Open House is a term that’s pretty familiar to one who has bought and sold one or two homes, or even none. Having an open house has its advantages and disadvantages. But admit it, the biggest drawback of having an open house is when you have completely no idea who to expect. Who is attending it?
It is quite a Herculean task to guess closely what types of people will attend the open house. But it is relatively expected, especially if you’ve been to one. So, for one who hasn’t been to an open house, you have to ask yourself, “What kind of people attend real estate open houses?” To begin with, that’s an excellent question!
If someone is in the process of selling or buying a house— it’s a prudent strategy to recognize and establish who will be attending your open house so you can more or less assess if they are a right fit for the sale of your property or not.
Who are the typical attendees in open Houses for real estate? Sadly, this is a basic question that many homeowners who sell their homes fail to ask or think about.
Here are the usual OPEN HOUSE attendees and why you should watch out for them…. please read on!
Below are FIVE types of Open House attendees in real estate:
1. The Serious Buyer
If one buying or selling his house expects that open houses will be beneficial for any interested person to be in, you will surely hope to attract people like the Serious Buyer. These are the potential buyers who are willing, able and ready to buy a home.
The serious buyer is someone who has already done some pre-work, like he has already gotten a pre-approval from his lender, understands the type of mortgage relevant to the present condition, and, more significantly, knows the ins and outs of the whole process of buying a home. He has a clear understanding of what he wants to buy.
Unfortunately, this open house participant is not as popular as most assume. The truth is when a particular buyer is fully set to buy a home, he has likely have already short-listed and appointed a top buyers’ agent. They have discussed their preferences and would only be interested in checking potential properties with their agent in confidence.
2. The Real Buyer
These are the people who are already at some stage of the home-buying process. They’re either serious and well-qualified buyers, ready to plunge, or maybe still testing out the market. This is a welcome development for the seller if these are the people they will get to meet, interact with, and do business with in the future.
These buyers can either be in any of these classifications:
- Emotional Buyers – These people buy properties based on their emotions or feelings. Most emotional buyers quickly look at the property design and layout and imagine themselves living in it. They will think through and make sure that everything meets the functionalities for normal everyday life. The most common reason for some emotional buyers looking for a house is having outgrown their current house. Another reason for checking out a different space (with new surroundings) is to heal and move on with life circumstances, like marriage separation or death of a spouse or an immediate family member.
- General Buyers – These are the average home buyers who intend to buy a primary dwelling. They may have access to some financial tools or have saved enough money to purchase a property, but still need to determine if they can buy within their budget. Other factor these buyers consider are amenities such as proximity to work, schools, hospitals, and shopping centres. These are the most typical buyers of all.
- Bargain Buyers – The term says it all. They are seasoned property investors. These bargain buyers are usually looking to purchase on the condition that they would score a good deal. Usually, a bargain purchase in real estate happens when a house is purchased at a lower price than its fair market value. In this type of transaction, homes are being sold for a discount for several reasons, like the urgency for the owner to move out of the suburb, city, or country, a considerable emergency expense that needs to be settled immediately, a couple’s separation, death, and so on. A bargain purchase may also happen in other situations, such as a quick sale.
3. The Nearby (Nosy) Neighbour
This guy has been waiting for that chance to get to your home for several reasons. First, you may share the same design of the house or even the same architect, and their wish is to compare their home with yours. Second, there could be other hidden reasons to view your home, too. Third, they must be interested in your late-night commotion or noise and want to delve thoughtlessly into what it’s all about (or its reasons).
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This open house could generally show a neighbour the opportunity to see how much privacy they have. For instance, in one of Melbourne’s advertised open house, a neighbour/lady arrived and headed straight to the deck at the back. Interestingly, the home across the spot is her home as his daughter is seated by the window. The mother attendee then makes a phone call to her daughter instructing her to move around their home – move to the right, at the back, go to the bedroom upstairs, and so on. What’s the mother’s objective? It is to check precisely what areas in their home were visible to the neighbours.
You will undoubtedly encounter some nosy neighbours at one point, too. They live across, behind, or several houses away. So, naturally, they desire to satisfy their curiosity about your home, or maybe worst, about you and how you live your life. So, take caution by all means!
4. The Other Agent – an agent Scoping out the place for clients
Buyers agents typically go and check out properties intended for their buyers-clients. In most instances, these people are polite and professional. But as always, there are exceptions to the rule. One awkward situation was when a particular agent was on his phone in the lounge room during a one-weekend open house. He spoke to his client with a summary of the property but in a “not-too-complimentary” way.
“The finish is not good; it is of low quality. The layout looks cramped, and the kitchen needs updating and more. No need for you to come here – it’s a waste of time,” he said. No doubt, the seller’s listing agent, who heard this conversation, was shocked, so were several buyers touring the place felt so uneasy. The listing agent was quick to act and respectfully requested the other agent to step outside to continue his call.
5. The Professional Looker
The last (but not the least) attendee whom you’d likely encounter to be at an open house is none other than the Professional Looker. This type of attendee is someone who goes and views the home without any intent to purchase, sort of like just passing by and doing some “window shopping”.
The looker often just randomly decides to come to an open house because he happened to see an “open house” sign and is not really in a hurry to go somewhere. He is normally explicit and direct with the agent that he is not really interested in buying and just wants to view the property.
When deciding to participate in an open house or not, it is imperative that you not only understand the different types of people who attend an open house but also consider its advantages and disadvantages.
Listed below are the advantages and downsides of open houses in real estate:
Advantages of Open House
- Additional exposure for the house on sale
- Avenue for buyers to have hands-on lessons on home buying where they can also ask the host-agent several questions
- For real estate agents, meeting new and prospective clients
- No pressure
Downsides of Open House
- Attracting unqualified buyers
- Packed open houses
- Opening your home to potential thieves
Be prepared to meet all these types of attendees at an open house.
Compared to the other attendees, in most cases, the ratio of serious home buyers to total buyers is low.
Understanding that not all attendees are real serious buyers will help you set your expectations when deciding to participate in an open house.