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Do Open Houses Sell Homes in NYC?

Posted by Hauseit Research on September 25, 2018
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Yes, open houses do sell homes in NYC and are one of the most effective tools in getting a home sold quickly. Not only do open houses allow buyers to conveniently stop by during a time period vs a specific time without having to coordinate an appointment, an open house is also a signal that the apartment is still available.

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When Are Open Houses More Useful?

Open houses and private showings are useful for different situations. In general, open houses are preferable vs private appointments due to the convenience factor for both buyers, sellers and agents.

A very popular listing may have too many private showing requests for the seller to tolerate, especially if the seller is still residing in the apartment. As a result, it can be very tempting for the seller to direct everyone to the open houses to avoid having strangers in the house constantly.

Open houses are generally more convenient for buyers because it gives them the flexibility to stop by if and when they wish without having to drag along their buyer’s agent. If a buyer sees an open house they want to check out, they can simply stop by anytime usually within a two or three hour window that the open house is hosted for.

If they can’t make it, no big deal as they never made an appointment in the first place.

Open houses are useful to both buyers’ and sellers’ agents. Sellers’ agents are able to save time by directing interested buyers and buyers’ agents to simply stop by the open house. The more a seller’s agent is able to do this, the more time the seller’s agent will be able to save from having to do individual, private appointments.

As an additional benefit for sellers’ agents, direct buyers are more likely to walk-in to an open house vs inquire on a listing online. This is primarily due to the large number of direct buyer leads that are intercepted by the advertising algorithms of various, popular real estate property search websites.

Open houses are also useful for buyers’ agents as buyers can always show up unaccompanied to an open house. This is extremely convenient for busy buyers’ agents who do not have time to babysit a buyer through every showing. An indecisive buyer can easily see up to 50 properties or more before deciding what to do.

Pro Tip: Can I attend an open house without an agent in NYC? Yes you can. Buyers are never required to be accompanied by the buyer’s agent for a public open house. However, listing agents will typically require the buyer’s agent to schedule on behalf of the buyer and accompany the buyer for a private showing.

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When Are Private Showings More Useful?

Private showings can be very useful for follow-up or second viewings with serious, interested buyers. A private second showing can give the seller or listing agent an opportunity to provide more detailed information to a buyer, and to give a more personal tour of the property.

A private viewing can also enable the seller or listing agent to glean more color from the buyer about how far along in the process they are and just how serious they are about making an offer. A private viewing also enables a buyer to ask many of the questions that a listing agent might not have time for during busy open house.

Pro Tip: Are you thinking about renovating before selling? Read our guide on selling property as is in NYC before you make a decision.

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Are Open Houses by Appointment Useful?

Open houses by appointment can be useful if a listing has been on the market for weeks or months and is still available. At this stage, traffic may have slowed down to a trickle, especially if the listing price is not especially compelling. Traffic will be further decreased because many buyers may assume that it’s no longer available.

Savvy listing agents can get around this problem by posting an open house by appointment at all times. Just like a regular open house, an open house by appointment is a signal to the public that a listing is indeed still available for showing.

The best part of posting an open house by appointment is that the listing agent does not need to show up if no one makes an appointment. And if someone does make an appointment, well then the mission is accomplished as the point of posting it was to draw traffic and signal that the listing is still available.

Pro Tip: What’s the difference between a listing agent vs selling agent? After figuring out the difference, learn whether you even need an agent in the first place. After all, with all of today’s technology, why can’t you just sell your apartment online in NYC?

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Are Broker Only Open Houses Relevant?

Broker only open houses are generally a waste of time. Broker only open houses and organized tours typically happen during lunchtime or some other time during the week when brokers are free from client duties.

The thought process is that brokers might somehow be more comfortable doing a tour with only other brokers during their free time. However, this is generally illogical as brokers on an open house tour will for the most part be from different firms. Even agents from the same firms are typically ruthless competitors. Therefore any illusions of camaraderie of a broker only open house are shattered.

If you’re going to spend the time to host a broker only open house during the lunch hour on a Tuesday, then you might as well make it a public open house in case direct buyers can get away from work. There’s really no point in posting a broker only open house that only brokers can see in the MLS. What a waste of time!

Pro Tip: If you intended to lure brokers to a broker only open house with food, then you can still do so by serving food at a public open house. If a broker is free and wants to come preview a listing on behalf of a real client, then he or she will. There’s nothing stopping a broker from previewing a property just because it’s a public open house vs a broker only open house.

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Disclosure: Hauseit and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, financial and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The services marketed on Hauseit.com are provided by licensed real estate brokers and other third party professional service providers. Hauseit LLC is not a licensed real estate broker nor a member of any multiple listing service (MLS).

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