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Why do estate agents do 'open house' viewings

(24 Posts)
cheminotte Tue 23-Jun-15 21:03:09

We've sold and are looking in quite a small area. A house came on the market recently and they are doing an open house viewing on Saturday. The EA told me we could not view before then as didn't have the keys. DP then tried to get an appointment for next week and was told no appointments could be made until after the open house and they'd be in touch 'if it hadn't sold by then' . The house is at least £30k overpriced. Am I right in thinking this is just a tactic by the EA to make it look like loads of people are interested and to create an auction type feeling?

YoniMitchell Tue 23-Jun-15 21:04:57

It might just be easier for the vendor to have all viewings done in one go.

pootlebug Tue 23-Jun-15 21:05:20

Maybe. But other possibilities:

- They have small kids and figure it'll be heaps easier to just tidy up once
- They don't have small kids but still figure it'll be heaps easier to just tidy up once
- They don't want the hassle of repeatedly having to go out for viewings.

Around here a lot of sales start with an 'open house'. If it doesn't sell then, it's back to normal booked viewings - but can be a lot less stress for agent and vendor if it does.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 23-Jun-15 21:06:41

If there are a large number expected to look at it, it makes sense to open the house for a specified period, rather than back to it 20+ times a day. They must expect it to fetch a lot of interest.

dangerrabbit Tue 23-Jun-15 21:10:39

Is it in London? Open house viewings are the norm now

PoppyBlossom Tue 23-Jun-15 21:11:19

Because that's what the vendor have requested. It also usually creates a buzz about a property and usually an earlier/higher offer. It's a very good selling tactic, you'd hope the estate agents are working in the best interests of their client, which this seems to do.

CamelliaA Tue 23-Jun-15 21:16:07

EA's with developers lined up.

scarlets Tue 23-Jun-15 21:17:49

I'd do this. We'd have a big clear up the night before, and ship out with the children and our dog before 9am.

cheminotte Tue 23-Jun-15 21:25:35

Not London. I can understand the logic of wanting to get the viewing over in one go through. Seems a bit strange that they won't even take bookings for next week, could always cancel.
I've only seen it done on one other house which was also over- priced. They had several open house sessions and nearly a year later it's up for rent.

FuckingLiability Tue 23-Jun-15 21:30:06

An open day is meant to push people into being competitive.

There's a house near me which has been on the market for over a year. They've had three open house viewings that I know of and got nowhere. IMO it's at least £40K overpriced but it's on the edge of a very expensive area so I assume the agents and owner think they can push it on that basis. It's kind of a shame because it's a lovely Victorian house but they've made the inside look like a Dubai hotel suite.

meglet Tue 23-Jun-15 21:31:28

Totally normal for many houses in our town. (North hampshire). I've been to several open house viewings, nothing posh, just cheaper 3 bed family homes.

AgentProvocateur Tue 23-Jun-15 21:38:04

Are you in edinburgh? They do it there - always have done.

Idefix Wed 24-Jun-15 07:35:13

Doing it in the sw where we are looking too, at least with certain estate agents...
grin fuckingliability know hust the house type you mean...

etoiledemer Wed 24-Jun-15 08:33:34

Exact same thing here.

We saw a house come up that was of interest just as we were doing a second viewing on another house. We rang up the EA to see if we could get in (we have sold STC and our sale is well advanced) before the open day which was scheduled for two weeks later but they didn't even call us back. Two days later, we got a text saying that due to a high level of interest, the (already steep) asking price had increased by £20k and that we should call to make a booking for the open day.

Obviously, we told them we wouldn't be attending and we have now had our offer accepted on the other property. I'd like to think they have shot themselves in the foot with their greed and I guess time will tell (the open day is this Saturday).

There was another one we tried to get into early but couldn't and it's still languishing on the market weeks after its open day (which only had two viewers in the end).

fuckingliability, that's a great description!

mandy214 Wed 24-Jun-15 08:52:43

Yes, its to drum up competition and to "encourage" potential buyers to make an offer. If you like a house and there are 6 others couples / families all making similar noises about how much they like it too, the expectation is that a) you'll make an offer more quickly (probably on the open day because you'll feel everyone else will and b) make a higher offer than you might have ordinarily.

Seems to be the "done" thing where we are at the moment because the market is so buoyant - the property will be advertised for a week or so by the agent and on rightmove with a "launch day" which will be an open house.

