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The Demise of the Open House Market – Is 2019 The Year?

By Dean Signori | February 4, 2019

At the start of every year the real estate business brings a plethora of new potential dream houses for buyers that are looking for the perfect home. Unless you have been living under a rock you are no doubt aware that buyers have much more power. With all the technological tools and information available right at the fingertips, buyers can now, with a literal swipe of a finger, find out all current houses for sale in a set area, the historic selling values and even information about the vendor.

With the power shifting more towards buyers, real estate agents are constantly evolving and working hard to give an easy and simple approach to potential homebuyers.

Decades ago, the quote was “No open house, no sale, period”. Historically the ‘open house’ was a powerful weapon used by real estates, but being in the middle of the technological generation and with powers shifting, is the open house still viable today? Or is its demise imminent?

Judging by a survey from the National Association of Realtors, the open house demise is already upon us, only a tiny 3% of buyers visited them. Rewind back 40 years ago and this figure was at 68%, a massive drop. Infect, following a recent vendor satisfaction survey many where advised not to have an open house from their realtors. With opinions ranging from ‘out of date’ to ‘utterly useless’. With a strong pattern emerging that open houses are certainly in decline, let’s have a quick look at why.

What happens at an open house?

A open house as of now are a little outdated, and its tricky to know what happens at an open house, well... An open house is a house that at the time is empty and open to anyone to come in and have a look around. Potential buyers or anyone from the public can simply swing by and walk in or out how they please. Historically this was an excellent tool used to get potential home buyers all in one place to sell the prospected home.

What to do With Valuables When Selling House?

One of the main concerns was and still is what to do with valuables when selling the house? When preparing for an open house, it is important that you keep the belongings hidden away and safe from your visitors hands but nobody wants to spend hours and money sifting through their personal belongings and hiding everything away that is valuable for an open house, some even must hire personal storage units. Even with storage units being relatively cheap and extremely safe from the likes of WhatSorage it is still a hassle for anyone opting to clear their house if only to move it all again when it sells.

The Internet Has Killed The Open House

Long gone are the days when you had to physically visit something to see it, and thanks to the internet, every room, corner,and space can be viewed on all kinds of real estate websites, like Purplebricks, in seconds. Not only from a viewing point but the internet also provides a wealth of knowledge and providing you do your research, practically everything can be found online. From a recent National Agent Insight report, a staggering 92% of buyers view properties first and foremost online.

With personal email alerts, you can now be informed the second a new house goes on the market or the instant a house price gets lowered.

The Full Effect

Simply put, many potential homebuyers are wanting to envisage their own furnished home. Have a look at practically every for-sale home online, no doubt you will see rooms containing sofa’s, TV cabinets, beds, bookcases etc, this helps give the potential suitor a fuller effect to how the home would look furnished. When viewing an open house, often, many are left completely blank, brilliant for an investor but not for your typical family.

In short, open houses are well and truly a thing of the past, and whether it’s demise will come in 2019 or not, it’s for certain that it is a dying selling tool.

"Dean Signori leads the team at Homes Direct 365, a luxury furniture company based in the UK. With over 10,000 products growing daily ranging from antique French style, mirrored & shabby chic furniture. Advising property owners and real estate brokers on interior design and home staging."
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