Should You Host an Open House? The Pros and Cons

Real Estate Agent with RealMax Realty

For quite some time now, open houses have been part and parcel of the home-selling process. Whether the homeowner does it on their own or engages a professional, the open house is a popular tactic to showcase the property.

There are many advantages to hosting an open house, and we shall visit them in this article. However, there are some pitfalls which range from mildly inconvenient to potential concerns. If you are considering listing your house for sale in Oshawa or any other Canadian town, this blog is for you.

As a homeowner, it's important to weigh the pros and cons to decide if this approach fits your selling strategy. As you know, an open house is a planned event where potential buyers can come and view your home without needing an appointment. 

Let us look at both sides of the equation from your perspective.

Why You Should Host an Open House

Increased Exposure

One of the biggest advantages of an open house is the increased exposure, including walk-ins. 

An open house invites a wider audience, especially if it looks neat and inviting. Casual lookers, neighbours, and even people driving by can just pop in, increasing the chances of finding an interested buyer.

Convenience for Potential Buyers

Open houses are typically scheduled on weekends when people have more free time. 

This convenience attracts potential buyers who don’t have to arrange a special time for a formal viewing. This relaxed setting can make them more comfortable about considering your property.

Creating a Buzz

An open house creates a sense of urgency and hype around your property. 

Seeing multiple interested parties can encourage some buyers to act quickly due to FOMO. This competitive atmosphere can potentially lead to faster offers or even bidding wars, increasing your final sale price.

Immediate Feedback

Hosting an open house gets you immediate feedback from visitors, giving you a better picture of your home’s potential value. 

You learn what buyers like and don’t like about the property. If you hear consistent feedback about a particular issue, you can consider making changes to improve your home’s appeal.

Showcasing Unique Features

An open house is a great opportunity to highlight the unique features of your home that might not be apparent in virtual tours or photos. 

Potential buyers can experience the ambiance, lighting, and layout firsthand, which can change their perception of the property. Being present at the location allows them to imagine themselves living there, a big plus point for decision-making.

And Why You Should Be Wary When Hosting an Open House

But everything is not roses when hosting an Open House. As the homeowner, you need to be aware of what may not go your way.

Security Concerns

A primary concern for homeowners is security. 

An open house means allowing strangers into your home and running the risk of theft or damage. It is not feasible to keep an eagle eye on every visitor all the time when they are touring your home.

It is in your best interest to take precautions. Hide personal keepsakes and valuables, secure all personal information and documentation, and get someone to help monitor the visitors.

Non-Serious Visitors

Though Open houses can attract a lot of foot traffic, not all visitors are serious buyers, potentially wasting time and effort.

A good chunk of the attendees will be there out of curiosity, such as neighbours wanting to see your home or looking for decorating ideas. Since an open house is not the right place to ask for or verify financial information, you cannot be sure of how many are actually able to afford your property.

Time and Effort

Preparing for an open house requires costs, time and effort, more than is readily apparent. 

You’ll need to deep clean and stage your home to make it as appealing as possible. This will involve decluttering and rearranging furniture, to say the least. Both from the security and staging perspectives, you will need to carefully store away all your valuables and personal knickknacks. Invest in some temporary storage solutions to help you stash them.

Homeowners need to be prepared for accidental spills, scratches, or breakages. You will need to be mindful of and arrange parking spaces for the visitors.

Additionally, you cannot be in the home while the Open house is underway. This means making alternate arrangements for the day, especially for older adults, children and pets. Not only is this inconvenient, but it may also be expensive. 

Lack of Personalization

During an open house, you won’t have the opportunity to personalize each potential buyer's viewing experience. You will need to walk a fine line between opening up your cards to everyone who walks in and sharing enough information that they don’t lose interest.

Though more labour and time-intensive, private showings allow you to tailor tours to the specific interests and needs of individual buyers, making a stronger impression. 

Market Perception

Sometimes, an open house can give the impression that the home isn’t selling through other methods. 

If a property has multiple open houses without selling, it could signal that there’s something undesirable about the home, even if that’s not the case.

Open Your Home

Deciding whether to host an open house involves carefully considering your needs, advantages and drawbacks. 

On the positive side, open houses can increase exposure, create a buzz and showcase your home’s unique features. However, security concerns, the inconveniences and the time involved can be a little too much to handle.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on your comfort level, the specific characteristics of your property, and the advice of your real estate agent. If done right by an experienced real estate brokerage such as Save Max, an open house can be a powerful tool, helping you find the right buyer more quickly and efficiently.

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

For a nice home like in your picture and a home that is not filled with the current owners lifetime of possessions, I say YES! Jeff

Jun 14, 2024 09:42 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hello Hugh... I'm not a big believer in open houses... and for years most of my clients have actually asked not to have them. Security issues are always top of mind.

Jun 15, 2024 12:38 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Jun 17, 2024 04:17 AM