Buying, selling, or investing in real estate is a tedious and complex process which needs to be understood properly. However, many people do not know where to start and how to approach this market. If that is one of your main concerns, you should probably attend an open house.
In this article by the Iqbal Institute of Policy Studies (IIPS), we will discuss what an open house is, where it came from, and why one should attend a Real Estate Open house.
What is an Open House?
An open house is a term used when a seller opens the doors of their home for a specific window of time to prospective buyers. During an open house, a seller’s real estate agent or broker holds open hours during which the home/property is available for the public to view. The house is open for everyone, specifically for buyers to wander through and imagine living there. The open house is an opportunity for the potential buyers to confirm the photos of the property and its dimensions are accurate, to understand the layout, and to ask questions about that crack in the ceiling you didn’t see in the pictures.
Where did the concept of Open Houses come from?
The concept of opening houses to strangers interested in buying them is relatively new, only about a century old. Generally, open houses didn’t start as they are, and they took a few decades to transform into the open houses we know now.
The First Open Houses
The concept of an open house was first introduced in the 1910s, and the very first open houses were all newly built homes. The ability to walk around a newly constructed home gave potential homebuyers a way to explore new architectural styles, like innovative kitchen layouts, and modern (at the time) technologies, like smart lighting. In the 1910s, indoor electricity was a big new thing that home builders were embracing, so showing off the benefits of an electrically wired home attracted homebuyers, which helped increase the selling of homes. The houses were open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The listing broker can sell only one house at a time, so they had to stay at the open house all day until all the houses were sold.
Modern Open Houses
As time passed, open houses evolved and transformed with the real estate industry. In the 1920s, open houses started being fully operated (furnished as if someone already lived there), making it easier for potential buyers to imagine living in the home themselves.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the inception of real estate agencies happened, consolidating multiple agents under one company. These agencies can show and sell multiple properties at the same time. The agents began to view open houses as a marketing tool to connect with buyers who may be a fit for other listings the agency had. In the 1940s and 1950s, newspaper and radio advertisements helped sell houses more quickly; open houses became much shorter commitments for the agents, due to which the real estate market skyrocketed.
After 1950, the open houses haven’t changed much. They work to connect buyers and agents. Even after the coronavirus pandemic, the working of open houses hasn’t changed significantly. It has just introduced some crowd control rules and increased the number of virtual open houses. The structure and the main purpose of open houses are kept the same and likely will for a long time.
When are Open Houses Scheduled?
Most open houses are held on weekends (Saturday and Sunday), as that’s when most people have free time. Sometimes, a few open houses are held on weekdays, usually in the evening, but most open houses are scheduled to be held on the weekend. Open houses are usually open for several hours, so buyers can plan to visit more than once a day.
How do Open Houses Work?
During an open house, the seller or the listing agent allows potential buyers to enter and walk through the property at their leisure or guided by a realtor. The main goal of an open house is to secure interest from buyers. Open houses are like an opportunity for interested buyers to take their time looking at the house and surrounding property rather than a shorter one-on-one appointment with a broker. Many open houses occur on weekends, like Saturday and Sunday, and the listing agents use banners and other fanfare as advertisements. During an open house period, owners keep the houses clean and organised to attract potential buyers. During the open houses, owners or agents also serve coffee, cocktails, or snacks at these events.
Why attend Real Estate Open Houses?
Open houses are a great way to get your home. Although there is no restriction on who can attend, the main purpose is to help people trying to buy a house. A buyer looking to buy a house can get several benefits from attending open houses.
Attending a couple of open houses in your desired area will give buyers a good idea of how much they need to spend in that location.
During the home search process, their wish list evolves as buyers step into more homes. Walking through many open houses before getting serious about home buying helps buyers continuously retool their desires regarding new homes.
Currently, we’re in a seller’s market, which happens when inventory is low, and demand for housing is high. In several cases, when a house comes on the market in a desirable area and price point, it’s likely to get snatched up quickly. Attending open houses allows buyers to make an offer quickly and confidently when the time comes.
Attending these open houses helps the buyers to view multiple homes in person, through which the buyer gets a good idea about what different home sizes, and more specifically, square footage, actually looks and feels like.
During the open houses, an interested buyer can talk to the realtor about their preferences and even take some time to walk through the neighbourhood to get a better feel for the area.
An open house is a great, low-pressure way to show the house to potential buyers. It is a famous and well-designed innovative technique that can result in new opportunities in the real estate market. The buyer here gets the choice to get a fully furnished property. Open houses can generate opportunities for maintenance companies, representable individuals, cleaning companies, staging companies, and many others. For buyers, open houses are a great way to begin their buying journey by seeing what they like and don’t like in a house.