Open Houses or Private Showings- Which is best?

You may think you’re ready to be a homebuyer, but have you done your homework?

Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced owner, buying a house requires a little bit of research. While buying a home is an extremely exciting milestone, it can also be a little overwhelming. Between applying for a loan and looking into touring homes there is a lot to do. When you are ready to start touring the homes you are interested in, you need to take into consideration whether it is a better option for you… to attend an open house or a private showing. No idea which of these to choose? You have come to the right place! There are quite a few differences between open houses and private showings and, surprisingly, there isn’t necessarily one better than the other. However, they are both stronger in different time frames of the home-buying process- or for different homebuyers.

Read on to find out which option is better for you.

Open Houses
An open house is hosted for prospective buyers to walk through and view a home, usually for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday. Many buyers come without their agents, mainly because they are earlier in the process and may not have an agent yet. The real estate agent at the open house will do the hosting, sign in visitors, and answer questions for buyers in attendance.

Open houses have been thought of as window-shopping; if you have not narrowed down on a neighborhood, price, or size of home, open houses are a great way to get a feel for a potential home. The atmosphere is more relaxed and there is no pressure to make an offer- you are just there to look.

Open houses are better for those earlier in the home-buying process because you don’t need to have an agent to visit the open house. You can go and tour the home, ask questions, or listen in on what other visitors are asking (which is helpful if you’re a first-timer). Additionally, the bonus that open houses offer lie in the fact that the majority of real estate professionals who host open houses allow buyers to tour the home with little to no pressure of making an offer. Open houses normally give buyers the option to view a home without the pressure of the Realtor or seller. Buyers can enjoy an open house to analyze the details and decide if this is the type of home or neighborhood they are interested in. So if you are early in the home-buying process or it is your first time, open houses are very handy to learn more about the process as well as learn what you are looking for.

Private Showings
A private showing is a professionally scheduled appointment that gives a potential buyer the opportunity to tour a home. Usually, the buyers’ real estate agent will accompany them to the home and answer any questions and discuss the home.

Private Showings are excellent for those buyers who are further along in the home-buying process and have identified their wants and needs in terms of price, size, style, and location. When attending an open house, there are usually quite a few people in attendance touring the home, making it harder for the serious buyers to really take in the details.

Seeing the home you are interested in without all that stimulation and traffic gives you the time to really look it over and get to know the home without others looking over your shoulder. When you arrange private home showings with your real estate agent, you’ll have someone who can advise you- someone who’s on your side that can answer any questions you may have. You can also discuss what you like and don’t like about the home with your agent.

Whether you’re new to the home-buying process or further along, the most important aspect is having an agent you trust. The entire process can be overwhelming, especially if you’re doing it alone.

Attending an open house is a great way to seek out potential homes and a potential agent. However, when you are ready and have a specific home/neighborhood in mind, it is recommended that you attend a private showing with your agent.