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Should I Go to Open Houses…. Or Private Showings?

Think you’re ready to be a homebuyer? You feel like you are, but have you done your homework? Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or you’ve owned five, buying a new house requires at least some research.

While it’s true that buying a home is an extremely exciting process, it can also be overwhelming. Between finding a home on the internet, applying for a loan, and seeing said homes in person, there’s a lot to do!

And when you are ready to start touring the homes you’re interested in, you’ll probably wonder whether you should be attending open houses or a private showings.

No idea which of these to choose? We’d like to help! There are several differences between open houses and private showings and, surprisingly enough, there isn’t necessarily one that’s better than the other. However, it’s important to know each option has pros in different time frames of the home-buying process… and for different homebuyers.

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

Open Houses
An open house is hosted by a licensed Realtor for would-be buyers to tour a home, usually for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday.  This Realtor will sign in visitors and answer questions for buyers in attendance.

Buyers come to open houses with or without their agents.  Those without agents may earlier in the buying process and may not have an agent yet.

Open houses have been thought of by some as window-shopping as they are a great way to get a feel for a potential home, neighborhood, and price point. Open houses are low pressure and the atmosphere is relaxed; there’s no pressure to make an offer- you’re just there to look.

Open houses are beneficial for homebuyers just starting their search because they don’t need to have an agent to visit the open house. These buyers have the ability to tour the home, ask questions, or listen to what other visitors are asking (which is often helpful for first-timers).

Private Showings
A private showing is a private tour of a home, scheduled by a buyer’s Realtor. During a private showing, the buyer’s Realtor will accompany them during the tour, answering any questions they may have.

Private showings are excellent for buyers at any stage in the home-buying process but are most beneficial for those who have identified their wants and needs in terms of price, size, style, and location.

Unlike open houses, seeing the home you are interested in privately gives you the time to really look it over and get to know the home without others looking over your shoulder.

Whether you’re new to the home-buying process or further along, the most important aspect of any home buying journey is having a Realtor you trust. The entire process can be overwhelming… especially if you’re doing it without a professional by your side.


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