Realtor Showings, Previews, and “Quasi-Showings”

A Realtor showing is straightforward: it’s when an agent privately takes their client through a “For Sale” property.

Just the Realtor and client (no homeowner), usually for an hour — much less, if it’s a “pass” for the client.

Similarly, a public open house is self-explanatory: it’s when agents throw open the doors to all comers, typically for two hours on a weekend afternoon.

So, what’s an “open house showing?” (my term).

It’s when a Buyer’s agent meets their client at a Realtor open house.

Win-Win; Substitution Effect

As a listing (and open house hosting) agent, I like such quasi-showings, because represented Buyers are invariably pre-qualified, more motivated, etc.

Too, the more traffic at an open house, the better: serious Buyers don’t know that the other people checking out the house may only be neighbors, are months (or years) away from buying, etc.

So, what’s the advantage of an “open house showing” for Buyers? (especially their agents).

There are three, actually: 1) flexibility, due to the two-hour window vs. one hour for a showing; 2) less hassle, because the Buyer’s agent can skip the showing request/confirmation/access instructions rigmarole; and 3) reduced follow-up, because after-the-fact, the listing agent doesn’t hound the Buyer’s agent for feedback, keep emailing them showing feedback forms, status updates, etc.

P.S.: As a listing agent, I take care to let Sellers know if some of the traffic was agent-accompanied, so they know why the number of “actual” showings is underreported.

See also, “The “My-client-didn’t-like-it stop-bugging-me” Showing Feedback“; “Serious Buyers:  Top 10 Signs”“Sunday Open Houses: Not Just For the Public“; and “Proper (& Improper) Purposes of Realtor Previews.”

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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