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Advantages and disadvantages of hosting open homes

Advantages and disadvantages of hosting open homes

When homeowners are ready to sell, there are many details to consider. There are initial decisions to make, like hiring an experienced agent who knows the market and setting the listing price, and others that come up later in the process. For example, should there be an open home?

According to Gina Piper, the founder / owner and broker associate of Elation Real Estate, who's been selling real estate in the Tri-Valley for 27 years, open homes have both advantages and disadvantages.

Of the advantages, Piper said, "First and probably the most important, open homes allow potential buyers to view the property in person and get a better sense of its layout and features. This can help generate more interest and attract serious buyers."

To put the home in the best light, Piper suggests homeowners declutter and de-personalize because a clean, neutral space helps potential buyers picture themselves living there. This will also help show off distinctive features, such as storage space, remodeled rooms, updated appliances or natural lighting.

"An open home provides an opportunity for real estate agents to showcase the property and highlight its unique selling points," Piper said.

Another advantage is that a homeowner's real estate agent will have in-person contact with potential buyers, which offers a chance to build rapport and answer any questions.

Finally, an open home can lead to quick or multiple offers.

"An open home can create a sense of urgency among buyers, as they may feel compelled to make an offer if they see other interested parties at the event," Piper said.

While there are many potential benefits to hosting an open home, there are downsides as well.

"Some potential disadvantages include the possibility of nosy or unqualified visitors, the risk of theft or damage to the property and the inconvenience of preparing and maintaining the house for showings," Piper said.

To lower the risk of having guests who aren't serious about buying, homeowners can opt for private showings by appointment and require a preapproval letter. The drawback of this strategy is that homeowners have to leave the house for appointments on multiple days at varying times, rather than just for the open home.

In addition, an open home may make it easy for someone to steal valuables, prescription drugs or private papers. Regardless of whether homeowners choose to have an open house or private showings, they should secure any valuable or personal items.

Certain housing markets make open homes valuable.

"Some common situations include when the market is competitive and there is a high demand for properties, when the property is in a desirable location or has unique features that can attract potential buyers, or when the seller wants to generate buzz and create a sense of urgency among buyers," Piper said. "Additionally, open homes can be beneficial for sellers who want to showcase renovations or upgrades they have made to the property."

The demand for homes remains high in the Tri-Valley and East Bay areas, despite high interest rates and low inventory. In this market, Piper recommends hosting an open house.

"Open homes can attract a larger pool of potential buyers and create a sense of urgency among them," Piper said.

Elation Real Estate with offices in Pleasanton and Danville, offers a "boutique feel with world-class results." With more than 30 years buying and selling homes in the Tri-Valley, the Elation team guides new and experienced home buyers and sellers through every step of the process.