Bridget Alves                of Valencia

Blog - Full Service Real Estate Group, Inc

How to make the most of an open house

Bridget Alves - Monday, January 18, 2016

Despite the increased ability of the internet to assist in home buying, open houses have been, and will continue to be, a widely used and successful tool in the selling of a home. While holding an open house as a seller has one set of rules and practices, what can you do, as a buyer, to maximize your experience when attending an open house?


Observe the other attendees

If you want to get a feel for the home, watch what other people are doing before you even enter. Are they quickly walking in and out? If so, that could indicate that the home has some significant issues. Once you enter, take a look around and see how engaged the other buyers are with the agent showing the home. If they’re asking a lot of questions, it could indicate that the home is a popular listing.


Ask questions

The real estate agent at the open house is a wellspring of information about the home, neighborhood, and market in general and making use of their knowledge can be of great benefit to you. Some key questions you should ask are: why the seller is selling the home, if there have been a lot of showings, and how long the home has been on the market.


Evaluate the agent

Real estate agents help clients both buy and sell homes, and when attending an open house, you’ll have direct access to the agent there. When asking questions, pay attention to the agent’s demeanor, knowledge and personality. If you happen to hit it off, you may be able to begin a working relationship and utilize that agent’s services in finding a home.

Open Houses: Artifact of the past or effective home-selling technique?

Bridget Alves - Monday, November 16, 2015

In the decades before the internet existed, open houses were the go-to strategy for home-sellers looking to show a property to prospective buyers. They figured that the best way to “get them through the door” was to, quite literally, get them through the door and proceed to show off the home’s features and amenities. This day and age, though, the view of many a home-seller is that an open house is a waste of time. While it can attract prospective buyers, it also attracts nosey neighbors, the tire-kicking type, and people with nothing else to do. Many real estate agents of today figure that the best way to market a home is to show off the pictures online and let interested parties make appointments to view the home.

The internet is an incredibly useful tool when looking for a home and most websites can provide you immediately with a wealth of information on it. You can find out the floor plan, square footage, view photographs and get data on the neighborhood’s demographics easily and quickly. What digital data cannot do (yet) is provide you with information on how the home feels. What’s it like to stand inside that kitchen or living room? Does the light shine in throughout the day, or are the windows situated so that after 10:00 a.m., the whole place is left shrouded in shadow? 

Open houses can also be a lot more convenient than “by appointment only” for sellers who are still living in the home. Rather than having to constantly go from “lived in” to “ready for viewing” 5 or 6 times a week, specific dates and times are set for buyers to come in and view the home as the seller wants it to be seen.

Holding an open house is not only beneficial to buyers, but it can provide valuable information to sellers as well. When you hold a well-advertised open house, you can see first-hand by how many people come through the door what the market’s response is to your home. If your open house sees a healthy flow of people throughout the day, you’re likely doing something right in terms of marketing your home. However, if the turnout is decidedly stale, or most of those who show up make a bee-line for the free refreshments, then you may need to take a look at what you’ve done up to this point and how to make your home more marketable. 

No matter what, you must market your home online. But, don’t overlook the option to also hold open houses. They were effective home selling tools in the past, and they can still be today.

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