Open House vs. Private Showing: Which Is Better For Your Home Search?

Open House vs. Private Showing: Which Is Better For Your Home Search?

  • Roger Banning
  • 02/1/23

One of the most critical steps in the home-buying process is touring a home. An online or printed listing will seem spectacular, but once you walk through the property, you may realize it’s not a match. The pictures may have made the color scheme look vibrant and welcoming. Once you see it in person, you realize it’s not your preference. While walking from room to room, you may notice a lot of repair work is needed. Getting an up-close, physical look at the property is a must. 

It sounds simple to walk through a house just to decide if you like it. However, there are several little-known facts about this task. Be mindful that while you have an agenda, so does the seller. An experienced realtor can help with this phase. You might ask the agent if a private showing is better than an open house. 

Here are details to consider when deciding between the two: 

Private showings

Favor your schedule

Open houses are typically held on the weekends, early in the day. Private showings are a better fit if you’re a socialite who keeps active or perhaps works during this time. You can arrange to meet on a day and time that works for you and all involved. Sellers and realtors may even appreciate this, as the open house setting is inflexible and rushed. Take the upper hand with a private showing.

Provide more knowledge

With a crowd milling about and lots of activity going on, the open house is not a great time to investigate the property in-depth. It wouldn’t be classy to try to test the microwave, bring a magnifying glass down to the basement, or ask embarrassing questions at this time. Therefore, visiting the property at another time is helpful. It’s easier to explore every nook and cranny and find out the weaknesses of the place during a private showing. If you meet alone with their realtor, you might be able to chat enough to find out why the homeowners are leaving. Contemplate scheduling an individual showing to get the real story. 

Picturing the home as yours

When visiting a home for sale, the main goal is deciding whether or not you can make it your own. Visions of entertaining guests, relaxing on the couch, and hanging up family photos might cross your mind if you like the place. During an open house, guests might experience such thoughts. At a private showing, however, the feel is more realistic. Walking through the property without crowds or extra items will be closer to everyday life.

Another benefit is that your real estate agent can come with you. You can collaborate on what questions to ask and what property flaws to observe. Some topics are better covered afterward. It’s best not to attend a private showing or open house without your realtor. Their expert guidance is essential, and their keen eye can quickly pick up on things. 

Open house

“Party” causes impulse buys

You’ll feel a different vibe in an open house than during a private showing. There’s excitement, a crowd, and lots of conversation. The seller may have hyped up the gathering with many marketing tactics, provided yummy food or giveaways, and had dance music blaring through every room. Attendees could get caught up in the moment and feel they need this house immediately. Be careful to keep your intentions steady and view the home objectively. Shoppers often yearn for best-sellers; be aware of this effect and don’t let it sway you.

A private showing might be a better option because an open house can become emotional. A one-on-one conversation with the seller or their realtor could avoid false urgency. Think about what experience you’d like while touring a home. 

Prime for browsing

There is one advantage to choosing the open house: buyers have an advantage at public showings since there’s no required commitment. You don’t need an advance appointment to attend and can leave without giving out contact information. If you’re not sure yet what type of home or neighborhood you’re interested in, you still have the chance to “window shop.” Attending multiple showings is a great idea. Designate a notebook for home shopping, then select a different town for each “open house hopping” day. Take notes about the pros and cons of each home style, community, street, etc. This project should help you narrow down your dream home. 

Sellers might feel inconvenienced during the week

In the business process, it’s important to empathize. One drawback to private showings is that the sellers might feel put off having to set a separate appointment. A hectic work schedule, full family life, or bustling social calendar will make them reluctant. Whereas, at an open house, the seller can set one afternoon aside to hopefully sell their home. It is much easier for the seller to have an open house, as opposed to being “on call” constantly for private viewings.

While that reaction may be annoying, the real estate process must continue. Sellers who make private showings available are most likely eager to get their houses sold, and so they put up with the aggravation. One way to buffer the interaction is to have the realtor or realtors present. The seller’s realtor could meet you for the appointment, or both agents attend. That situation is ideal at any time. Even with all attendees in a great mood, the agents can give their clients an objective opinion. 

Buyers often prefer private showings

When looking at the features of private showings vs. open houses, it would seem that private showings are the better option for a home search. Although some sellers may find them burdensome, individual viewings are helpful for you as a buyer. The crowd's hype won’t sway you to make a rash decision. You can gather more specifications of the house and figure out the genuine vibe of the home. When analyzing everything, scheduling a private showing is the better of the two.

Roger Banning is the premier agent for selling guidance. After 20+ years of experience selling Phoenix and Scottsdale real estate, he and Jeff Barchi are among the top one percent of the nation. Contact them for an outstanding buying experience and discover all their tips for finding your dream home.


You Don't Want to Miss Out!

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get hot listing updates and real estate market trends.

Thank You

Thanks for signing up!

Work With Us

Working with Jeff Barchi and Roger Banning means you're getting two of the top 1% of real estate agents in the Scottsdale area. If you want to find the best luxury homes for sale in Grayhawk, Paradise Valley, or DC Ranch, or you're ready to list your property and want to get the most value out of your transaction, work with Roger and Jeff today.

Follow Us on Instagram