What Agents Don’t Tell You About Open Houses

Open House

When you have decided to sell your home, One of the first things your agent is likely to talk to you about when discussing their marketing plan to get your home sold is Open Houses. Many agents will want to host an Open House every Sunday (and maybe Saturday’s) so that potential buyers can see your home and hopefully one will write an offer as a result.

A valid question at this point is “Are Open Houses really necessary?”, and the truthful answer is “It depends”.

The objective of an Open House should be to make it easy for many potential buyers to view your home in a short window of time. When this happens, it can create an element of competition, which can  result in agreeing a sale quickly.

This is an effective strategy when a home is initially listed for sale and many of these buyers will have been sent along (or brought along) by their agents. For that reason, I always recommend Open Houses on the first Saturday and Sunday a home is listed for sale. Then if it is still for sale a week later, I suggest another Sunday Open House. Not another Saturday one though. Speaking from experience, subsequent Saturday Open Houses  draw little traffic.

I don’t generally recommend any more Open Houses unless a seller really wants them. Traffic will be much less and it is generally less disruptive to sellers if they arrange for showings by appointment. Serious buyers will usually prefer to see a home just with their agent at some point anyway, and without anybody else being present.

Why then do some agents want you to have an Open House every Sunday until it sells? The answer is that they see it as a prospecting tool. They hope to meet people who don’t yet have an agent to represent them, and while they would love to sell them your home, they know that most potential buyers without an agent are early in the process and won’t be ready to buy until they view many homes.

Most  agents will tell you, if asked for their honest opinion, that the main reason they hold Open Houses is to attract new buyers to work with. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, provided the seller is fully informed, but often, given the true facts, you may prefer to spend time in your home at the weekend rather than being temporarily evicted.

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