Open Houses, To Have or Have Not

There has always been controversy about the value of holding an open house for sellers. The age old argument that open houses really only benefit the agent is one that often gets a lot of attention. A recent article by Mark Weisleder in the Toronto Star summed up the pros and cons of holding an open house. At the end of the day, it seems that an open house is one more tool that could potentially lead to a buyer for your home.

Mark points out first that there are two kinds of open houses: the first is limited to real estate agents and the second is open to the general public. The first kind is often highly beneficial as other real estate agents may already have buyers looking for a home like yours. In addition, feedback about pricing etc..., is often provided after these opens.

The open house that is open to the general public is usually where the controversy lies. People worry that nosy neighbours, and insincere buyers will waste the time and energy you put in to preparing your home for an open. Although that is definitely a risk, open houses do ensure that the maximum number of potential buyers, in a short amount of time will get a chance to see your home.

Mark provides some tips if you do decide to hold a public open house:

  • Ensure that you are not home during the open house, as this allows buyers to feel more comfortable and avoids you giving too much information that could potentially weaken your negotiating power
  • Have your Agent be there the entire time
  • To avoid criminal behaviour, have your agent bring an assistant so that nobody goes unwatched
  • Have your agent ensure that all windows and doors are locked when they leave
  • Remove all valuables or store them in a safe
  • Keep personal information and records out of sight
  • Take pictures of each room before the open so that you can compare after

At the end of the day, open houses only provide more exposure for your home. It only takes one person to be the right buyer for your home. Whatever decision you make, ensure that you are properly prepared for an open house.

For any real estate assistance in the Oakville, Burlington, Milton area contact Mary at  


Mary O'Brien

Mary O'Brien

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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