Stuart Harris, head of residential sales at the Cambridge office of national property consultancy Carter Jonas, plugs in to the weekend sales vibe
A more relaxed, weekend vibe of open-house viewings is what many agents in Cambridge are tuning in to especially when it comes to launching to the market some of their hottest, city properties in their portfolio.
In the past – and in some tiers in the premium end of the property market – open-house viewings might have suggested that a property was difficult to shift. Not so in the present market climate in which Cambridge city centre is a property hot-spot.
Open-house viewings are one of the ways in which agents can manage the volume of serious buyer interest to the satisfaction of vendor, potential purchasers and agent alike.
Open-house events are attracting serious buying intent – especially when agents are in a position to pre-qualify visitors to minimise the risk of wasting the time of the vendor and the agents themselves. In the main and in the fast-moving market in Cambridge city currently, open-house events lead to immediate offers and, more often than not, within a few days of the viewing event.
These Saturday morning events have a more informal mood and when time set aside for viewings is not so pressing, the relaxed atmosphere can prove to be more conducive to dialogue between the potential buyers and the agent and between the buyers too.
The open-house ambience is beneficial to all parties involved in securing the sale of the particular property for which this approach is suited.
It’s important that the vendor is comfortable with the open-house format, of course. But those who are see it as a practical way of organising multiple first viewings in one hit – rather than having to schedule to be out of their house on a number of occasions.
For potential purchasers, the pressure of time is not so much of an imperative within a two-hour period on a Saturday morning in the way it might be at other times.
Open-house events also give the chance to get some perspective on the property’s rooms and garden size with the number of people passing in and out of each as they view the whole house.
For those buyers travelling to Cambridge from out of town, transport delays are not so crucial as they would be if a viewing was compressed in to a conventional shorter period. There’s the chance to make it part of a day out or a weekend away to explore the city if they are unfamiliar with Cambridge and the surrounding area.
For the agent, it is a good opportunity to get to speak with so many potential buyers in-situ.