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How to avoid open house fatigue and still buy a house?

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How to avoid open house fatigue and still buy a house
Posted 16 September 2015

It's like a first date! Let's not expect you are going to fall instantly in love

You have you been house hunting for a while and starting to show signs of open home fatigue?  Your goal is to buy a house.

You are questioning what is the true purpose of an open home?  And if we said to you, "To show a home to potential buyers, to get it sold for the vendor," then guess again. The real answer is one of the best-kept secrets in the real estate business.

If is fair to say that the real reason your real estate agent wants you to visit their open home is so that they can sign you up as a client! At the very least get your details into their database so they can start calling you with 'your ideal property' and then send you emails about how good their agency is and how many properties they've sold this week.

In other words - an open home is the best marketing and data collection platform a real estate agent has. 

In many markets open homes are becoming less and less impactful than ever before - that is because the internet is replacing them. People want to house hunt when the kids are asleep - not drag them from open home to open home on a Saturday morning. They want to be able to compare properties by clicking through slide shows and back and forth between listings, scanning every image and every detail.  Open house can be an easy way to get a bunch of people through your home but are they the right buyers? do they have their finance organised? or are they ready to buy?

Photo's, floor plans, virtual tours is what entices someone to want to look at a property - not an open for inspection for 20 minutes on a Saturday. And besides, buyers who are hot on the heels of their dream home aren't going to waste their time visiting homes that don't fit their specific wish list. 

We are beginning to see the growth of 360 degree photography which will greatly enhance the selling process for all concerned. As well as the enticement of virtual reality tours is just around the corner. These will make actually physically inspecting a property the final point in the sales process and in some cases, not even a requirement. 

These days it seems that actually inspecting a property personally is about the third or fourth step in the purchase process - certainly after online research and finance. The internet allows people to research features, the suburban profile, schools and compare prices of other properties in the area.

Please don't mourn the dying relic of the open home...it simply means that roles are changing and the power is now more than ever in the hands of people who are buying and selling their homes, and less in the hands of the real estate agents. Home buyers are smarter, and the home selling process is moving back into the control of the vendor.

So our advice to you regarding buying a house is, use all the property website available to work out what type of house you want to buy then visit the open houses which truly fit your budget, home style and personal requirements.  Happy hunting.

Julie O'Donohue
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