You are likely reading this post because you may be considering the sale of your home. Perhaps you have been doing your own research on the best practices of selling a home, of what to do and not to do when selling a home. Chances are you are have read a number of articles from real estate professionals all over the country and one of the most controversial subjects is open houses. Some people feel open houses only benefit agents looking to find buyers and do not help sell homes. That may be true on a national level where homes take 60-90 days to sell, but open homes in our local Santa Clara market are an important component to any agent’s marketing plan.
Now I won’t deny that there is truth to this statement that many agents work open houses to find buyers. They may even show the buyers they meet at your home different homes and attempt to sell a different property. Even if that is the case, there are many beneficial reasons for home sellers in Santa Clara to have their home open during the weekend.
Reasons to Hold an Open House
Because homes sell so quickly in Santa Clara, there will be many buyers that want to see your house as soon as it’s listed. You can quickly become overwhelmed by the repeated appointment requests. If you are still residing in your home, showing your home can be disruptive and can quickly become annoying. Having to keep the place clean and be ready to vacate in the spur of the moment can be difficult.
It would be more convenient to have a majority of the home shoppers come in at a designated time where the home would show its best. Open homes provide that convenience to you sellers as well as buyers. An agent will be hosting so they can get answer questions on the spot, and address any concerns buyers have about the home or the area.
Not everyone will be able to make it to the open house, perhaps they are headed out of town or just prefer to see it earlier. So there will likely be showings during the week, but much less since buyers also find it convenient to see on the weekend.
Most buyers in our valley are dual-income families, who may work demanding jobs and it may not be possible for both of them to take off time from work to view the home during the week. Having the home open on the weekend enables these buyers to come together as well as bring other influencers and decision makers with them.
Getting the highest price for your home means exposing it to as many buyers as possible. Your home will likely not be on the market long, maybe one or two weeks. How can you expose it to as many buyers as possible in a short amount of time? You have an open house.
Typically open houses in Santa Clara bring lots of traffic on any given weekend, expect anywhere from 50-60 groups to come on Saturday and Sunday. Sure some of these groups will consist of nosey neighbors and lookie-loos, but they help keep the open house busy and that is important to influence serious buyers. If buyers are at an open house for a specific duration and don’t see any other traffic, they may feel there is not much interest in this home and that could reflect in their offer.
3. Get Feedback & Information
Open homes are the best way to get buyer feedback on the home. You will be able to assess the level of interest based on the number of buyers that come specifically to see the home, how long they stay, and what questions they ask. Buyers may even strike up a conversation with the agent, where the agent will be able to pick up on information about the buyer and why they are interested in the home. This information can later be used in negotiations.
Not all buyers will tell you exactly how they feel about a home, but asking questions can get you valuable information. Questions like: What did you like best? What didn’t you like? Would this be a good fit for you? The agent will be able to understand what buyers are focusing on and get valuable information about how to confront buyer objections.
Reasons People or Agents Do Not Hold an Open Houses
There are many people—agents and consumers—who argue against open houses. Some sellers just don’t like the idea of random people and neighborhood “lookie-loos” going through their house. Some are concerned about theft, or just feel uncomfortable.
Some agents are concerned about their own safety when holding an open house, especially in out-of-the-way locations. Some agents may consider it a waste of their time, based on the low potential results…they’d rather be managing other aspects of their business during that time.
One of the main arguments used by sellers against open houses is that agents only use them to find buyers that they’ll take away to other houses. This is true, but also keep in mind that buyers will be coming to your home from other open houses.
Why I Recommend Open Houses
I believe open houses bring buyers out. Every weekend you see the signs, and buyers are driving around town scoping out the available homes on the market. By having an open house, you’re contributing to the buyer’s research. Open houses allow them to see more properties and develop more familiarity about the areas and their options. This enables buyers to make a confident decision when they decide to make an offer.
Keep in mind that not all open houses are the same. Buying a home is an emotional decision so it’s important to present the home in the best way possible. Make sure to have information about the home ready in the form of a flyer with professional photographs and details that highlight all the home’s benefits. Also, your agent should be aware of the home and the neighborhood and what makes it so unique and be able to convey that to buyers. Lastly, your agent should make sure the open house is busy by placing as many signs through the area to get as much traffic as possible. This will influence serious buyers that there may be other interested parties in this home and potentially multiple offers.
If you are curious about our marketing plan and how we host our open homes, contact me to find out more.