Realtor Corner: Pros and Cons of Open Houses


If you've been alive for more than 10 years, you for sure have noticed the "Open House" signs posted in yards throughout neighborhoods. Even more now than ever, thanks to real estate shows becoming increasingly popular, you probably have even see an Open House on television; giving you a personal view as to how it works, it's purpose, and it's goal!

Some Realtors view Open Houses as a waste of time, while other Realtors view them as a gold mine! As with anything in life, there are pros and cons, and this real estate method is no exception to the rule! Let's get started!


1. Exposure!

One of the most important things for a Realtor selling a home, is ensuring that their client's home generates significant exposure. Without maximum exposure (and a strong marketing system), the chances of a home selling are greatly reduced.

Open houses have the capability to give additional exposure to a seller’s home, that otherwise may not have. Whether it’s street signs, social media ads, newspaper ads, etc. that is promoting the open house, having an open house increases the opportunity for additional exposure.

2. Allows Buyers To Not Feel Pressured

In general, open houses tend to be very laid back events. The majority of real estate professionals who host open houses will allow buyer’s to tour the home with little to no pressure. Only answering questions if they are asked, or approached. Some buyer’s prefer to check out a home in detail without having a time constraint or constant pressure. This opportunity will allow the buyer to weigh their options in depth, with no distractions.

3. Allows Realtors An Opportunity To Pick Up New Buyer’s

While this does not directly benefit the seller, many potential buyer’s who visit open houses do not yet have a Realtor of their own. Because of this, open houses provide the hosting Realtor an opportunity to use their skills to convert an unrestricted buyer, into one of their own buyer's.


1. Unqualified Buyers

One of the first key steps in the home buying is obtaining a pre-approval amount for mortgage. One downside to hosting open houses is many persons that attend have yet to take the first step in obtaining a pre-approval; thus there is an increased possibility of unqualified buyer’s attending the open house.

2. Slim Chance Of A Sale

This is one of the top reasons why Realtors feel that open houses are a waste of time.

Do you need to host an open house to sell a home? The very short answer: NOPE!

If you like statistics, the percentage of homes that actually sell as a result of an open house is less than 2-3%. Majority of homes that are sold, are done so when a buyer has a Realtor, requests an appointment, and tours a home privately; you know, a "showing". The audience that an open house attracts is more so not going to be ready to leave with a purchase.

3. Possible Theft

If you decide to host an open house, be sure to remove all valuable items before the event. This would be anything of worth - the problem here is deciding what is considered valuable as many people have different interpretations of what is valuable to them.

The point is that, the possibility for theft during an open house does exist. There are 'criminals' who will steal not only valuable jewelry and electronics, but also prescription drugs and other items.

The most important thing is to take away is that theft can happen and while no Realtor is responsible for contents taken during an open house, it can have a negative impact on reputation and client relationship.


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