Open house signs are pretty easy to sight on weekends in virtually any neighborhood. Whether you’ve never sold a home before or if you are a real estate mogul, most are familiar with this concept of opening up a home to welcome potential buyers. While there are many pros and cons of hosting open houses, the question you might also be pondering is “who exactly is walking into my open house?”
In the age of real estate apps with real time listing alerts, the jury is still out on whether open houses still bring in buyers or is a complete waste of time and energy. While it is impossible to know who exactly might follow the scent of freshly baked cookies to tour your home, here is a look at some of the more predictable characters that just might drop in.
The Potential Buyer
For a home seller, this is the ideal person that the open house is held for. They have been pre-approved for a home loan and have already submitted offers on other homes. This person or persons are looking for the right combination of location, condition and price and are potentially ready to write an offer and a check.
Unfortunately, these attendees are not as common as sellers would expect or want. In reality, serious buyers who are ready to make a purchase would have most likely already toured the home privately with their buyer agent, before an open house brought in the rest of the neighborhood.
The Nearby (and Nosey) Neighbor
An open house serves as an open invitation to neighbors around the block. Neighbors are often curious as to how the seller’s home compares to their own, along with how it is decorated and how their neighbor lives (especially if they’ve never been invited!).
Sometimes neighbors will visit an open house because they are considering selling their own home in the future and want to compare with a home in the neighborhood and size up the home at the asking price.
The Real Estate Agent
Why would real estate agents attend your open house? One of the primary reasons is to scope out potential properties for their buyer clients. This is especially true if their buyer clients are out of town and can’t attend the open house themselves. This is assuming their clients didn’t already see the house online and scheduled showings in advance.
Alternatively, the agent could be one of the agent candidates that the seller considered and then lost the listing to different agent. Agents often give tips and lists of suggestions to potential seller clients as an effort to win their business. An open house is their chance to anonymously view the property to see if the seller did actually employ any of their suggestions.
Finally, agents seek out open houses to build their own book of business. Since we know that potential buyers without agents and neighbors doing research for their own future sale are present, what better place than an open house to have casual conversations and discreetly hand out business cards!
When hosting an open house be aware that you are opening your home up for literally anyone, and this can attract those who hope to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners.
If you are holding an open house that you still reside in, be aware of valuables on display in the home. Theft may happen during the actual open house or your home may become the target of a future break in.
Opportunistic agents, scheming criminals and nosy neighbors are all likely to stop your open house by for their own personal gain. We hope there are more legitimate visitors than the former bunch at open houses, but the reality is, you just don’t know who may be walking around your home and why they came.
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