Ways realtors, sellers benefit from open houses

Carrie Shrum, agent with Weichert in Front Royal. Courtesy photo

Open houses have been a staple of the real estate selling process for quite some time. But in today’s technology-based world, a question remains: Are open houses still necessary?

Stephanie Ryall of ERA Oakcrest in Winchester and Carrie Shrum of Weichert in Front Royal, both real estate agents, share their reasoning behind the benefits of having an open house.

“First and foremost it gets eyes on your home,” Shrum said. “Open houses invite potential buyers to see first hand what is on the market. It  also draws in possible clients in more ways than just a listing might.”

Shrum said open houses also allow family members and friends to mention the open house to anyone they might know looking for a new home. She also added that a lot of times neighbors will stop by with the same intention.

“Adding an open house to a listing will keep the listing high in search results,” Ryall said. “If you scroll through listings on sites like Zillow you will see that the houses that have upcoming open houses are at the top.”

Stephanie Ryall, agent with ERA Oakcrest in Winchester. Courtesy photo

Add in advertising and signage, Ryall said, and you’ll catch the eye of a prospective home buyer or two.

“Another reason I have open houses is to receive feedback on the home itself,” Shrum said. “It can be difficult meeting the needs of every prospective home buyer, but open houses ensure that I uncover their wants and needs. Sometimes before they even do.”

Ryall added that open houses also lock in interested buyers, especially in today’s market where homes are only staying on the market for a short period of time.

“If the home has already caught the eye of a prospective buyer, it’s likely to become they’ve done their research and they want to see the home in person,” she said. “A lot of time open houses allow the buyer the opportunity to see the home in a more casual atmosphere where they can wander and ask questions at their own pace. And not feel pressured.”  

“I’ve had clients bring their friends or family along to get their opinion on the home,” Shrum said. “Open houses allow that freedom people crave. Allows them to see the home in their own eyes, allows them to take their time and understand the [vibe] home.”

Another reason buyers like open houses is because they allow them the opportunity to compare and contrast prospective homes they might be looking at.

“I’ve been known to have an open house during the week because I know how hectic life can be,” Shrum said. “And I know from experience that home buyers like to see all their options before making a commitment.”

Shrum said her open houses during the week, especially on Wednesdays, draw the clients with families and young children.

“font-weight: 400;”>”Not everyone can see a home on the weekend,” she said, adding that allowing potential buyers the opportunity to see a home during the middle of the week can be more helpful than a tour on Saturday or Sunday.  

Both agents agreed that having as many open houses as possible is ideal in today’s market.

“Open houses are fun and exciting,” Shrum said. “We’re helping a prospective buyer find their dream home. Not many people can say that.”

Quick tips before showing:

  • Clean, clean, clean.
  • Mow the lawn, trim trees and shrubs.
  • Remove extra gadgets from countertops.
  • Clear away any papers, mail or newspapers that may have accumulated.
  • Open the curtains to let the sunshine in.
  • Do one last quick tidy up.
  • Leave the rest in your real estate agents hands.