Advantages and disadvantages of an open house

Indian real estate market has not entirely tapped into the concept of open house hosting but it does have a bright future. An open house is a scheduled time in which a house or any real estate property is showcased to potential buyers. In the context of Indian real estate, the open house concept is not exactly as prevalent as in the west, but takes on a more practical form, as in virtual listings and pre-booked physical viewings. 

Open house features

  • You almost always never meet the owner since the open house is hosted by the real estate agent. (It’s not a rule).
  • You’ll get all the necessary information about the house and the neighborhood while exchanging your own information.
  • You may get to meet other potential house hunters and get a chance to get real estate information and other interesting leads. 
  • In most cases, photographs of the property or a virtual tour are already available online. Some luxury listings may be shown in only open house settings. It depends on the type of property (e.g. high-end and luxury properties) and the will of the seller. 

Advantages of an open house

  1. Reliable marketing tool – Hosting an open house is one of the best ways to create buzz and publicity around your house. If it is organized professionally, it can bring forth multiple offers and even start a bidding war. Organizers of open houses use a variety of promotional strategies to market the property, such as social media posts/ads, digital marketing, offline networking circles, real estate portals, and other modes of advertisement. Eventually, this creates a steady stream of leads and an influx of walk-ins that you would not otherwise get with regular property listings. Open houses give you an edge and exposure in a competitive market as they shine a spotlight on your property.
  2. Free for all – Anyone can visit an open house and inspect every corner of the property to their satisfaction and get a prolonged visit. Visitors can assess the amenities and fixtures, take photographs and get all their questions answered by the estate agent in charge. There’s a slight pressure to wrap up the visit at a personal visit but not in an open house. 
  3. Staging of an open houseSome staging ideas can help make your property on sale look even more attractive and welcoming. The pre-staging may include a virtual tour to interested buyers. Some staging tips used by open house organizers are
  • Well maintained lawns and gardens
  • Bright flowers, freshly painted walls
  • Fresh linen, aromatic scents
  • Finger snacks, refreshments, and beverages

In addition to that, a home with the latest appliances, security systems, and upgraded furniture is a plus point for an open house. On a side note, if a society has futuristic amenities like MyGate, intelligent end-to-end security, communication, and financial management app for gated societies, that makes a great selling point. 

Disadvantages of hosting an open house

It involves some amount of financial investment depending on varying budgets. Open houses are not supposed to be empty, so you’d have to furnish your property and make it appealing to the lifestyle of the types of buyers you’re attracting. If you’re hiring a real estate agent to handle the sale, it means their commission has to be considered. 

  • Relocation woes

Many, if not most owners live in the house they want to currently sell. The traditional way is to set up a viewing based on leads and phone calls received from interested viewers while the owners (and family) are usually present at home. This is not the case with an open house.

There are two ways to handle the occupancy of the property if you want an open house.

  • You’d have to vacate the property on designated days of the open house if you’re already living in the home. 
  • You’d have to move to another property and let the house be unoccupied until it’s sold (if that’s an option you have). 

This may be challenging for homeowners who don’t want to be inconvenienced by temporary or permanent relocation.

  • Lookers-on – There is always the possibility of casual home hunters or just curious browsers who may not actually be interested in a serious deal. Although the idea is that everyone is welcome in an open house, you’d have to be prepared to answer a lot of questions even though you know that the visitor will not buy the house. 
  • Security – Another issue is that of security. There may be trouble makers, vandals, or robbers who could be on the prowl. It’s ideal to have a guard/bouncer or at least not have unsupervised valuable items on display that can be stolen.
  • Lack of personal attention – Sometimes serious buyers may not get the necessary amount of time and attention from the host if the footfall is too high. Some may wait it out, but others could just leave without having a chance to speak to the realtor if the viewing is too crowded and busy with other competing offers. It’s only natural that buyers prefer a personalized and instant approach that’s available during a private viewing. 

Whether to host an open house or not depends on how much traction you want to build on generating interest in your property and if it’s feasible financially in terms of promotional expenses. 

What do you think?