Following last week’s article on the pitfalls of open homes, this week Domain looks at the value in holding an open for inspection, including how it can benefit potential buyers, vendors, and even the current residents.
An open home is when a property that’s for sale is available at a nominated time and date for potential buyers to walk through. It increases exposure of the property and allows for a large number of people to view it at one time.
Maureen Hosking, Director of Select Property Group in Eaglehawk has been conducting open homes for 15 years and believes real estate agents should give the vendor every opportunity to show their property.
“Often people will come to an open house, where they wouldn’t have rung and asked for an agent. That way they don’t feel as committed,” she says, noting that calling an agent can sometimes be intimidating for potential buyers.
As people often want to thoroughly research a number of options, open homes also allows them to compare multiple properties more easily. They can also capture the attention of people who may not be actively looking for a new home, but spontaneously take advantage of the right house being on the market at the right time.
“I’ve sold properties through open homes where people had virtually no intention of buying, they’ve just gone past, seen the open and come to have a look,” says Maureen. “Once particular example was a few years ago. I had an open and the neighbours came to look through. On the way out I heard them talking about how it would suit their sister, who was interstate. They rang her, she came down and bought the property. If that house hadn’t been open, that buyer would not have been there.”
Open homes also appease the expectation from house hunters that an open for inspection is part of the marketing strategy. “People do ring and ask, ‘When is that house open?’,” says Maureen.
Showing numerous people a property at one time can also be beneficial for the current residents, who are less inconvenienced than if they had to clean up and vacate every time there was a private showing. “If the house if tenanted, it can be particularly difficult to get a purchaser through the house, whereas if you have an open where the house is only open for an hour on Saturday, anyone who is interested can be brought through,” says Maureen.
According to Jay Duval, Principal at LJ Hooker Bendigo, a mix of private inspections and open houses is the best approach. “Interested people will make appointments, but sales can also be made to people who are ‘just having a look’ and wouldn't have made a private appointment,” she says.