What is an open house?

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on Saturday, December 20th, 2014 at 11:27am.

An open house is a set day where anyone can walk into your home and have a look at it, with or without a real estate agent. Setting up home viewing appointments for homes you are interested in buying can be a pain, depending on your schedule. At the same time, for those selling a home, it can be difficult having to vacate your home multiple times a week so that potential buyers can have a walk through with their agent. By setting up an open house, you can potentially get a lot of foot traffic through the home you are selling, without the formal home showings. This also provides an opportunity for buyers who have yet to select a realtor to represent them.

The downside

There is no guarantee that anyone will show up for your open house, despite advertising. Open houses are hit and miss, sometimes you get lucky and a lot of people come, other times, it can be a ghost town. If your open house is unsuccessful, you may need to plan for a second one, and likely go back to doing regular showings too.

The upside

As a seller you only have to prepare your home to show standards once to please a variety of viewers – if people show up. If you do get a fair bit of traffic through the property, there is a good chance you can drum up an offer or two. As a buyer, an open house takes the pressure off, in one sense, because it’s a casual atmosphere. In another sense it can increase the pressure by creating a quickly developing bidding war.

When do open houses happen?

An open house is usually planned soon after a home hits the market for sale. This is a way of making the property known to local real estate agents, empowering them to mention it to their clients, and putting it on the radar for buyers who are actively looking for a home.

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