Many experts are divided on the subject of the importance of an open house. Some believe they are a necessity for both buyers and sellers. Others maintain that open houses are a waste of time, money, and energy for both parties. Like most life events, open houses are neither totally good nor bad ideas.
From a buyer’s perspective, however, there are many positives.
Seeing is believing.
Some maintain that, with virtual tours on the Internet, the open house has lost its luster and necessity. Still, there is no way for a buyer to effectively see what a home has to offer without physically visiting. While virtual tours can highlight many of the positive features of a home for sale, an open house remains a great opportunity for a buyer.
Feeling is believing.
If you are an experienced homeowner, you understand this issue. You see a home featured in a respected real estate magazine. It looks wonderful. You visit at an open house, and it’s all the ad said it would be. Yet, it simply doesn’t feel right for you. If you’re married, you may even say to your spouse, “This home is fabulous, but I couldn’t live here.” A house must feel right to you to motivate you to make an offer. An open house can help give you the answer you need to know if this house is for you.
Neighborhoods are important.
All the print, visual, and Internet images available cannot give you a sense or feel for the neighborhood in which prospective homes are located. An open house gives you the opportunity to cruise the neighborhood before and after you tour the property to get a good picture and feel for the neighborhood. Is it impressive? Comfortable? Friendly? Intimidating? While you may not get to know the neighbors on a Sunday open house visit, you can see how your potential neighbors treat their property.
Examine multiple homes in the same day.
Instead of making appointments every two days for three weeks to see homes in which you may have interest, you can view three or four in a few hours. This helps keep features and drawbacks of different properties fresh in your mind.