budget, it should not be on your list.
Be courteous to host and other buyers
Be courteous to the host and always seek permission before you inspect any part of the house. If you find yourself in a home that does not meet your standards or criteria, it is best to communicate that to your realtor away from the house. As you exit the home, politely let the host know that this home was not the right fit for you.
It is easy to get distracted and lose sight of diligence when there are many potential buyers viewing the home simultaneously. It is helpful to keep your eyes and ears open and thoroughly check the property. Make a note of all your findings and have a thorough discussion with the agent. Some sellers provide a detailed property description beforehand which can save you ample time on site.
Be mindful of the seller’s personal belongings
Do not touch or fiddle with the seller’s personal belongings.
Request permission before taking pictures or videos
Consider asking for permission before you take any photos or videos of the house or its premises.
Be reasonable with questions and doubts
Doubts and questions about several aspects of the house are understandable. It is important to make sure that you do not come across as an intimidating or an overbearing buyer.
Leave the inspection to a professional
While you may have good intentions when looking out for any possible issues in the home, be careful not to fall fully into inspection mode. Leave the inspection to a professional who is trained in what to look for and how to do so safely.
Open House Tips for a Realtor
Set up a schedule with buyers in mind
Plan a schedule that works best for you and potential buyers. Weekend afternoons are a favorable time as mornings are typically busy for potential buyers. Some realtors also find it helpful to hold an open house on a weekday night, preferably from 6:00-8:00, to try and provide potential buyers with more opportunities to see the property.
Advertise on social media
Promote upcoming open house events through social media channels as this is one of the most effective ways to attract potential buyers. The average American spends roughly four hours per day on social media, creating a hub for your intended audience to view your content on a regular basis. Additionally, social media platforms are inherently visual, which make them conducive to displaying the homes that you are listing.
Use innovative technology to enhance the buyers’ experience
When advertising on social media and digital platforms, it is imperative that you utilize high-quality images and videos captured with state-of-the-art technology. Industry research and market data show that listings with high–definition pictures and virtual tours sell 10% faster and see 50% more engagement on listing sites, while those that include floor plans see a 52% increase in clicks.
Ask the seller to get a pre-listing inspection
A Pre-listing inspection is the examination of major components of a home for any existing or potential issues. Identifying and addressing these issues proactively can help home sellers close the deal faster.