The past two Sundays I have hosted open houses at two different homes in West Hartford. One was in Bishops Corner, the other was in the Elizabeth Park area. They were both fairly busy with 15 and 19 groups of people, respectively. The amount of pedestrian traffic was somewhat surprising given the fact that they occurred on both ends of the February school vacation week. The listing prices were in the ranges of $290,000-$330,000, right around the median price for West Hartford.
So, what did I see at my open houses that is worthwhile enough to blog about? Well…
1. There were sellers that were scoping out “competitor” homes to try and understand if their homes were priced correctly. This is a really smart move if you can look at homes objectively and honestly. The game of “Who’s Prettier?” can help you decide if you really should make a price adjustment on your own home.
2. There were lots of first time buyers looking with their parents. I like seeing this. If Mom and Dad are going to have a say in your purchase (either financially or emotionally), then it’s better to have them involved from the beginning. Don’t wait until you’ve found the house you want to buy, only to have them come in and disapprove because they haven’t seen the other 60 houses you passed up before finding “the one.”
3. One of the open houses generated an offer shortly after the open house ended! Who says open houses don’t sell homes?
As a seller, is an open house a worthwhile endeavor? Absolutely. Often a home will not sell as a direct result of an open house, but it does influence the “buzz” around your home.
Sometimes buyers that have seen your house earlier in the week need the additional viewing opportunity to push them over the edge into writing an offer. I’ve actually seen this occur several times. Additionally, it gives your neighbors a chance to see the home and tell friends and colleagues about it that might be interested in the neighborhood.
Remember, as a seller, no matter what town you live in, the more visitors you have to view your home, the better. An open house is an excellent way to increase market exposure and give you a leg up on the competition.