Lately I've noticed that a huge portion of the new listings coming on my hotsheet contain a note in the internal remarks: "no showings until the open house," which is often a full week away from the list date.
The idea, obviously, is to build anticipation among buyers' agents in the week leading up to the open house and to create a busy open house which makes potential buyers feel like there is competition and thus a sense of urgency to buy.
I've seen the tactic work, and actually had some buyers successfully purchase recently after a first showing at an open house; however, we did not pull it off without a frantic Sunday that started with the early afternoon showing and included a second showing with parents hours later, news that we were competing, a buyer market analysis, doc prep, a meeting to review the contract, processing & presenting to the seller, a little back and forth, and by 9PM, a contract. There was plenty of activity on the listing on Monday, but those folks who waited to act were too late.
I was, and still am, incredibly excited for my buyer clients, and wouldn't change our course of action. However, there was no reason why I couldn't have shown the house to these clients during the previous work week and achieved the same outcome. My husband and I had friends in town that weekend, and I felt awful that I barely got to spend any time with them on Sunday.
A few years ago, our state association of Realtors decided to change all days within our contracts to business days rather than calendar days. The idea was that Realtors shouldn't feel pressured to meet deadlines for inspection negotiations, financing, etc. if they happen to fall on a weekend. With that change, we took a stance as an industry that we are professionals who deserve to have balanced lives.
And now, with the trend toward halting showings until the open house, we seem to be moving backward.