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What Is An Open House?

16 August 2021

What is an open house? How to do it, what should be considered? All the details are in the news we prepared for you..

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What Is an Open House?

An open house is literally an occasion when a school, institution, business is open to visitors for inspection and observation of activities. It allows free access to buildings or events normally not open to public.  A broad spectrum of businesses and institutions, like educational institutions, real estate agencies, the arts & crafts world, architectural offices etc. often hold open house events to introduce themselves and their work to the public.

In real estate terminology it refers to a house available for inspection by prospective buyers within a scheduled time frame. The broker prepares the house with its owners for the presentation to prospective buyers. Often brokers are “staging” the property with the support of professional staging companies to achieve an appealing look of the property rather than showcasing an owners personal taste. Usually, owners vacate the property when the broker holds an open house.

An open house is a great, low-pressure way to show the house to potential buyers.

How Does an Open House Work?

The aim of an open house is to show the property to as many prospective buyers as possible at the same time. Interested buyers spend longer time at the house during these events, familiarizing themselves with the house and the surroundings than shorter one-on-one appointments with the agent.

Each house in a neighborhood will be different from others even when they are in the same compound, if you think about the exact location. Views can change, details of the specific house might be different from others, etc. During an open house, visitors are guided through the property by realtors or might leisurely walk through it by themselves. The important part is that they are able to get a feeling of how it would be to live in the house.

Usually open houses are held on weekends, particularly on Saturdays. Refreshments, coffee and nibbles are served at most of them.

Driving Traffic with Open Houses

According to statistics a percentage close to 12 % of invited prospective buyers visit open houses. The percentage of senior buyers are higher than younger buyers looking for a home. Foot traffic anticipated by setting up signs in the neighborhood is significantly lower. This goes against the common belief that an open house available to the public drives in more traffic. So why do real estate agents hold open house events requiring a lot of time and effort when most properties are listed online with detailed photos and information?

Although online listings reach more potential buyers in a shorter time, an open house will attract interested buyers which may lead to an immediate offer. The real estate agent’s work is easier when showing the house to a bunch of interested people at once instead of allocating time for one-on-one appointments. For house owners it is also easier to have the house prepared for one big occasion rather than having to tidy up and getting out of the way each time a prospective buyer will show up. Furthermore, the agent and the house owner will receive a lot of feedback about the house including the pricing which helps them to revise some issues.

The listing real estate agent will also most definitely make new useful contacts there, which could be utilized for other properties. Open houses can be seen not only as an opportunity to market the already listed open house, but as a source of finding buyers and sellers for the future.  There should always be a list ready, where visitors sign in with at least their full names, email, and phone number.

Open houses are prestigious events enhancing the profile of an agent and help in attracting more potential customers as well.

Open Houses Are Informational

An open house is not only an opportunity to attract prospective buyers to the property. If well executed it can generate excitement about the house, leading to an immediate offer. The advised timing of an open house event is usually the first weekend after the listing goes online. Therefore, possible amendments of the property should be discussed beforehand to allow the necessary time to make changes.

When prospective buyers visit the open house event they will talk about their perceptions of the property. Not receiving an offer immediately can be beneficial sometimes. The agent and the seller might get alerted by feedback to solve issues preventing the house from selling. Some of them are easily fixable to boost the selling potential, like painting in unattractive colors, more decluttering or rearrangement of furniture.

Open House for Brokers

A broker’s open house is held for real estate professionals only, usually midweek, when they are able to allocate more time than at weekends, where they are busy with their customer’s viewings. Buyers agents are invited to this event to collaborate on a prospective sale with the listing agent. Sometimes photos only don’t do justice to a property and seeing is believing. Often buyer’s agents are more inspired to make appointments for their clients after an open house. It is also a great opportunity to receive feedback from peers about the property and the price, to be discussed with owners should the need arise.

In its essence it is a marketing tool in addition to the online presence of the property; a special introduction to real estate professionals.


Staging is a method to showcase a home’s best assets aiming to impress buyers, and sell it quickly for the highest possible price.

Staging is different to decorating. Whereas decorating relies on personal taste, staging should appeal to a wide pool of buyers, similar to show houses set up at new developments.

A good staging increases offers between 1% and 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that aren’t staged. It makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home, which can lead to a faster sale.

In Summary 

“Open house” is one of marketing techniques to drive traffic to a home for sale. As it requires a lot of time and effort for preparation, the subject should be discussed with home owners whether this marketing tool is appropriate for their property.  It may not be worth the effort in some markets where buyers view homes first online with photographs, 360-degree virtual tours and videos before a personal appointment, but for selected properties it will be helpful for selling a house quickly.


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