Depending what decade you were born in Open Houses were an every Sunday event in your subdivision. In the late 80’s through most of the 90’s they had whole neighborhood Open Houses. Even city or township wide known as the parade of homes. It seems as the internet started taking over real estate advertising the art of the Open House was slipping away. Then with the foreclosure boom in the mid 2000’s and only ending 2-3 years back homes just weren’t selling (due to lack of equity/mortgage programs becoming extinct/and building coming to a halt)
Fast forward to the Spring of 2015. Open Houses are back and getting better than ever. If you haven’t noticed it’s probably because you weren’t or aren’t in the market to move. I challenge you to drive around the neighborhood you’re planning on moving to or pay attention to the one you’re leaving behind, Open House signs are littering the medians and Facebook posts every weekend.
Why Open Houses Are Great Tools For Buyers
The chance of you walking into an Open House and saying “This is it…take the sign out of the lawn!” is pretty slim. However, if you’ve identified a neighborhood that you want to move to and you want to know more about it what better way than to hang out there and see who else is around. At most Open Houses you’ll find a slew of “nosey neighbors” who are always willing to spill their guts about what’s happening on their street. It’s not always good and it’s not always bad. But it’s the closest thing to the truth that you’re going to get without living there. Also the other prospective buyers who are looking at the home that you are. What are they like? Are they the kind of people you want to spend the next 10 years living next to .
Another huge benefit to spending time at Open Houses is hearing about unlisted homes that are becoming available soon. The agent who’s hosting is always looking of more clients. So you can usually pick their brain in a casual manner. They’re usually so excited about the possibility of signing you up as a buyer client they’ll tell you everything they know about the surrounding area. Don’t forget about those nosey neighbors. Ask them if they know of any other homes in the area for sale or any that will be soon. At a recent Open House I watched a prospective buyer and nosey neighbor whose home wasn’t “listed” yet walk down the street, shake hands after around 30 minutes, and 45 days later the house was sold. The beautiful part about it for the buyer was they knew their numbers going in and there was no competition.
Lastly, when you do attend an Open House and it’s the neighborhood or home you really desire spend some time walking the streets. When you’re driving by at 25 mph everything looks better. Take your time to go block by block so you can notice the good and bad. Introduce yourself to the people you see and ask them if they had it to do all over again would they move there. Pay attention to the landscaping, the general upkeep of the exterior, and also how many homes have For Sale signs in their yards. These can all be indicators on where the neighborhood is going in terms of value.
If you haven’t been shopping Open Houses and you’re planning on moving get out there and start seeing them in person. It’s be worth every minute of your time. If you have a hard time finding them you can search for them HERE as we have every Open House on a search every week.
Hope to see you at an Open House soon!