If you're like me, you love watching HGTV and similar shows where they
fix up a home to sell. They work frantically to get it in shape for the
all important Open House. The show culminates with scenes of buyers
walking in and their responses to the house and it all finishes up with
the results of the sale.
The whole thing is rapped up in an hour or so. You're left with the
belief that the Open House is the most important aspect of getting the
In my opinion, the more you know, the better your decisions and
I've held many open houses in my career and will continue to do so.
I've even sold a few of my listings that way. It doesn't happen often,
though. You see, the person who benefits most from open house is the
Realtor holding it. First, the open house signs are free advertising on
every possible corner of the neighborhoods where the agent is trying to
attract buyers and sellers. This assists in "name recognition" for the
agent. Secondly, where else can a Realtor attract people who are already
ready or considering buying and selling in their specific area without
spending hundreds of dollars on print, mail campaigns, door hangers and
internet advertising? Realtors are each running and financing their own
Real Estate business (even though they work under the umbrella of a Real
Estate Company), so this is big. The only other, less productive,
opportunity for an agent is to volunteer to answer the office phones in
hopes of a buyer/seller calling in who doesn't already have an agent.
Thirdly, since most sellers are unaware of the previous reasons, holding
open houses are one way for agents to demonstrate to their seller (and
potential) clients that they are "going the extra mile".
As a seller, I wouldn't discourage you from allowing your agent or
their associate to hold an open house. There are times when your buyer
will come that way. Just make sure that all of your valuables are out of
sight and that buyers will find a clean well maintained home when they
come. When on the market, the more ways your home gets exposure to
potential buyers, the better.