Listing agents have argued that in the digital world of today, show houses are a waste of time.
“Most people who attend show houses are nosy neighbors, those who just want to peek a look and other types of time-wasters.”
Their argument is that serious buyers do not want to wait for a show house. When someone likes a home online, they usually make an appointment to have a look at the house during the week. The point is that serious buyers will definitely want to view the home.
Is it time to close the book on show houses? Absolutely not. The following points explain why:
Here’s why our parents needed show houses
A generation ago, the internet with its virtual tours, high-resolution pictures and online floor plans, did not exist.
Our parents relied on real estate agents to preview properties for them and to present them with basic details of what the house looks like on the inside: the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, in which school district it falls, the size of the land, and so on.
Buyers needed to be physically present in as many homes as possible so that they could get an idea of what they want and don’t want, and what a specific house can offer them.
Today, buyers can easily vet homes by looking at a wide range of photos and online floor plans through a variety of apps. But there is only so much you can learn from that.
By visiting a home, you get an idea of the size in the ‘real world’ and you see details that you might have missed online. You can get a feel for the property and compare your reactions to other homes that you have seen as well.
Regular buyers become serious buyers at show houses
Serious buyers don’t just fall out of the sky; they become serious over time.
Many people spend a lot of time online looking at houses before even engaging with an agent. Buyers need to become educated about the market in the area as well as what they can expect in their price range!
Show houses give buyers a no-pressure environment where they can learn all of this and make an informed decision. When they become serious about the house, a show house gives them time to spend in the house to get to know it better.
The convenience factor
Show houses are also convenient from the seller’s perspective. Instead of cleaning the house 10 times a week for individual appointments, it is set up at a certain time and many people can walk through it at once.
Even listing agents will find it convenient – instead of running around town during the week, one show house can be shown to clients who are still deciding on purchasing a home as well as those who are more serious.
Show houses can even help weed out those who are ‘just browsing’ so that when a private appointment is made, it is with a serious buyer.
Show houses give an indication about the market’s response
A show house is a great way to get a reaction from the masses and see what they think about your house.
Are people walking in and out too quickly? Are they hanging around? What are they talking about?
This type of valuable information you can use to improve the house for a serious buyer and it is something that you will never find online.
Show houses will be around in 50 years’ time for the same reason they are today. It’s almost like the movies: sure you can stream them, but nothing beats the cinema!