Pros and Cons of Open Houses, Part 2

Posted by Steve Vincent on Sep 16, 2016 9:24:46 AM

In Buyers, Sellers

In part 1, we shared some of the pros and cons of having real estate Open Houses. If you read that post, you saw that I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer to the question: “Should we have an Open House?” (If you missed that post, you can find it here.)

Get your home ready for an Open House Be sure your home is ready for an Open House

The question is such an interesting one, because answering it actually involves many other important aspects of real estate. In the last post, I wrote about "The Neighbor Dilemma" - why some people think it's bad for neighborhood folks to come to open houses, while others consider neighbors as a component of marketing a home for sale. I also wrote about why some real estate professionals worry that Open Houses are a "Waste of Time," while others swear by them.

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The "Who’s Looking?" Question

First off, if you’ve marketed the Open House effectively, you’ll likely attract several types of people:

  • Serious buyers whose interests you know fairly well because you have an established relationship with them or otherwise have knowledge of their preferences.
  • Buyers who are new to the process of buying real estate.
  • Independent-minded people who want to do the legwork themselves.
  • Neighbors and “hobby” lookers – people who just like to look at houses.
  • Younger buyers who “shop” online and don’t want to commit to a relationship with an agent until they’re pretty sure they like a home.
  • Interior designers and individual homeowners who like to look at homes for inspiration and design ideas.

Attracting a cross-section of people with varying interests in seeing the home can be an excellent source of realistic and honest feedback about the appeal of the home, price point, and neighborhood.

Does the Home for Sale Show Well?

In my view, this is one of the biggest components of Open House success: Your real estate agent could do the best job in the world of marketing the property and Open House date, but if your home is not in show-ready condition, the Open House will likely do more harm than good. I'm not saying it needs to look like a page from Southern Living or Architectural Digest - although if it does, you're in great shape! But it does need to be in good repair, reasonably up-to-date, and very clean and tidy.

We have quite a few posts about curb appeal (such as Why Curb Appeal Matters So Much for Home Sellers) and staging a home for sale (such as Staging Your Home to Sell: Is It Worth It? and How Decluttering Sells Homes Faster) as well as general tips on making your home for sale as appealing to buyers as possible (such as House Taking Too Long to Sell? Here's Why. and Interior and Exterior Paint Colors that Sell Homes).  Whether you choose to let us advise you on staging your home, work with a professional home staging company, or take care of it all yourself, I strongly advise getting your home in tip-top shape before scheduling an Open House.

If your home for sale shows well, an Open House can be a real benefit, even if an offer doesn't come that day.

A Note about Brokers Open Houses

Many real estate professionals like to host Brokers Open Houses, where the seller's agent opens the home to other agents - it's sometimes called a Brokers Preview, too. They can work well for homes in desirable areas and homes that may have a surprising or unique aspect. By inviting agents to a Brokers Open House, your real estate professional is hoping to educate other agents about the selling points of the home for sale, to increase interest (and showings), and sometimes to get feedback about the home, neighborhood, price point, etc.

In Conclusion

Many sellers – and many real estate professionals – see benefit from well-planned Open Houses. Obviously, occasionally an offer gets written right at the Open House – it does happen, albeit rarely. But even if an offer doesn’t come directly from anyone who attended the Open House, there are still potential advantages to having one, as long as:

  1. Your home is in excellent showing condition.
  2. Your real estate agent is committed to marketing the property and Open House effectively.

I hope you've found this part 2 post about Open Houses useful, and I hope you'll let the real estate professionals at The Vincent Group at GreatNest design a marketing plan for your home when you're ready to put it on the market. As always, at The Vincent Group at GreatNest we are proud to save our clients money by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. We are a full-service real estate company serving buyers and sellers in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and other Piedmont Triad areas. Please get in touch with our experienced real estate professionals by calling (336) 790-5210 or by emailing Steve Vincent.  Visit our website at