Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 21, 2017

Open houses are not just for buyers

   The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is hosting an “Open House Weekend” April 22-23, as evidenced by the many signs and balloons up throughout the region advertising the event.

This annual event was designed years ago 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 that are available for sale, most purchasers still see value in getting inside homes to preview the finishes and layouts.

The National Association of Realtors annual survey of home buyers found that last year 8 percent of home buyers first learned about the home they purchased from a yard sign or open house. This underscores the value that prospective buyers see in visiting an open house. For this reason, GCAR is once again leading this regional marketing effort.

A more recent twist in open houses has been the increased number of prospective sellers who are visiting open houses this spring. While they can also look at homes in their neighborhood that are for sale on the internet, a firsthand viewing goes a long way toward really comparing the fit and finishes of these homes to theirs.

What might seem dark and cramped in a photo might just be open and airy in person or a laminate countertop could be mistaken for a solid surface and both affect the appeal and value of a property.

With the advance in automatic home valuations on the internet, many home owners are left scratching their heads as to where these values are coming from. A computer program can’t compare updates, outdoor living space environments or upscale appliances, so 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 might need to do if they’re considering selling their home. It might be as simple as decluttering, or major repairs/updates might be required to command a top price. Like all home pricing/staging investments, an experienced Realtor should be called to provide professional guidance at this point.

Don’t let weather concerns delay you if you’re 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 during this weekend’s open houses.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.

GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information.