The keys to selling any property are price, location and exposure. You can’t change the location of your property, and the market determines the price. However, your agent can make significant inroads into how powerfully your property is exposed to the market.
One of the most effective methods is the “open house”. This is where the property is advertised as being open for anyone who wishes to view it at a certain time, usually during a weekend. Very common abroad, the open house is rapidly gaining popularity in the UK, and for good reason.
Firstly, one of the best sources of qualified buyers is via the neighbours. Everybody knows someone who is selling and people tend to buy in an area which is close to their existing network of friends and acquaintances. This is known as socio-demographic mirroring.
When a property goes on show, it is marketed intensely in the neighbourhood so that every neighbour is aware that the property is for sale. If they know anyone who is buying, they are highly likely to invite them round to see the property, or at least look at it on their behalf.
From the seller’s perspective, having an open house can concentrate the viewings around a fixed time. Go for a walk and leave it all to the agent if you want to reduce some of the stress of selling!
Open house days tend to be very relaxed, and they create an environment where buyers do not feel in any way under pressure, but can take their time to consider a property’s merits. Because of this, we find that more people register their interest during an open house than they would through the usual advertising channels.
As a “celebration” of a property, an open house promotes intense buyer activity which often prompts a sale, as everybody wants something that everybody else wants!
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents