Yes, the following video is simply a TV comedy skit from “The Chaser’s War on Everything”. However, it does bring to light a legitimate concern regarding open inspections, that of security. With only one or two agents present, and potentially several strangers wandering through your family home, how can you actually feel comfortable that your belongings are safe? Agents are required to take down names and phone numbers of buyers, but it doesn’t take much for a crook to be a little more creative than “John Smith, 5555 – 5555”! Also – check your insurance policy, because many won’t cover a burglary that occurs at an open inspection because they are ‘invited guests’.
Other potential disadvantages of set “Open Inspections” include:
- If the set time doesn’t suit a genuine potential buyer, then you may miss out on that buyer who may find something else in the meantime waiting for the next set open inspection time to suit. There are 168 hours in a week – why restrict the viewing of your property to 30 or 60 minutes?
- Many people may turn up, or few may turn up. If many turn up, rooms can tend to feel smaller due to the crowd, and if no-one else turns up, one genuine buyer can naturally wonder what is wrong with the property and think, “why does no-one else want it?”
- Open inspections attract ‘sticky-beaks’ – in fact agents often openly invite neighbours through for a ‘sticky beak’ to encourage the appearance of activity and competition, and gather potential future listing ‘leads’ for themselves. These ‘sticky beaks’ don’t help you sell – and in fact, if a non-buyer makes a disparaging remark about your property within earshot of a genuine buyer, it can be enough to turn them off the property.
- When agents are simply overseeing multiple parties wandering through the property, they cannot do what you are employing them to do, which is to communicate, question, sort, qualify, sell, and negotiate with buyers. Essentially, the agent at many open inspections could be replaced by a bucket, simply collecting names and phone numbers!
Many people are unaware there is a viable, in fact preferable, alternative to opening their home up to any number of unqualified strangers at a set restrictive time. Ask your agent about the advantages of “flexible inspections” – see point eleven here.