Pros and Cons of the Open House

May 3, 2011

Open houses have been traditionally held to introduce a home listing to buyers and gain exposure. The open house allows many people to view the home in one afternoon.  There are pros and cons to holding an open house.


• An open house attracts buyer’s attention.

• A person walking or driving by may become a potential buyer.

• A neighbour considering moving to a larger or smaller home, may prefer to stay in their neighbourhood. An open house gives them an opportunity to visit without any pressure.

• Open houses are often advertised in a loca
l newspaper or online. This brings potential buyers.

• Some buyers prefer to visit a number of open houses on a weekend, instead of having their agent make appointments.

• A potential buyer, who hasn’t yet decided to contact an agent, may be swayed by the opportunity of an open house.

• An open house can give the agent and buyer an indication of the market in the neighbourhood.


• Most homes are not sold through open houses.

• Curious neighbours and other people who are not serious buyers will waste your agent’s time. Nosy neighbours poke around your house because they want to see your décor, compare your house to theirs, or learn your selling price.

• Many people would rather book an appointment time that is convenient for them.

• Buyers want personal service and don’t want to share the agent’s attention with other people.

• Safety can be a concern if an open house is busy and an agent is unable to keep an eye on everyone. Thefts have occurred in some instances.

• An open house can last for an afternoon.  Sellers who wish to relax at home on a weekend, will have to leave and take any pets with them.

• Groups of people traipsing in and out can track mud into the house.

• Some people treat open houses as a form of recreation, bringing the family and  eating the real estate agent’s cookies.

• The weather may not cooperate. People will not show up for an open house if  there is inclement weather. In winter, this can be a real problem in Toronto.

• If there are no visitors, a seller can become worried or stressed.



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