7 Benefits of Inspections by Appointment Over Open Homes

In my last post, I wrote about the five reasons you should never hold an open home when selling your property.  There is a method of showing your home to prospective buyers, which overcomes all the shortcomings of a traditional open home.  Of course, I am talking about none other than inspections by appointment.  With this method, the home is generally shown to only one or a few parties at a time, after they have seen it advertised online.

For inspections by appointment to work much better than an open home, all other aspects of the marketing campaign have to be executed well.  Ninety-five percent of the marketing will have been done up to this point, and before the door is opened to the first viewer.  Below are the seven benefits of inspections by appointment over open homes.

1. Only Qualified and Serious Prospects View Your Home

The people who take the time and effort to email or telephone to make an appointment to see your home are usually far more serious and better qualified prospects than most of the people who attend an open home.  They qualify themselves by simply making the effort to ask for an appointment, and they wouldn’t do that if they were not seriously interested enough in your home.  With this method, you don’t have all the neighbours, people from down the street, sticky beaks and random passers-by, trampling through your home twenty at a time.

2. Easier to See Who is Most Interested

When only serious and qualified prospects inspect your property, they are fewer in number, and because they generally see the property one, two or three at a time, it is much easier to deal with them and gauge their level of interest in your home.  The qualified people at the inspection by appointment have a greater chance of falling for your home and it is easier to see this happening when there is only one or two of them, instead of 10-20 like at an open home.

Prospects who fall in love with a home often let their guard down and give signs that make it obvious that they like the home.  This can be used to your great advantage as a seller, when it comes to negotiations.

3. Eliminates Theft

As I mentioned in my previous post, theft is a real danger during and even after open homes.  Inspections by appointment increase the barriers for those with such intentions, for many reasons.  Firstly, they can’t blend into a group of 10-20 people and become hard to identify.  Secondly, at an inspection by appointment it is much easier to ‘keep an eye’ on the one or few people who are there.  Lastly, the fact that they need to call or email to make an appointment requires more effort and increases the risk of identification for potential criminals.

4. Potential Buyers Aren’t Influenced by Negative Comments

As I mentioned in my previous post, a big drawback of open homes is the lack of control over what comments your potential buyers hear from the usual sticky beaks and tyre kickers that also attend.  Inspections by appointment eliminate the chance of a ‘sticky beak’ infecting the positive impressions of a potential buyer with their negative comments.

If a prospect at an inspection by appointment likes your home, their impression will not be tainted by what anyone else says, because they are likely to be the only ones in your home.  Even if they don’t like your home, there will not be anyone else who would hear any negative comments they may make.  People who self-qualify to attend inspections by appointment are less likely to make negative comments than the tyre kickers and sticky beaks.

5. Makes it Easy for Buyers to Buy

The other advantage of inspections by appointment is the reduced chance of missing out on a potential buyer between open homes.  Most real estate agents will hold an open home once a week and due to the number of properties they are marketing, have little to no capacity or flexibility to show the home at any other time.

Many people will not be able to make it to a relatively short open home for whatever reason and they should be able to inspect your house at other times.  The golden rule of a successful campaign is to make it easy for buyers to buy.  They need to see your home when they are interested and they will indicate this interest with a phone call or email.  The last thing you want is for them to buy another property simply because yours was not open when they were most interested or available.

6. Better for Creating Competition

Prospects who attend inspections by appointment will often have no idea about the competition they are up against for your property, because they don’t see them, and this can be used to your benefit.  Conversely, if there isn’t much competition for your home, buyers won’t know and won’t be able to use it against you in negotiations.

For those who insist on creating competition through attendance numbers, inspections by appointment can be used far more effectively to achieve this than traditional open homes.  When an appointment for inspection is made with a prospective buyer, additional requests to see the property from other buyers can be scheduled for the same time.

This usually results in two, three and even four interested and qualified parties coming to inspect at the same time.  This is far more effective than having ten or fifteen sticky beaks represented by your neighbours, people from down the street and those that happen to be driving by at the time.  Competition will always be more intense between serious buyers, even if they are fewer in number than the typical ‘tyre kickers’ at an open home.

When you go to an open home, you generally expect to see a number of other people looking as well, but imagine if you made an appointment to see a property, expecting to be the only one there and you see one, two or three other people looking as well.  You will immediately get the impression that there must be great interest in the property.

7. You Open the Door

There is one twist that significantly increases both the effectiveness and success of inspections by appointment and therefore the outcome of the campaign.  Most people would never think of this twist because of the decades of conditioning to which the Australian public has been subjected to by the traditional real estate sales industry.  After most (95%) of the marketing campaign has been completed, whenever possible home owners should always open their home to prospects directly.

There are several benefits to doing this.  Firstly, nobody knows your home better than you, which means that nobody is better qualified to point out all the positive aspects of your home, especially those that are not obvious.

By pointing these things out, you are not selling your home, because there is nothing that anyone can say to make someone buy a home.  By pointing these things out, you simply help to paint a picture of your property as a home instead of just a house.  People prefer to buy homes to houses and they will pay more for a home.

Another advantage of showing buyers your home directly is the ability to answer most of their questions that relate to the home.  No real estate agent will know as much about your home as you, therefore by answering most questions quickly and easily, you will help speed up the buying decision.

One of the biggest advantages of welcoming a buyer to your home is the opportunity to build rapport on a personal level.  This can help with negotiations later as well as making the entire transaction flow much quicker and smoother.  Of course, rapport can’t always be built and it’s not a must, but getting to know the buyer even a little bit often helps in making the final stretch of the sale that much more pleasant for both parties.

For more information, please visit: www.revolutionaryrealestate.com.au

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