After a boom in the real estate market, some factors, such as high mortgage rates, might cool the market a bit. But the Bay Area is still going strong.
"Inventory is low in the Bay Area," said Dana Carmel, founder of the Dana Carmel Group and Represent Realty. "Buyers are starting to adjust to the higher interest rates. It's certainly a more balanced market."
Fortunately, people selling their homes are still in a good position if they make smart choices such as, for example, holding one or more open homes.
"I always tell my clients you want the broadest set of eyes on your home," Carmel said. "The more people who see the home, the more likely we are to sell. An open house is a low-stress way of having a lot of people come through. It's a good way to open it to a larger audience."
Open house concerns
Holding an open house has disadvantages, though, such as risks to safety, health or privacy. Fortunately, Carmel has helped sellers deal with all those issues.
"I remind my sellers to put away personal items, clothing, jewelry," Carmel said.
Sellers may also request that visitors remove their shoes to limit the spread of germs. As for privacy, sellers with luxury homes, in particular, may wish to have only serious buyers come through.
"We will do limited showings, by appointment," Carmel said. "We'll have it being shown more frequently."
But having more showings, as opposed to holding one open house, means having to prepare a house more frequently to clean and stage it.
Open house strategies
To reduce how often sellers have to prepare their home, they could hold an open house on a weekend after listing the home on a Thursday or Friday. This is a great way to launch the listing and get a lot of attention in a short time.
"Overall, open houses are vital," Carmel said. "The main benefit is the additional exposure through marketing, email, social media, Zillow, and neighbors."
Buyers who may be searching for homes online using Redfin and Zillow get marketing emails from those companies, so holding an open house and having the information on those sites gets the word out to more people before it even starts.
Having the seller's agent and any of their team members at the open house also means they are available to answer potential buyers' questions right away.
"It puts a personal touch on it, as well," Carmel said. "Of course, we're the most knowledgeable because we've spent the time getting that home ready for market. I think, generally, it's a win-win."
Another benefit of open houses is they may bring in people who didn't intend to buy a home but eventually do so because they saw a compelling property.
"A first-time homebuyer who might not have an agent, they may pop in and fall in love with the home," Carmel said. "Or it could be a neighbor, someone who casually walks in and decides they like the house and they wouldn't have seen it otherwise."
In this market, it may be necessary to have a few weekends of open houses, but the first weekend gets the most people coming through.
"Often times, if it's priced and marketed correctly, one of those folks is the buyer," Carmel said.
Dana Carmel Group is Silicon Valley's go-to real estate agency. Carmel, who is ranked in the top 1.5% of Realtors in the nation, and her team have in-depth knowledge of the local market, high-level negotiating skills and marketing expertise to give their clients, both buyers and sellers, a competitive edge.