When Popping Into a Weekend Open House Trumps Beats a Private Showing For Buyers & Their Agents

In general, home buyers and their agents prefer to see “For Sale” homes when: a) it suits their schedule(s); and b) they can count on having it to themselves.

Ergo, they prefer private showings — typically, one hour-long — to very public weekend open houses.

However, open houses do have at least three advantages relative to private showings.

One. Spontaneity.

Who isn’t curious about the open house down the block — or next door to — the one you’re showing?  (Veteran agents often are tied up hosting their own open’s on weekend afternoons — but not always.)

The home’s price, size, and features may not match your client’s criteria, but if so, you know in < 10 minutes.

Two. Flexibility.

Whereas a home showing is a one-hour window, weekend open houses typically last two hours.

Especially if the Buyer’s agent is showing several homes in a row, piggybacking on an existing open house can help avoid any timing issues.

Three. Off the radar.

Unbeknownst to home Buyers, setting up a showing involves 4-6 steps that — while innocuous — cumulatively can eat up Realtors’ time.

Beforehand, that includes requesting the showing on MLS; waiting for a confirmation; noting access instructions in the confirmation; and generating printed literature for themselves and their client.

Immediately afterwards, the lights in the home may all need to be turned off, doors locked, etc.

Finally, post-showing, Buyers’ agents can look forward to an avalanche of showing feedback requests, auto-emailed “price improvements,” marketing updates, etc. — often weeks or even months after their client has bought and moved into another home.

By contrast, with an open-to-the public open house, Realtors and their clients walk in, and — 10-15 minutes later — walk out.

P.S.: Listing agents, meanwhile, are keenly aware that a packed open house can whet Buyers’ interest, and create a sense of urgency that a run-of-the-mill private showing might not.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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