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Opens vs Appointments

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Jacque, 6th Sep, 2006.

  1. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Whilst I believe that there's a limited place for opens when selling real estate (eg: tenanted properties) there are still many vendors who believe that they're a necessary option when it comes time to sell.

    With a RE office set up correctly, and with enough staff to maintain enquiries and appointments, it's my opinion that appts are still the preferred choice for marketing. The buyer really only organises an inspection if they're serious, they get individualized attention from the REA and they don't need to spend their precious time scuttling from open to open on Saturdays. However, trying to organise a Saturday appt (especially if you can't make the scheduled open) with a REA is difficult and near on impossible with some agencies.

    Opens are preferred by buyers due to the anonymity they provide (when they're only looking or tyre kicking) and the fact that they can inspect without being fawned over by a high pressure REA.
    Some sellers prefer them due to the fact they only need to clean up once or twice a week, can plan the rest of their week in relative peace, and they can view the buyers from a safe distance (across the road, neighbours house etc)
    REA's love them because they are a source of potential new listings, it looks great to have bulk buyers coming through the door (creates a sense of urgency to purchasers) and there's little work required.
    In my books, the better agents are the ones who go out of their way to show homes outside of opens and treat buyers with the time they require.

    What are others thoughts on the two marketing techniques?
     
  2. kevinb

    kevinb Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to have both. Opens are good as far as tenanted properties are concerned for tenants also gives buyers a comparative look as to other properties.

    On the other hand the last two investment properties that I bought was done via the internet - i have never been inside them - figures added up, inspections done by others.

    Rgds

    Kevinb
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 7th Sep, 2006
  3. Leandro

    Leandro Well-Known Member

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    When i was searching for our PPOR i much preferred open for inspections.

    The agents publish a time, if i am interested and i am not busy i show up. With appointments, you have to ring in advance and try to organise a time which is suitable for both parties which is always difficult. On top of that if you are running late, the agent might leave and when you show up no one is there. Plus you can't look at the property in peace as the agent is right there seeing every move you do.
     
  4. D&K

    D&K Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on the circumstances. Opens are the best way to get a good feel for the local market, so as Leandro says, you can look at the property in (relative) peace. For our first IP I went through 15 opens on one Saturday :eek: (15 minute timeslots, and yes I was completely stuffed at the end). I then went back to see number 14 with my wife (who wasn't available on Saturday) for a private viewing, chose it and bought it a few weeks later. But that was when the internet ran at 9600bps and hence there were no pictures.

    We have also had to rely on private viewings on quick trips inter-state after viewing extensively on the internet. We have bought 'over the internet', but it definately takes a lot longer to get a local feel compared to blitzing open houses.

    So both have their place. Perhaps the internet is a partial substitute for open houses, but really it only helps to narrow the search. Private viewings are the best when you start to get serious and when you're not there on the right day - assuming that you go into the house before you buy it.

    Dave
     
  5. Leandro

    Leandro Well-Known Member

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    The Internet real estate sites may one day do this, but there is still some effort required. Listings with only 1 picture from the outside or inside won't do and still require visual inspection. You need 360 degree photos or virtual tours from the inside and outside. The technology is definitely there, it just needs to be applied.
     
  6. D&K

    D&K Well-Known Member

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    I really do get disappointed with only one photo and particularly if the agent's omit the address. However, if I'm interested I will e-mail or phone to ask the address, for more photos and a rental appraisal. But I don't require a visual inspection before buying. This may sound strange but if I've been to the area, got a building report, etc, I can do an investment appraisal. The risk of going to the house is the addition of emotion. :)

    Dave
     
  7. Leandro

    Leandro Well-Known Member

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    None of that research or inspections is going to tell you if you have massive power lines above the home, or if the property is really noisy because of planes, schools, trains or shops. The list could go on, i would prefer that assurance rather the potential to get emotional about a property.
     
  8. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    How many properties have you purchased sight unseen this way, Dave? I must admit, although I'm also a stickler for the numbers and remain fairly unemotional, I still need to see the property for myself before I will commit.
    It's also vital to know what is immediately surrounding your IP as neighbouring structures can affect value, naturally.
     
  9. D&K

    D&K Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jacque,

    It all depends on what you mean by "sight unseen". If you buy a house "off-the-plan" it is pretty much sight unseen. Over time, and some have been sold, ... umm .. 10. :( OK, all bar a couple were bought sight unseen.

    Of the ten, we agreed to buy two while standing on the cement footings. One we saw when it was still subject to finance when it was about 3/4 finished, so that probably doesn't count. Actually, we got emotional about that when perhaps we'd have been better off looking in a new area as that one (Balmoral, QLD) was getting up near it's peak - good reason not to see the property I reckon.

    Our current PPOR lot was occupied by a house in desparate need of demolision, so we obliged, and then built to our own design. So we didn't see our house before we "bought" it. In this context I don't see buying sight unseen as that big a deal.

