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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Benefits of open house showing many

The arrival of Spring signals the beginning of open house season in most real estate markets.

Bu, will having an open house help sell a a property quicker?

Local brokers say while more people are searching for homes online, conducting an open house can be beneficial for sellers because it provides more exposure to the home for a large group of people or for first-time homebuyers who may not yet be working with a broker.

“Open houses really engage the early-stage homebuyers. It gives them the opportunity to experience a house with no strings attached,” said Matt Side, owner and director of broker talent at Realty One Group Eclipse.

While technology definitely brings more buyers to the market, Side said, there’s something about walking through a home for the first time that isn’t captured through looking at photos.

“An open house gives value to the seller and gives one more opportunity for someone to come in and truly experience that home versus just the pictures of that house,” he said.

More than 53 percent of potential homebuyers attended an open house in 2018, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors.

Side advises homeowners to properly stage their home before conducting an open house.

“People really want the home to feel larger than life, and having the house in perfect, clean and orderly condition helps,” he said.

Brokers will sometimes bake cookies in the oven periodically throughout the day of an open house to try to engage senses on lots of levels, he said.

Side said safety concerns can be a drawback for potential buyers attending an open house, but brokers take precautions by requiring all visitors to sign in and advising homeowners to lock up valuables.

He said most sellers are willing to hold an open house, especially if they believe photos online and elsewhere aren’t doing their home justice or there are elements of the property that are difficult to experience online, such as a private backyard or the spaciousness of the home.

Realty One Group Eclipse Broker Anna Roop conducted an open house recently in Spokane Valley, which drew about five families.

“In the ’90s, open houses were a lot more important than they are now, but it’s a great way to actually see the home to get to know it,” she said. “There’s things online that you can’t see and if you are serious about buying a home, it’s a great way to get a feel for what’s on the market.”

Roop said most people find out about open houses through online searches or signs in the neighborhood and they draw potential buyers of all ages, some of whom might be searching for properties on behalf of family members.

While Spokane’s booming housing market doesn’t require an enormous amount of effort to attract potential buyers, with some people buying homes sight unseen, it’s still important for people to view homes in person, Roop said.

“People need to get out to see the house and see the neighborhood,” she said. “It used to be that I held open houses to meet people and get leads, but when I’m holding open houses now, I’m looking for people that come from out-of-town. It’s a great way to meet them and sell the house.”

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