Do Open Houses Help Sell a Home?

Sep 29, 2022
5 min

While technology has changed a lot in the real estate industry, open houses are one of the most popular “traditional” tactics that real estate agents use to sell homes. 

But does hosting an open house and having strangers walk through actually help sell the house? Well, that depends.

What is an Open House?

An open house is a publicly marketed event hosted by a real estate agent that allows prospective buyers and their agents to tour the home during set hours. 

Agents will often host these on the weekends, and they’ll last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. During that time, the agent will show people around the house, answer any questions and hopefully, find a buyer for the house. 

How Do Open Houses Work?

When you get ready to list a property, the agent and the seller will discuss ways to market the property to get the most exposure. 

Once the seller agrees to allow the agent to host an open house, the agent can begin marketing it to their network and sharing publicly. 

They can also include it in the MLS description of the property, so other agents are notified that an open house will be held. If the open house is entered officially on the MLS, it will also show up as an upcoming event on sites like Zillow, Redfin, and

On the day of the open house, it’s strongly recommended that the seller of the property is not present. This will prevent any awkward scenarios where the potential buyer meets the current owner. 

Once the owner has left the property, the agent will stay at the house and greet any visitors or agents that attend. 

Usually, you can expect a wide variety of people attending, ranging from neighbors, real estate agents, home buyers that are starting to look, or sellers in the area who want to look at comparable homes. 

As a buyer, when you visit an open house, you’ll be asked to likely sign in and share some information with the listing agent. This can help the agent determine if you’re already working with an agent or might be looking to hire an agent to help in your home search. As a newly licensed agent, hosting open houses can be a great way to generate buyer leads. 

Do Open Houses Help Sell Homes?

There are a lot of benefits to having an open house, and when done correctly, they can generate a lot of interest in the property. 

It’s hard to exactly attribute the percentage of homes that sell from an open house, but it can be an effective tool to gauge interest and get more eyes on the property. 

While most sellers start their home search online, they will need to see the home in person to make a final decision. 

Having an open house to welcome prospective buyers is often a much more relaxed and less formal way to view a house instead of scheduling a formal showing. 

It also is more convenient, allowing buyers to visit several open houses throughout the course of the weekend. 

While touring, they can ask questions, visualize themselves in the space and get an idea of whether the house is a good fit for them. 

According to a 2018 Zillow study,  72 percent of sellers in urban areas host open houses, 63 percent in suburban areas, and 42 percent in rural areas. 

Depending on your seller’s situation or the home's condition, it might not always be in their best interest to have an open house. 

Make sure you weigh the pros and cons with your seller to ensure everyone is on the same page.

What is the Difference Between Open House and Broker’s Open?

If you want to get additional traffic to your property without opening the door to the public, hosting a broker’s open might be a better fit. 

At a broker’s open, only other licensed agents or brokers can attend, providing a more intimate and exclusive setting for agents to preview the property. 

From there, they can consider whether they have a client who might be interested in viewing it. 

Are Broker Opens Better than Open Houses?

Depending on the property, your seller’s wishes, and your local market, a broker open could be a better fit for you. 

While they’re not necessarily any better than an open house, they accomplish the goal of getting additional traffic to the house from professional real estate experts. 

This can give you, the seller’s agent, great feedback about the home and the opportunity to network with other agents. 

A broker open is a great way to provide your client feedback from other industry professionals.

How Do Private Showings Work?

If, ultimately, your seller isn’t comfortable having strangers come through their house en masse, you will have to conduct private showings with potential buyers. 

This is when prospective buyers and their agent will schedule a time to view the home without other buyers or the current owner present. 

Most serious buyers will plan a private showing where they can have the house to themselves and ask the seller's agent specific questions. 

Should You Advise Your Client to Have an Open House?

At the end of the day, hosting an open house is an individualized decision you and your client should discuss. While there are plenty of benefits, there are certain situations where it might not make sense:

  • If the house is not in great condition or is cluttered - Sometimes, when the buyer still lives in the house, it can be a disadvantage to have prospective buyers walk through. 
  • If the seller wants to maintain privacy - Having strangers walk through your house can be unnerving for sellers. 
  • If you’re concerned about safety - Open houses can invite thieves or criminals to walk into your house. 

Ultimately, it’s up to the seller whether they feel comfortable with an open house. Make sure you walk your clients through all the pros and cons so they can make an informed decision that works best for them.

TL;DR: Although open houses have a small chance to selling a home, it is a fantastic way for real estate agents to connect with prospective home buyers. In which case, open houses serve as great lead generating plans.

Sep 29, 2022
How To
5 min