While most of the time you will view homes at a public open house, there may be times where you are so excited about a home (the perfect home!) that you just have to see it as soon as possible. Getting to see a home as soon as it comes on the market, and importantly before everyone else has seen the home, can be advantageous if you are thinking of submitting a pre-emptive offer.
Private tours aren’t a guarantee, and the listing agent is under no obligation to offer them. Some listing agents will leave a lockbox at the home so that buyer agents can show the home to their clients at any time. Listing agents may also make exceptions to show the home to certain buyers in a private tour, particularly if they think there is a chance to get an attractive pre-emptive offer before the first open home.
While private tours seem very ‘inside track’, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to scoop up your dream home for a bargain price. Firstly, the listing agent may not offer private tours as he/she may want all buyers to come to the already-scheduled open homes. It is in the listing agent’s advantage to have lots of interested and excited buyers at the same open home to demonstrate the competition for this particular home.
Secondly, listing agents may not be open to accepting any preemptive offers before the offer deadline. The listing agent may want to run a competitive process and get as many potential buyers to submit offers as possible, and thus will state ‘no preemptive offers’. So even though you get a private tour of the home, you may be submitting your offer along with everyone else after the open homes are complete.
And finally, your preemptive offer will only be accepted if the listing agent has high confidence that your offer amount will be the highest offer in a couple of weeks. The seller and listing agent have been working on the sale house for months by that point, and they have no incentive to accept a significantly lower offer to avoid a couple more weeks of work. So while getting a private tour may get you early access to a house, you’ll still have to submit a very competitive offer to win the home.
If you have seen a home on the MLS, Redfin or Zillow that has just come onto the market, and are interested in getting a private tour of the home, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reach out to the listing agent to set it up.