Hosting an open house can be an excellent way to create a buzz around your property going on the market, and save you some time conducting viewings by getting several potential buyers through the door in one go.
Here at Bromley Property Company we look at all the advantages and disadvantages to an open house, tips for success and whether they actually work.
What is an open house?
An open house is a set day/period of time on a certain day that can replace the need for numerous separate viewings. It might be that anyone can turn up and take a look during that fixed time period, or estate agents like ourselves schedule back-to-back appointments (our preference) to fill the time that’s been allocated. We find that most of our sellers prefer the appointments to be scheduled, as opposed to any old Joe Bloggs to pop by unarranged (you’d be surprised how many people with no real intention of buying pop by to these kind of open houses just to be nosy!)
Having an open house doesn’t replace listing your property online with the top property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla – marketing your property on these sites through a high street or online estate agent is essential to getting your home seen by other prospective buyers.
What are the advantages of holding an open house?
Open days tend to be particularly beneficial to sellers, particularly ones with busy work schedules, or perhaps with young children. Using an open day means you can get a whole block of viewings done at once so you only have to get your home looking its best for that day (we know how stressful it can be to keep your house looking immaculate for viewings!), and you can either focus your energy showing everyone around on that day or let us handle the whole thing while you head out for a while.
The other benefit is that by having lots of people viewing your home at once it can build a sense of urgency among potential buyers. If interested parties see lots of other people viewing the property at a similar time, it may make them come to a decision faster, and possible put in a higher offer than they otherwise might do.
When is the best time to hold an open house?
You want your house to look its best without being near off-putting rush hour traffic, or when the light is fading and the place naturally starts to look dull. With that in mind, evenings probably aren’t ideal unless the height of summer. You also want as many people as possible to be able to attend, so don’t choose a weekday.
The best day to have an open day is on a Saturday. Allow enough time in the morning for you to get up, get the house sorted and get kids and pets out if possible. From 10am until around 2pm is a great time to get lots of people through the door. But if there’s more demand for viewing slots, your estate agent may want to carry on after lunch into the afternoon. Cramming appointments in will give the open day ‘energy’ and make your home appear nice and popular!
To get your house ready for an open day, you can follow some of our decluttering tips on our blog.
What to do on the day of your open house
On the morning of your open house make sure you tidy and give a final clean if possible. Have your brochure with property details available for viewers to take away or to have to hand as they walk around, along with any other information you might want to showcase.
Are there any disadvantages of holding an open house?
Obviously open days can restrict potential buyers who perhaps can’t view on that specific day (although post-open day we would always, with the owner’s blessing, arrange another suitable time for them to view the property)
Whether you remain in your home during the open house or not depends on how much you trust us to do a good job (we hope you would do!). If in doubt, we would recommend being present to answer questions from potential buyers and you can also push the positive points of your home. If during the first viewing we deliver an excellent service, you may decide to leave us to it.
We are ALWAYS disciplined with ticking viewings off our list of booked viewings, or registering unexpected ones. We understand that you may feel concerned about security, and for this reason you may want to be present on the day. If you wish, you can then keep an eye on visitors in your home, and can also be on hand to answer questions.
Another disadvantage of an open house approach to marketing your home is the argument that some buyers make rushed decisions because of the pressure of the day. They might be tempted to overstretch themselves and realise later on reflection that the price they have offered isn’t workable, so any offers made in haste could fall through later on (although thankfully we find this to be rare). On the flip side, other buyers may be put off from visiting altogether because they don’t want to put themselves into a high-pressure situation or end up in a bidding war.