Selling a home is not an easy task. From the listing process to getting offers to passing the keys to the new owner, the entire process can be time-consuming. Luckily, there are various ways to attract property buyers such as an open house.

If you are listing your home for sale, you might have come across the option of hosting an open house. One of the questions that new home sellers ask is “what is an open house?” For a long period, open houses have been a tried and tested marketing tool for selling a home. Just like any other marketing technique, an open house does not guarantee that the property will sell faster, despite the increased exposure. It is important to understand what an open house is and any pros and cons tied to the marketing technique when listing a home for sale.

What does an open house mean?

An open house is a scheduled time when a home is designated for viewing by potential buyers. The renters or homeowners are recommended to vacate during the period that the house is open. 

How does an open house work?

You may have wondered: “what is an open house in real estate and how does it work?” 

During an open house, a selling agent is typically present to allow buyers to enter the property and view all structures and amenities. They can either be guided by a realtor or walk into the property themselves. 

Interested buyers can take their time looking at the home and the surrounding features. Usually, an open house takes place over a few hours to give interested individuals time to drop by.

During an open house, homeowners keep the house organized and clean to attract buyers, with some even serving refreshments.

What are the pros of an open house?

  • More exposure to buyers

An open house increases the exposure of the listed house to interested buyers. In combination with other marketing efforts such as passing out flyers and door-to-door marketing, the chances of getting a suitable buyer are even higher. 

  • It is open to a larger audience

Open houses are not only open to potential buyers. In most cases, brokers and agents also get a chance to take a look at the property listing. An open house is a great way to increase the audience since neighbours in the community can share news about the open house with friends and family. The more people that get to attend the open house, the higher the chances of finding a serious, interested, and qualified property buyer.

  • Convenience

The convenience that comes with an open house is unmatched. While some may prefer a pre-booked property viewing, an open house attracts even those buyers who were just walking down the street. And who knows? They could end up being the property buyers! Open houses encourage anyone to stop by, take a look and pass on information about the property.

  • Allows buyers to check out homes for themselves

Even with modern technology, nothing beats browsing a home in person. You get to see everything about the property in detail without pressure. Also, the listing agent is always around to answer any queries that potential buyers have about the property.

What are the cons of an open house?

  • Security concerns

This is one of the main concerns of hosting an open house. The idea behind an open house is opening a private home to strangers in the hopes that they will like the property and purchase it. While this may attract serious buyers, it can also attract people with ulterior motives. 

Theft, vandalism, and break-ins are some of the issues that may prevail after or during the open house. This is why homeowners who are hosting an open house are advised to ensure that high-quality items and valuables are safely stored away. 

  • Can attract unqualified individuals

This is a major time-wasting concern. Open houses are open to anyone. As such, they attract unqualified individuals. Many people who attend an open house may want to see the property for fun, but at the end of the day, they are not serious about purchasing. 

  • An open house lowers the prospects of a sale

While an open house increases the exposure of a listing, it could lower the chances of a sale. For instance, a serious buyer who attends the open house may be distracted by other people especially if the place gets crowded. Working with pre-qualified buyers is the best way to ensure you work with pre-approved and qualified buyers.

What are the tips for a successful open house?

Now you can answer the question, “what is an open house?” So, here are some tips that will increase the chances of making a sale from an open house.

  • Make the listing tour-ready – A house that is in good shape opens up more prospects for a sale. No buyer will overlook any flaw. Simple things such as painting the front door, planting flowers, mowing the lawn, and undertaking any repairs increase the prospects for a sale.
  • Ensure the place is clean and free from clutter – This includes removing items from surfaces, tidying up closets, and giving the place a deep clean. Property viewers should not struggle to view any features.
  • Get the timing right – Hosting an open house is one thing. But getting the right timing to host it is another. A seller can only know the best time to host an open house by talking to brokers and agents. It’s better to wait and get the timing right than host an unsuccessful open house.
  • Have marketing materials conveniently placed – It is important to have all the necessary info conveniently placed. Vital things such as financing information, brochures, and any other information that a prospective buyer might need should not be difficult to access.