Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Open Season: Pros and Cons of holding an open house

Many Realtors and Sellers are looking for a fresh idea....turning the clocks back to a time-honored sales tactic - here are some considerations to help you decide whether to "open up" when you are selling your home.

Pros of holding an open house
1 Activity and buzz
Even when open houses do not result in a serious Buyer, the increase in foot traffic and advertising visibility. The added exposure from the openhouse ads in the local Sunday paper, extra signage, mailer, as well as feedback from attendees can all be very helpful.

2. Serious buyers still use open houses
While it is often difficult to weed out serious buyers from nosy neighbors and the looky lu's, research shows that serious Buyers do still use open houses as a part of their research.

3. Less intimidating
Brand new to the market, tentative, or semi-serious Buyers can be less intimated by open houses. Open house maybe just the push a Buyer on the fence needs to become a serious buyer.

4. Convenience for home shoppers
A big plus for many open house attendees is that they allow the opportunity to view properties without setting up appointments.

5. Cost
Another plus is that, as a sales and marketing tactic, open houses are fairly inexpensive.

6. Ready or Not
Openhouses help Owners finish up those last minute to-do's. It sets a date for the home to be "show" ready!

Cons of holding an open house
1 Laborious for homeowner
There's no two ways about it - making sure a house is properly cleaned and staged, inside and out, for a successful open house takes a lot of work on the part of the homeowner.

2. Homeowner Inconvenience
Another unfortunate truth of an open house event is that they can require homeowners (along with their family and pets) to be gone, often for an entire afternoon, at times when they would otherwise like to be relaxing at home.

3. Security issues
When holding an open house, you are essentially opening your doors to everyone, neighbors and strangers alike. It is important to take precautions to make sure that all valuables are out of the house. Make the assumption that all closets, drawers, and cabinets will be opened, and while theft is rare, it does happen.