Getting ready to sell your home is a big step. From the moment you begin thinking of selling to the sold sign appearing on your lawn, many decisions need to be made for the process to run smoothly. One step that many sellers — and Realtors — debate is whether or not to hold an open house.
An open house is a time-honoured tradition in the real estate world, where you open up your home for a few hours so that the public can come and tour it. While the pandemic put a halt to open houses for a time, as we return to a more normal world, it’s once again an option to consider.
Technology has improved drastically, allowing your realtor to capture your home through a lens so that it can be viewed and toured online. And this has certainly become a popular way to show a home, but it’s not the same as seeing a home in person.
If you are on the fence about holding an open house, here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Additional exposure for your home: With more exposure to your home, you will increase the chance of selling your home faster. Promoting your open house on social media, through the use of street signs, ads and word of mouth will help bring your home to the attention of buyers.
- Easier for new buyers: Being a first-time buyer can be a daunting process. Open houses can make new buyers feel less pressured, since these events tend to be more laid back, giving the buyer more time and a positive environment to look over your home in detail.
- Setting the scene: You and your real estate agent can be in complete control of your home during the open house. From staging to an inviting aroma when people arrive, you can set the scene that you want your home to display before people begin to tour. A warm and cosy welcome will help ease the group into your home from the moment they enter.
- A convenient disruption: Any time you have to leave your home for a potential buyer to come view it is inconvenient. An open house, however, is an event you can plan for and work around, setting a block of time all at once for multiple people to view your home rather than several individual appointments. And if a buyer is identified at an open house, that means fewer times that you have to get out.
- Safety of your home: If the foot traffic is high, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone coming in and out. As a result, theft and vandalism are concerns. But being prepared by putting away any valuables or personal items can help lower this risk.
- COVID complications: Along with keeping your home safe, another stressor is COVID-19. Despite high vaccination rates, many are still concerned about the possibility of strangers bringing the coronavirus into their home. Realtors are minimizing this possibility, including following government guidelines for gatherings in public settings, but homeowners will still need to weigh the benefits against the possible risk when deciding whether to hold and open house.
- Attracting the wrong people: Although additional exposure can be good for selling, open houses can still attract the wrong people into viewing your home. Whether this may be neighbours who just want to see what your home looks like or other people not even interested in buying a home, this will take any potential buyer's time away from viewing your home and making a sale.