It's Really Time to Ditch Open Houses

Real Estate Agent with Bill Cherry, Realtor 0124242


For decades, we've known that maverick Open Houses have done little to sell homes, and that they are dangerous to the agent and to the property of the homeowner.


I often wonder if lawsuits have entered the picture, filed by homeowners who suffered home damage, personal injury or thievery of personal property.


How many agents have been injured at an open house, and have filed liability claims against the homeowner?


We are all aware that a number of agents have been seriously injured or murdered by a "visitor" at a Saturday or Sunday Open House.


NAR and state associations have taken a firm stand on the practice, suggesting that Open Houses as we know them today, should be discontinued.


Still many agents continue to feel the demand of their listing clients that they include an Open House or so during the listing period.  The agents acquiesce.


If we insist on continuing this dangerous practice, we should at least have protection from those who come, and who, in most cases, we know nothing about.


What would happen if the NAR, local associations, and broker-owners were to require that the agent have a policeman or security guard present at all Open Houses?


Owners who want an Open House would be charged with the security fee.


In my own case, I have held many, many Open Houses over the past 50 years, and, at least in my case, only one has resulted in my selling that house to someone who visited.


Of course, I've learned  of qualified prospects from the Open House, and have sold them other homes.


But that did nothing to benefit my listing clients.


Actually, I'm for ditching the whole Open House idea. But in lieu of that, NAR should require that the listing client take responsibility for our safety and the safety of his property if we are to use that marketing process.  That should be a written contract.



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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Bill... I am so with you on this topic. And if more agents stood up to the notion of abandoning open houses, maybe sellers would stop asking for them.

May 29, 2017 03:16 AM #1
John F Muscarella
Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast

Agree with Bill,  now if we could just have homeowners get on board.  I did just have a client who did not want any open houses - a first for me.

May 29, 2017 06:43 AM #2
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

I must respectfully disagree with your opinion here. I do sell on average 25+% of my listings held open and in most cases as a transactional agent. Visitors to a home can get injured whether during a open house or during a private showing and that is why owners carry liability insurance. And, if the home has a dangerous condition, we would alert the seller to that danger as part of our fiduciary duty.

No; we will continue to hold Open House Events.

May 29, 2017 07:53 AM #3
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Open houses do produce very few closings and definitely can be dangerous for agents.  An alternative to open houses is providing great virtual demos and scheduled appointments for tours of the homes.

May 30, 2017 04:33 AM #4
anuj pandit
dell - Absecon, NJ
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anuj and pandit Owners who want an Open House would be charged with the security fee.


Jul 01, 2017 09:26 PM #5
prachi sharma

Owners who want an Open House would be charged with the security fee.

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Jul 05, 2017 02:26 AM #6
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