Are Real Estate Open Houses Necessary?

Most of us have memories and amusing stories of walking through a complete stranger’s home during a real estate open house. You have no intention of buying it and no inkling of even being in the market for a new home for many years, if ever. But still, you’re curious.

And if it happens to be a neighbour who’s put their house up for sale, you’re doubly curious to take a peek at their floor plan or decor or their level of cleanliness. You may even chat up the listing agent with a fake story of your real estate situation and share your hopes for a Toronto area home well beyond your budget.

But is this process by some of the best real estate agents in Toronto of inviting the general public (and likely your nosy neighbours) into your home for an open house necessary?

After years of experience with real estate buyers and sellers throughout Toronto, Pickering, Ajax and Whitby, Cameron Weir and I, without a doubt, can absolutely say “yes”.

Although there are certain situations where it may not be a good idea, in a seller’s market when you’ve got something everyone wants, why exclude more potential buyers from seeing up-close the property that’s for sale? Especially when you’ve hired top Toronto realtors or the best realtors in Durham Region. Those top real estate agents should have gone above and beyond to showcase all of the wonderful selling features of your home, so why not make sure as many people as possible view your property?

While pretending to be a potential buyer, I’ve walked into many open houses only to be horrified at how poorly my competing realtors were behaving and how terribly they’ve showcased the house, not to mention themselves. So I certainly understand why open houses can be questionable for some sellers.

I recently perused the websites of a handful of “discount” and “high volume” Toronto area realtors who say on their websites that open houses are never necessary and are a waste of time. In other words, it’s a waste of their time. They’re not so concerned about the seller. Some of these realtors are the ones you hear horror stories about. The ones who don’t lift a finger once the contract is signed then do nothing more than put up the bare minimum of spotty information on the MLS system on your behalf. They’ve done nothing to help improve the quality of your property so, of course, why would they waste a Saturday afternoon showing off a property they haven’t done anything extra to help sell? They just want their half percent or one percent commission and will convince you that they don’t need to do anything more. If that is the type of realtor you want to sell your house in hot but competitive real estate markets like Toronto, Pickering and Ajax, then good luck.

But that’s not us. That’s not who we are.

We have numerous stories of neighbours and curious folks driving by who had no idea they were going to fall in love with the house or condo until they walked in on a whim. And then called their own realtor. And then become the unexpected next owners who won the bidding war.

It’s also important to mention the many buyers who are uncertain and need to see the house four or five times before deciding. Often buyers will schedule a private first showing with their buyer agent and then come back on their own to see the house in a different light or to overhear what other people are saying as they walk through the house.

Also, people tend to freely share their opinions when they are walking through open houses. This is a great opportunity for us to let the sellers know if there are any common complaints or concerns that may stand in the way of a great offer.

And in our case, GTA homeowners who hire The Weir Team to sell their house or condo are expecting a certain level of care and quality. Special skill and talent goes into showcasing a property that someone will likely spend a minimum of a half million dollars on. Potential buyers who come through our open house may have not seen it displayed at its best, especially if they could only come out on a dark, rainy evening to do a showing.

We’re not those realtors sitting down, loudly chatting on their cell phone about a private deal in front of strangers.

We’re proudly presenting a home that we’ve usually played a significant role in getting ready for sale. From painting to staging to cleaning to storage, The Weir Team often takes care of it all. And when we’ve got your home shining you’ll understand why the open house is so important. Even if you’re home is perfect as-is, without any help from us, we want to make sure your home is seen in the best light possible.

It’s our goal as listing agents to make sure everyone falls in love with your home as soon as they move in. That’s how urgency is created. That’s how demand builds. That’s how bidding wars start. That’s how sellers net much more profit than if they went with a realtor who did only the bare minimum.

Throughout Leslieville, East York, Topham Park, Riverdale, Scarborough, Pickering Ajax and Bloor-Yorkville, we’ve witnessed up to 300 people coming out to a weekend open house. Especially thanks to all of the extra efforts for high quality marketing done by The Weir Team.

And many times those weekends of open houses resulted in a dream offer for the seller. Why shut yourself off from that possibility of even more profit from your biggest investment?

Written by Scott Hanton, Real Estate Broker for The Weir Team. Proud to work with the best real estate agents in Toronto, Leslieville, Bloor Yorkville, Pickering, Ajax and Whitby; producing the best quality Durham Region and Toronto real estate listings.

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