Esmum07 Wed 24-Jun-15 08:56:41

I went to have a look at a property on an open day on behalf of my sister (she was away on business and, like you OP, the EA wouldn't do an appointment to suit her until after the open day, so needed me to do a first look). Massively over priced for what it was.

She got back on the Monday having set up two other properties for that day and a bit later in the week. On Wednesday she had a call from the first EA who said they were now opening the books on the first property (obviously no offers) and she took great pleasure in telling them the other two EAs were more accommodating and she'd had an offer accepted on one of the other properties. Six months after she moved the first property is still on the market - still over priced.

All the open days in the world won't shift a property if the price is out of kilter with everything else in the area. People are beginning to see through the hyped up footfall that the open day viewing system brings and know, if you wait until after the open day, the vendor will often accept a lower offer - after all, if you can't sell to 10 or 20 people at the price the EA puts on, it must be wrong. So it's working against the vendor now in some cases. Problem is that buyers are often shunted out too quickly. You have to fall in love with a house to get into a bidding war and, if like the one I went to see, you're given a whistle stop tour and can see another couple coming in as you move to the next room, you don't get time to do that. The properties I've bought have always been the ones where the vendor has shown me round, answered my questions and makes me feel like they will be so sad to leave the place. Many EAs have no idea of anything to do with the property - the one who showed me the open day one didn't even know where the boiler was, how old it was, whether the extension had building reg certificates etc, all of which would make a difference to the offer I could have made. Not doing the vendors any favours really.

GladysTheGolem Wed 24-Jun-15 09:05:53

We bought ours from an open house. They're normally 'debuted' on the market here with one (London).

I went to an open house where the woman's two sons were playing video games in the living room, their cleaner was hanging out washing & throwing stink eye if you went into the garden and there was a goat curry bubbling away on the hob.
We sat outside discussing the potential for a while and every viewer came away with a face like confused

Poledra Wed 24-Jun-15 09:16:40

We did this the last time we sold a house - it was a small house in a good area of the city we lived in so there was lots of interest, as most folks couldn't afford the more expensive properties. It was a huge success for us, as we got two offers within days of the viewing, so didn't have to go through any more viewings. In fact, on the day, there was a very pushy man trying to get me to 'name my price' as he wanted to buy it to let but would only offer on the day. Yeah, my arse, his was one of the two offers made (I refused to discuss offers, and referred him back to the EA). We sold it to the lovely, shy man who wanted it as his home instead and his chatty mother who was desperate for him to move out on his own, and I looked at it recently and he must still be there as it hasn't been sold since smile

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 24-Jun-15 13:07:45

Open days were usually the norm when DS was buying in Brighton last Spring/Summer. Their own place (SW London) went SSTC within a couple of days and they were not getting a mortgage or bothering with a survey, but none of that made a difference to many if the EAs they spoke to when trying to get an appointment to view outside of the open day.

Without exception all the properties went under offer over the AP as a result of the open day, but then many came back on the market as the purchase fell through.....perhaps as issues came up post survey/lender refused to lend?

Pissed off with the process they found a property being marketed without an open day requirement, offer accepted and purchase went through without a hitch whilst a good number of the open day properties continued to languish on the market.

I can see the point in certain areas/situations - when we were selling my parents' house three years ago it made sense for the EA to arrange back-to-back viewings in order to create a sense of interest/panic amongst potential buyers, but from a buyer's POV (and having attended a couple myself which felt like a cattle market) I personally am not keen.

Howcanitbe Thu 25-Jun-15 08:54:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Howcanitbe Thu 25-Jun-15 08:59:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MorrisZapp Thu 25-Jun-15 09:13:35

This is standard practice in Scotland,vbut it isn't called open house, it's just called viewing.

It's usually for two hours on a Thursday evening and two hours on a Sunday afternoon.

Sounds eminently sensible to me, in a buoyant market anyway. If the house doesn't sell quickly you can abandon the viewings and just do it by appointment.

fiorentina Thu 25-Jun-15 11:25:06

We viewed a property at an open day. 6 viewers offered the asking price and it went to best offer. It's frustrating but ultimately our house sold that way so we can't have it both ways.

cheminotte Thu 25-Jun-15 19:47:44

I don't think it's a seller's market around here, but property just goes on at a silly price and sits there for months until they realise its too high and drop the price.
I want to be able to look at a house in my own time, not feeling rushed. Also we would like to see a house together but do not want to take the kids with us, so it had to be a weekday when they are at school.

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