National Open House Weekend April 28-29 2012

by Talisa Rafferty.

Homeowners, future buyers and Realtors across the country are beginning to prep for National Open House weekend, happening April 28 & 29, 2012.  North Shore Boston real estate prices are certainly still far more affordable than they were years ago.  There are a great deal of foreclosures on the market as well as short sales.  There are also many homes currently listed for sale that are still lived in and cared for. Many Real Estate professionals in the area believe that this years event will be even larger than last years.  National Open House weekend in 2011 showed buyers coming out in records numbers in some areas.  In the North Shore and Boston real estate area, with good weather, most industry insiders expect to see a huge turnout.  

Open House Weekend is a great time to get your home visible to a lot of buyers during a small period of time.  Many sellers find that it is a boost to host an open house during this weekend, even if their home has been on the market for a while.  Many Realtors provide lists to their buyers that provide the open houses that are planned for the weekend at least a week ahead of time.  This allows people to map out a route, and to drive by houses that are on the list so that they will know if they want to see the inside.  For buyers, this is a great time to see a lot of homes.  An added bonus, not only are REALTORS® are available at open houses to answer consumer questions about the home buying process and local market conditions, but many will have local mortgage brokers available.

If you are already working with a buyers agent, you can still check out open houses!  I encourage my buyers to take advantage of the weekend. It is a great stress free way to see a bunch of houses with no pressure.  Chances are good that the homes that you visit your agent has already seen (either at a Brokers open house, with another client, or just on an exploratory visit for clients like you!)  When asked to sign in, just let the agent who is hosting the open house know the name and company of your agent.  This will allow the two of them to catch up regarding your feedback.  If you happen to fall in love with a house that you agent hasn't seen yet, your agent will schedule a time to look at the house before you make an offer.

Sellers can plan ahead for the busy weekend.  Big furniture can make it hard for buyers to imagine their own furniture in the home.   If it is possible try to put bigger items into storage.  Having a clutter free home is very important.  Hiring a cleaning company can he helpful if you are not able to set aside time to clean the whole house before the weekend.  Your local Realtor likely has some referrals.  I have sellers who find it easier to leave in the morning, and have someone clean the morning of the open house.  They come back to a clean house, and sometimes an offer on the table.
Talisa Rafferty serves clients in the Boston real estate market.