Is an Open House Worth Holding?

When it’s time to sell your home and relocate, upsize, or downsize, there’s going to be a lot of competition. Maximum exposure is essential to selling your property and with the internet in play, you’ll have people viewing your home that never step foot inside your property. Any real estate professional that’s been in the industry for more than four to five years will tell you that open houses don’t necessarily sell a home, but they are a help.

That’s seems quite contradictory, but it’s nonetheless true. Open houses are a serious buyer’s dream come true. What they’ve seen presented on the world wide web will either be confirmed or discredited. The truth is buyers do use open houses to their advantage, comparing properties they’ve seen in-person, taking note of all the pros and cons.

What’s more incredible is the fact that people move all the time. So, an open house is a way to get people in the door that want to be part of a neighborhood in the very near future. A good agent knows how to harness the potential of an open house and not just to her or his own advantage of taking on more clients. The right agent will pull out all the stops to get your home sold in as little time as possible, at the best price.


Like with most things in life, there are downsides to holding an open house. The first drawback is nefarious individuals who are looking for easy entry points or for valuables. Of course, these individuals are few and far between, but it’s still a possibility. Another con to an open house is a sometimes lack of one-on-one attention. It isn’t unusual for people that are just curious and not in the market to buy to stop by, walk through, ask questions, and then, walk out.

“One of the biggest advantages is that serious buyers overwhelmingly use open houses in their research. According to Geoff Walsh, an agent with Weichert Realtors in Dallas-Fort Worth, 95 percent of people looking to buy a home visit an open house within three months of buying. The biggest problem is that open houses also draw a large number of lookers who aren’t intending to purchase in the near future. So the open house “usually doesn’t sell the house,” says Matthew Coates, a Phoenix real estate agent with West USA Realty Revelation.” —AOL Real Estate

Some agents will tell you that nosy neighbors will are a problem, but that’s not entirely true, they will likely tell people about your home. It might not comes as a surprise that the biggest downside to holding an open house is dealing with the preparation and cleanup. You’ll have to make sure your home is spotless, that kids and pets aren’t there, and that you resist the urge to follow every person that walks through the door into every room. That being said, don’t make yourself unavailable, be sure to be friendly and willing to answer questions.


Too many people have the expectation that a “well attended” showing will result in an immediate purchase offer. While this does occasionally happen, it’s rare, but you have to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Think of it this way, if you were in the market to buy a home, wouldn’t you look at more than one and weigh the positives against the negatives of each? That said, here’s how holding an open house can help to sell a home:

  • Spread the word around the block. A few days before you hold your open house, make up lots of flyers, with all the details and the best pictures of your home and give copies to all of your neighbors. You might wind-up selling your home through someone that’s right around the corner.
  • Highlight the best features of your home. Whatever features those are, use them to your advantage. For instance, if your on the gulf in Sarasota, the water view will be a huge selling point or if you have new appliances, make the kitchen a can’t miss focal point.
  • Say “welcome home” with plenty of light. A well lit, open home is one that’s welcoming to potential buyers. Open the blinds, drapes, whatever, and let the sunshine pour inside.
  • The more signs, the better. Place a plethora of signs around the neighborhood and on the nearest, busiest streets to give your open house more exposure.
  • One open house isn’t enough. If you’re serious about selling your home, then host an open house once per weekend until you have a purchase offer.

One last thought, ask questions of everyone who attends your open house and use their feedback to address anything that you’ve not considered. For instance, you might hear the way a bedroom’s furnishing are laid out make it a bit awkward to navigate, so, rearrange the furniture. In addition, make your home stand out by offering buyer incentives.