Real estate agent showing a couple around new home

Private Showings Vs. Open Houses: Which Wins?

Real estate agent showing a couple around new home

Looking for a new home? Before you sign on the dotted line, you’re going to want to have a chance or two to scope out a few homes in detail first. That means you’ll either want to schedule a private showing, or visit an open house. But which route should you take to find out if that home is right for you?

Let’s dig deeper to find out which of the two is a better approach for you when you’re ready to buy a house.

The Open House

If you’re not ready to buy just yet, and aren’t sure about exactly which neighborhood you want, open houses can be great.

Open houses can be an effective way to chat up the listing agent and find out important information about the home, and even the sellers. You might be able to find out why the sellers are moving in the first place – whether it’s a job relocation, divorce, or other reason. If you discover that the seller is highly motivated, you may have more negotiating power when it comes to wheeling and dealing on an offer.

Open houses can give you access to a lot more pertinent information than you might think. Besides getting to stroll around every room of a home and scoping out all the details, you can also get a sense of the competition that you might be facing and get a grasp of prices in the area.

Assessing the type of traffic might be tough to figure out, however. If there are tons of people venturing in and out of the house you happen to be in too, it could mean that there is some serious interest in that particular property, and that you may need to think about whether or not you should be putting in an offer before someone else does. On the other hand, the traffic could be just a bunch if nosy neighbors or people who enjoy spending their Sundays having a gander at how others live.

The Private Showing

When it comes to really getting a sense of what a home is like, you’ll ideally want to have a private showing scheduled. That way, you can take your time looking about without having to be distracted and interrupted by hoards of traffic.

It’ll also give you a chance to speak frankly about the property with your agent, come up with a strategy for submitting an offer, and ask all the pertinent questions about the place that you might be apprehensive about asking with others within earshot of your conversation.

Scheduling a showing also allows you to see the exact house you want, when you want (for the most part). There’s no need for the home buying process to be a gamble – instead, you can schedule a showing for a particular home you are interested in, during a time frame that’s more convenient for you.

Private showing allow you the freedom to really explore a home, which you usually can’t do during an open house. It would be sort of awkward to crawl into attic spaces or turn on faucets and flush toilets with a bunch of strangers around. With private showings, you can eliminate this concern.

At the end of the day, whether or not an open house or private viewing is better than the other depends on how serious you are about buying. If you’re half-hearted about purchasing, then start off with an open house or two. But of you’ve already scoped out a bunch of listings and have gained a focused sense of what you want, and you’re ready to make the move, private showings are absolutely the way to go.