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The Open House Is Down but Not Out

Most experts predict a return of open houses in 2021 – but even in a pandemic, the open house could be sellers’ safest option for showing the home to multiple buyers.

CHICAGO – Social distancing measures during the pandemic shelved most in-person open houses, but is it one of those trends that will stick around after the pandemic ends? The Forbes Real Estate Council recently asked several real estate executives if they believe in-person open houses will still decline in favor.

“Open houses are not dead, but they are becoming safer than ever,” says Kevin Hawkins of WAV Group Inc. “While agents’ use of live and recorded video technology has taken a huge leap forward, for some sellers, a safe open house (masks required and visitors limited) is still the preferred method, as they don’t want two dozen separate buyer visits.”

Real estate professional Mike Shapiro said open houses can help humanize house shopping.

“Open houses are valuable, but during the pandemic, they are not the safest thing to do,” he says. “I do believe both are important during normal times.”

Regarding agents, Shapiro says, “They have to become the buyer and transmit the emotions as housing is very emotional. It needs to be humanized, not marketed.”

Agents say open houses provide more publicity for a home and help consumers view more of them.

“Nothing beats walking through the home or property,” says Chris Ryan of Beyond Properties Group with eXp Realty. “These technologies will always leave out the noise you might hear from a busy road or the lack of sun the property gets.”

Source: Realtor Magazine (12/01/20)

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