Open Houses
Monday, November 29, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Open Houses
Many sellers wonder if Sunday open houses are worth the inconvenience. Some complain that licensees use open houses to pick up clients rather than to sell their home. Others worry about security. Do the rewards outweigh the risks?

Visibility, convenience and outreach
Plenty of sellers have sold homes without ever having a public open house.  Public open houses provide additional market exposure that, in some cases, will result in a sale.

Those who resist the notion of open houses insist that serious buyers will make appointments to see the house. But most of today's buyers have to work in order to afford a home. Many of them can't take time off during the week to preview a new house. Sunday open houses provide an easy way for buyers to catch up on the new inventory on their own.

The serendipitous buyer

Some buyers like to preview a property casually at an open house before taking it more seriously. This is particularly the case with a house that has a defect, or one that isn't precisely what the buyers say they are looking for. For example, some buyers won't make an appointment to look at a house that's on a busy street or up a lot of stairs. But, if open, buyers who wouldn't commit to making an appointment will often stop by to take a look. Some buyers are surprised to find they actually like a house they thought wasn't worth considering.

Good houses that lack "curb appeal" are prime candidates for Sunday open houses. There are buyers who won't even consider a house that doesn't look smashing from the street. But, again, there's a chance they'll take a look inside if it's easy to drop by on a Sunday afternoon.

Security and the seller's comfort level
There are certainly good reasons not to have an open house. If you have a house full of irreplaceable valuables, you might want to forego a public open house. Even though it may mean losing a buyer or two, this might be a reasonable trade-off for your peace of mind.
A common complaint is that neighbors who are just curious will come through an open house. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Neighbors often know people who want to move into the neighborhood.