It’s OK to Walk In

We can all agree that we’re living in an immediate world. We expect our tax returns to be filed quickly so we can get a fast refund; our lunch to be ready at the drive thru quickly so we can move onto our next appointment; and the new home we’re looking for available quickly on the Internet so we can pick it out and start planning what color we’re painting the kids rooms… right?

Maybe, this holds true for a quick lunch or a tax refund, but when it comes to buying a house — even in today’s tech-driven “see me now” world — slowing down to see an open house is still a highly preferred method of choosing a new home for my buyers.

Open HouseWhy? Several reasons. First, buying a home takes time, thought, and energy from all parties involved — much more than buying a burger and fries through the drive through. Second, the party selling their home wants to ensure that every possible step to make a transaction is taken. An open house lets anyone come through, including neighbors and friends who may know of someone interested in the home.

When a seller agrees to allow us to hold an open house, we use a sign-in sheet to keep track of who came through the property. Not, of course, to endlessly hound whoever stops into the property, but also to find out how they learned about the home for sale (Internet, newspaper, word of mouth — or the biggest advertising tool for home sellers, which we’ll talk about next week.)

The feedback we receive from potential clients gives us, as their agent, the opportunity to pass along thoughts about the home to the current owner. We don’t want to hear patronizing remarks like, “this one will sell in no time,” or, “it’s a really nice house.” We want to hear if you see something that could be improved. It’s an opportunity for us and the current owner to make an improvement — and improve the home’s chance of selling quicker. This holds true especially in Shorewood, where the demand continues to be high for move-in ready homes that require few cosmetic or structural changes prior to a new owner.

And, what if you’re looking at an open house and already working with someone else? Totally fine! We tell our clients to look at other houses on the market when they are held open, and to always inform the agent on duty that they’re working with us. Likewise, if you have an agent you’re already working with and come into one of our open houses, don’t be ashamed to tell us; it’s our business. We’ll always be happy to answer questions any way we can, and let your agent take care of the rest.

So, although an open house might sometimes feel a little old-fashioned, don’t let it stop you from holding your home open, or attending one yourself. Your wanting to take a peek inside a neighbor’s home — or someone wanting to do the same to yours — is exactly what might help it sell quicker.

Desty Lorino has been a Realtor in Shorewood for half of the nearly 50 years he has lived in the village

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