OPEN HOME OR PRIVATE INSPECTION?
There are many compelling arguments either way when making the decision as to how a buyer should see your home once it hits the market.
The general position for an agent that selects open homes is to say that having lots of people through at the same time will generate a “buzz” and a perception of competition. It is said that this competition will be the source of the “fear of loss” that will drive the price upwards. Sounds convincing doesn’t it?
To a degree, those points are valid, but there is a lot more to it than that. Below are some other considerations when opening your home for inspection:
Fixed inspection times make it harder for the buyer to attend as it often clashes with other agents’ opens.
The areas of the home that were once cosy will feel small if multiple buyers are trying to look simultaneously.
The criticisms of the negative buyers can be heard and affect the feelings of the positive buyers.
The agent, who is usually standing at the front door, often doesn’t hear (or answer) the objections made by buyers.
Buyers are often limited to the amount of time they are permitted to view the house. If they are coming from another inspection, the result is often that the buyer reports “feeling rushed” and can’t make a decision.
The agent knows very little about the people that are attending an open home. This can hamper efforts to negotiate the best price later.
In order to generate the perception of competition at an open, some unethical agents will encourage a seller to resort to a “bait price” in order to trick the buyer into attending. This leads to generating competition between buyers who do not have the budget to purchase the home in the first place.*
All of the above issues can be overcome with the use of a private inspection for each genuine buyer.
It is generally accepted that the inspection process is the opportunity for a buyer to “bond” with the home. This outcome can be better achieved via a private inspection. Through this, a genuine, pre-qualified buyer has the time and space to “place their furniture”, picture their children playing in the back yard, and generally, imagine how their life will fit into what is on offer.
Competition and a fear of loss ARE crucial to a good result, but during the inspection what’s more important is that the buyer “falls in love” with your home. The time to introduce the fear of loss is when it matters the most: when your skilled agent is negotiating the highest price they, the buyer, are prepared to pay.
*Please note, it is illegal to deliberately underquote the price of a property in Victoria.