    In most cases we have been in the area for a visit, got a feel for the area, watched the internet property adds for some time, etc. If you know the location (from a visit to the area, street maps, Google Earth, etc) and have plans, photos and maybe an inspection report, do you really need to see it "live"? In two other cases we have used a buyer's agent.

    We still have three IPs that we are yet to see. :eek: Two are in NZ so we're planning a trip to NZ soonish. :D

    Dave
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Open homes are primarily used by Real Estate Agents to promote themselves and their agencies, not to neccesarily sell your home.

    Open homes make an agent 'look busy', give them the opportunity to gather ammunition to condition an owner down on price (Oh lots of buyers told me today - your house is 100K overpriced etc etc) and allow them to move buyers onto properties where the owners are already 'conditioned' and desperate to sell. These are generalisations, YES, but I am sure anyone who has dealt with an agent will agree on one or more points.

    Real buyers, who want to buy NOW make a point of booking appointments to see every house in their price range. They drive around, calling off signs, they scour the net, doing their research. Generally if you look through the visitors books kept by agents, you'll see lots of notes by the agent making a point to follow someone up to give an 'Appraisal' on their home. So just what YOU want as a seller..............more properties in your area for sale ?? I don't think so. Lots of sellers go to opens to compare THEIR home to yours.

    Has anyone REALLY thought about the security issues with opens ? 1 Agent managing up to 20 people in a 4 bedroom home ? And your insurance doesnt cover you in a lot of cases if stuff gets stolen, as the front door was open and you were letting complete strangers through your house.

    Do you really want an open home ?

    Cheers
     
  11. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    All excellent points and I agree with you 100% on this one. The trouble is that people become very lazy in their search and don't want to make the effort of calling agents and maintaining contact on a regular basis. Far easier to attend a bunch of opens on a Saturday and ignore the rest of the market.
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    I'd argue that if they are lazy, they are not really intent on buying RIGHT NOW. Your home is for sale NOW.. you want people with intent RIGHT NOW too. I've had 3 real estate agents admit to me over a few drinks that over a 2 year period, they had NEVER sold a home to someone who made first contact at an open home. Contact with real buyers is made through 2 main sources, and thats a sign and the other method is increasingly becoming the Internet. Large franchise groups will never tell you this as they need your advertising $$$ to promote their brands. Imagine if the only $$$ you were asked to spend on advertising through LJ HOOKERS was the $35 they get charged to put your house on a web portal, and the $200 or so they pay for a sign (if its a big effective one ??).

    Cheers
     
  13. paulie

    paulie New Member

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    I am a real estate agent in Perth, and whilst there may be some differences between the west coast and eastern states markets, I would highly recommend home opens to any people seriously considering selling for the best/highest price.

    Whilst I have only paraphrased the initial post above that has started this discussion (and I fully understand that by paraphrasing I may be missing some of the thrust of the point), I will base my case/opinion on the above mentioned point, namely the creating a sense of urgency. I see my job as getting the best price for my vendor out of each and every potential purchaser. To do so I try to create a situation where the buyer is naturally pressured into offering high to secure the property. Negotiating skills are less effective in my view in getting a top price - than creating a strong negotiating position for my vendors via creating a competitive selling environment - and HOME OPENS have a very large part to play in this process.

    just my 2 cents

    paulie
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Hi Paulie,

    You are to be congratulated for being the most honest REA in Australia.

    Have you been an REA for long ? Say longer than 5 years ? Don't you find the market has changed in relation to the buyers education of the market already ? A large proportion of clued up buyers these days seem to turn up to inspections with RPdata printed out and market comparisons ready to go.

    Oh the power of the Internet !

    Paulie, you are probably one of the only lucky REA's that can create urgency at the moment, as the WA market still seems to be humming along. Try creating urgency over on the East Coast where buyers are dictating their own terms to buy at 'ANY' price.

    I stand by my initial post - There are better ways to sell houses other than opening them up every weekend for an hour and letting all the neighbours in for a sticky beak.

    Cheers
     
  15. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    Hear hear, nice work Paulie. A mate of mine owns a franchise over here, and a couple of times I have tried to refer people to him. He has told me point blank I'd be doing the buyer no favours as his office works flat out to get the best price possible for the vendor no matter what. It is kind of refreshing to have REA's tell it exactly like it is. They don't view buyers with any great value at all, as they are a dime a dozen, and I guess with the number of tyre-kickers REA's have to endure, that's no great surprise.

    Interestingly, Feb 2006 was their office's biggest month in its history, well into the stagnant cycle of the Brisbane property market - which they put down to the service they offer vendors and the massive amount of stock they get hold of versus the competition.

    Cheers
    Carl
     
  16. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    And that's exactly as it should be. After all, it's the vendor as employer who pays the REA for their work and results.
    If you prefer someone working on your behalf, as a buyer, to get the best result possible, then hire your own agent :D