18 May 2018

How to Choose Between Open Homes and Private Viewings

There aren’t many buyers who would purchase a property without first attending an open house inspection. And, from a marketing perspective, this provides a fantastic opportunity for your agent to gauge the level of interest, receive feedback, and tailor their selling strategy accordingly. However, in recent years, more and more prospective buyers are making private viewing appointments in favour of the traditional open house. So which is the best option for you? Here’s the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed decision.


Pros of open house

Allowing complete strangers to enter your home in droves may not sound too appealing, but it does have some pretty big advantages. One of the biggest draw cards is the crowds themselves. This is because an open house inspection allows a wider range of prospective buyers to check it out, and crowds attract crowds. Not surprisingly, crowds imply demand and demand can lead to competitive offers. Some of these potential buyers include:

  • Those who live in the same neighbourhood and are interested in buying
  • People who may be thinking about buying in the future but don’t want to commit to a private inspection
  • Buyers who are not yet sure what they’re looking for but are willing to view a variety of properties to find out

Additionally, open house inspections are publicly advertised via newspapers, the internet and even word of mouth. This creates a bit of hype around viewings, and even more so when the property is in a popular area. And lastly, because you have everyone coming through at the one time, it’s much more time efficient than escorting people through the property individually.


Cons of open house

Okay, so there are a couple of things that make this option a little less desirable. When there is a large crowd of buyers, engagement with prospective tenants is difficult during the inspection. The volume of people coming and going becomes overwhelming for the agent to chat to each person individually and get an idea of how serious they are and what they’re looking for. Another issue with large crowds is that it can put off some buyers who cannot ask questions, or are time-poor and don’t get a chance to examine the finer details of the home. Some potential buyers may also be put off if they hear negative remarks from other visitors. And while it isn’t very common, there are security issues to be aware of. Stolen or damaged property can occur, so you’ll have to make sure any valuable items are removed or locked away beforehand.


Pros of private viewing

An open house inspection doesn’t need all the buzz and hype in order to generate interest. Private viewings allow prospective buyers the chance to view the property exclusively, making the experience more personal and a little more sophisticated. They also offer more flexibility in viewing times. That way, an inspection can be rescheduled for another day if there is bad weather or last minute obligations, which is not possible with open house viewings. Because of the one-on-one nature of the inspection, there is more opportunity to engage with buyers, giving both them and your agent a more comprehensive experience. There is reduced security risks, and as some effort is required to contact the agent and make a booking, it weeds out the sticky beaks and only attracts serious candidates.


Cons of private viewing

A downside to private viewings is that it can become quite time consuming if you’re not lucky enough to find a keen buyer within a couple of rounds through the home. Each time someone wants to inspect the property, another appointment must be made, and this will continue until someone makes an offer you wish to accept. It can also begin to feel quite intrusive with the constant string of strangers wandering into your personal space. For this reason, it’s recommended to schedule private inspections on weekdays when you’re likely at work and your agent is available to show the home, otherwise you could be up for weekend surcharges. Weekday inspections may seem like they’ll reduce the pool of buyers, but the reality is it will just reinforce the idea that only serious lookers will schedule a time during work hours.


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