Labor Day weekend is right around the corner, indicating the end of the busy summer real estate season — and in many cases, the craziest summer season ever. Regardless, it’s also the beginning of an even more focused post-summer open house season.
If you’re in the market for a new home, you may be getting conflicting opinions about whether hitting some open houses over Labor Day weekend is a waste of time or not. Or whether, in today’s nutso real estate climate, it’s worth heading to an open house at all. While most everyone these days researches homes online before planning in-person looky-loo, we can tell you from experience not to bypass an opportunity to find the home of your dreams just because it’s a holiday weekend.
What to expect with open houses over Labor Day
Get Serious. First things first: are you serious about buying? If you are — and you’re already pre-approved and know your exact home buying budget — Labor day weekend is a great home shopping opportunity. That’s because, for many people, 3-day holiday weekends are meant to step away from our busy lives and chill out a little. Adopting the mantra “No work, all play” usually means no house hunting. For that reason alone, buyers who are out house-hunting on a holiday are taken very seriously. They’re not wasting their time playing golf and relaxing in the pool; they’re motivated and serious about making an offer. Serious sellers will be there for serious buyers.
Fewer buyers. Although there are motivated buyers over a holiday weekend, sellers probably end up with less foot traffic overall. That means you, as a buyer, will have more time to really dig into the home and talk with the seller’s agent. Use the lower energy of the day to focus on the neighborhood, the neighbors and the nearby amenities. Even if you don’t give an immediate offer, you’ll have a much better experience in your open house visits because you’ll have more time and won’t feel rushed.
Out-of-towners. Long weekends like Labor Day are perfect for getting in the car and going on a road trip. Lots of us plan to visit family and friends who live out of town or across state lines — many of whom may have moved out of town during the pandemic. Maybe seeing how they’re faring in their new digs might be inspirational. If you are traveling and visiting somewhere away from home, do yourself a favor and check out the open houses in that area. Being closer to family and friends is important and might be the impetus you need to relocate. And attending a few low-trafficked open houses might be the best way to make the most of your time out-of-town.
Fewer properties. Many sellers skip having an open house on a holiday weekend and instead opt to relax and have some fun. We can’t blame them. But we can say that if you happen to see an open house sign over the weekend — and you’re a legit, pre-approved buyer — drop in. There are fewer open houses over the holiday. So, when you find one, it may indicate a motivated seller. Take advantage of it.
A note for the sellers
Vacate the premises. Nobody wants a seller hanging around while they’re attending an open house. Not the realtor. Not the prospective buyers. Get out of their hair by getting out of the house. Make the most of the nice weather, the barbecue invites, and the beach. Besides, selling a home is stressful, so take a break over the long weekend (but keep your phone charged if you get an offer and need to respond asap.)
House-hunting on Labor Day weekend: a labor of love
The decision to hit open houses over a 3-day weekend is a personal one. If you’re not in a rush to buy, certainly take the time to rest up and rejuvenate. No argument here. As we mentioned above, purchasing a home is stressful enough without killing your holidays over it.
But, if you’re seriously looking to buy, it may make sense to hit an open house hosted by someone seriously looking to sell. There won’t be many, but they’ll probably be appreciative of your visit and possibly highly motivated to negotiate.
Speak with your real estate agent to determine the best open house strategy for you — and remember, the best way to be taken seriously is to be approved. To start, connect with one of our loan officers in the area you’re looking to buy. Or, if you’re ready to begin your application, you can do so online.
Good luck! We hope that you and the family enjoy your Labor Day weekend!