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April 20, 2017

Open Houses Aren’t Just for Buyers

By Mark Hite, President

Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS®

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS® (GCAR) is hosting Open House Weekend on April 22-23, during which you’ll notice lots of signs and balloons throughout the region.

Years ago, this annual event was designed to jump start the Spring home selling season and encourage buyers to get out and look around. While the internet is a key tool in searching for homes, most purchasers still find value in getting inside homes to preview the finishes and layouts.

The National Association of REALTORS®2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 8 percent of buyers first learned about the home they purchased from a yard sign or open house. This statistic underscores the value that prospective buyers see in visiting an open house. So, for this reason GCAR is once again leading this regional marketing effort.

A more recent twist in open houses is the increased number of prospective sellers who are visiting open houses this Spring. While sellers can also look online at available homes in their neighborhood, they are finding an in person viewing helps them compare the fit and finishes in other homes to theirs. What may seem dark and cramped in a photo might be open and airy in person. Or a laminate countertop could be mistaken for solid surface, which affects the appeal and value of a property.

With online automatic home valuations, many home owners are left scratching their heads as to the basis for these values. A computer program cannot compare updates, outdoor living space environments or upscale appliances, that’s why home owners are visiting more open houses this Spring.

Once a home owner gets a feel for what the competition looks like, they can better gauge what they may need to do if they are considering selling their home. It may be as simple as decluttering. Or major repairs or updates may be required to command top price. Like all home pricing/staging investments, a REALTOR® should be relied upon to provide professional guidance at this point.

Don’t let weather concerns this weekend prevent you from participating in Greater Chattanooga Open house Weekend (April 22-23). If you are thinking about selling your home in the next few months or years, take this opportunity to get out and see what’s going on in nearby homes. 

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