There are certainly arguments to be made on both sides of the open house debate. For some sellers, hosting an open house is a great decision. It’s worth considering the cons of an open house, too, to help you decide if it’s the right route for you to take as you work with your realtor to sell your home.
Here are some reasons you might want to pass on an open house:
- There’s a better chance your home will sell as the result of a traditional private showing. The majority of homes are sold when a buyer is working with a realtor and requests an appointment to tour your home privately. It’s more likely these standard showings will result in a sale than an open house. (That said, an open house may lead to a buyer following up to request a traditional showing!)
- Open houses sometimes attract unqualified buyers. When someone looks at your home, you ideally want them to already have a mortgage pre-approval so they know whether they can afford your home. This pre-approval helps them know their actual home buying budget, but also puts them in the active buyer mindset. Many people who attend open houses are in the very early stages of considering a home purchase, and may not have gone through the pre-approval step yet.
- It can turn into a neighborhood show and tell. It’s extremely likely that some open house attendees will be neighbors who have no intention of buying your home — or any other home — any time soon. Instead, they may just be attending so they have a chance to see how their home compares to yours, to get decorating tips, etc.
- You may open your home up to security issues. Potential thieves may use open houses to scope out a home. They’ll check to see what valuables might be present, as well as what security systems are in place in the event they want to try to come back later. (With that in mind, make sure your valuables — things that are easy to pocket, like jewelry but also things like prescription drugs, in particular — aren’t in your home should you host an open house.)