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Ask A Realtor: How Does Holding an Open House Help the Seller?

“As a seller, how does holding an open house help me?”

You’d be surprised how often the question gets asked by owners who are about to list or have just have listed their homes. Like, really surprised.

Because the answer as to why a seller would want to host an open house should seem pretty straightforward, no?

That’s because open houses get attention. Period. Ads go in the papers (old school), online (new school), signs are placed around the neighbourhood, people start to talk, new traffic comes in and out… All that jazz. It’s exposure.

Sounds perfect, right? In fact, maybe the question then should focus on why NOT have an open house?

But here’s the straight truth: Homes don’t sell directly through open houses nearly as frequently as you may think. Open houses also rarely lead to a higher price or a quicker sale.

Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of today’s listings hit MLS and get posted on a variety of websites before you even have to open the door to anyone. And if your home (especially a detached) is anything but a dud and it’s priced right in a hot market, it seems likely sell within days regardless.

Hell, this is Toronto. Where month after month, all housing prices seem to do is rise because of the scorching demand. Which means that even if your home is a big-time fixer upper, it could very well still incite a bidding war. That’s how it goes in a seller’s market

So, when reassessing the question in light of all that, you may now completely reconsider the necessity of having an open house.

After all, as a homeowner, why agree to be booted out of your house for the afternoon—on both days of the weekend, most likely—just to have the welcome mat rolled out to a bunch of strangers? Remember, you don’t even know if any of them are even qualified yet. And who wants people walking through their home who cannot afford to buy it?

You’re in a hot market with good product, it’ll sell anyways, right? And for that matter, why should you care about your agent generating new leads, which is probably one of the main reasons he or she remains so keen to host as many open houses as possible for you?

All strong points to chew on. But first, perhaps you should consider the idea that open houses can do something a little extra.

  • Consider that an open house might prompt you, as the owner, to get your place in tip-top shape for weeknight showings, which is a big win for everybody involved.
  • Consider that an open house might function as a realistic trial run for those showings.
  • Consider that an open house might grant you an ‘ear to the street’ as it were in pertaining to where the market is really at, straight from those making the purchases which fuel it.
  • Consider that an open house might be a clear-cut way for you to see agents doing something to earn their commissions.

In fact, consider all sorts of things you may normally have overlooked. Ultimately, an open house can deliver way more than any seller may originally expect.

*Hero image via allthingsrealestatestore.com.