Do’s And Don’ts When Running An Open House On Your Own

Pros and Cons of Open Houses: How To Run One To Sell It Fast

Hosting an open house is an effective strategy for selling a home, blending tradition with modern marketing savvy. With 70% of home sellers embracing open houses to showcase their properties, this method holds significant weight in the real estate market.

Despite the rise of digital platforms, where most home buyers commence their journey online, the allure of experiencing a property in person remains unmatched.

This blog will explore the pros and cons of open houses and how they work, offering insights into how they serve as a crucial link between homeowners, real estate agents, and serious buyers.

Key Things To Know About Open Houses

An open house invites potential buyers and homeowners to connect, showcasing the home selling and buying process. Here are the key things to know about running an open house:

What Does “Open House” Mean?

An open house is a scheduled period when a home for sale is open for public viewing. Unlike private showings arranged for serious buyers, an open house allows anyone interested, from potential buyers to nosy neighbors, to walk through the property.

This event, hosted by a real estate agent or realtor, aims to attract a wide range of visitors, increasing the home’s visibility in the real estate market. It’s a chance for homeowners to showcase their property to prospective buyers without the pressure of scheduled appointments.

Open houses differ from private showings in that they offer a more laid-back, low-pressure environment for interested buyers to explore the home at their own pace.

How Do Open Houses Work?

So, how do open houses work? An open house is a strategic move in the home selling process, carefully orchestrated by real estate professionals to showcase properties to a wide audience.

Here is how it works:

  • Planning and Promotion: The real estate agent sets a date, and the event is advertised on social media, street signs, and real estate websites for visibility.
  • Preparing the Property: Homeowners clean, declutter, and stage the home, removing personal items and valuables to showcase the property’s best features.
  • Welcoming Visitors: On the day, the realtor greets visitors, offers tours and information in a relaxed environment, and encourages them to explore and ask questions.
  • Follow-Up: After the open house, the listing agent follows up with interested buyers, gauging their interest and answering any further questions.

Can Anyone Go To An Open House?

Yes, anyone can go to an open house. These events are designed to be open and accessible, inviting potential buyers, curious voyeurs, neighbors, and even those just considering entering the home-buying process.

Real estate agents and homeowners host open houses to attract a broad audience, from serious buyers to lookie-loos curious about the real estate market.

While the openness encourages more foot traffic, increasing the property’s visibility, it also means home sellers must be mindful of security issues, safeguarding valuables against unqualified buyers or those not intending to buy.

What Percentage Of Homes Sell From An Open House?

Recent findings reveal that open houses might not be the powerhouse selling tool they once were. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 7% of home buyers discovered their future home through an open house or yard sign.

In contrast, over half (51%) found their new dwelling online, which escalates to 61% among twenty-somethings. Despite 70% of home sellers utilizing open houses as a marketing strategy, the reality is that many attendees are not serious buyers.

Open houses serve more as a marketing plan and networking opportunity for real estate agents than a direct sales channel.

Are Open Houses Worth It?

In today’s digital era, the value of an open house can vary widely depending on factors like the property’s location, market conditions, and how it’s marketed. While the internet has certainly changed how home buyers search for their next place, open houses still have a place in the home-selling process for many.

However, it’s worth considering the alternative to sell your house for cash, especially if you’re looking for a quicker, more direct route without the uncertainties of open houses.

Here are some considerations to help you decide if an open house is right for you:

  • Do open houses work for your schedule?
  • Will you be able to keep your house safe and clean?
  • How does your asking sale price affect an open house?
  • How often will you need to hold open houses?
  • What will an open house Entail?
Do's and Don'ts When Running an Open House On Your Own

Pros Of Running An Open House

Exploring the pros and cons of open houses reveals their unique position in the real estate market. Open houses offer distinct advantages for homeowners looking to sell despite the digital age.

Here are the key benefits:

  • Attracts Early Buyers: Open houses can draw in potential and qualified buyers early in their home-buying process, potentially making your property the first and only one they consider seriously.
  • Increases Exposure: Hosting an open house significantly boosts your property’s visibility. Regardless of their buying stage, visitors may spread the word within their network, amplifying interest.
  • Low-Pressure Environment: Buyers appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of an open house. They can explore at their own pace, ask questions, or remain contemplative, leading to quicker decision-making.
  • Simplifies the Buying Process: Open houses make it easier for buyers to view homes, reducing the steps in arranging private showings.
  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Even if attendees don’t make an offer, they might know someone who’s looking, increasing your home’s marketability through word-of-mouth.

Cons Of Running An Open House

While open houses offer a unique opportunity to showcase your home to potential buyers, they come with downsides.

Here are the cons of an open house:

  • Risk of Unqualified Buyers: Open houses are accessible to everyone, which means you might get visitors who are just browsing, curious neighbors, or even unqualified buyers who haven’t secured financing yet.
  • Security Concerns: Inviting strangers into your home increases the risk of theft and vandalism. Valuables and personal items should be secured to mitigate these risks.
  • Effort vs. Reward: Preparing for an open house requires significant effort, from staging to cleaning. You’ll need to weigh whether the potential benefits justify this investment.
  • Limited Interaction with Serious Buyers: High traffic can make engaging meaningfully with serious buyers challenging. Your real estate agent may struggle to provide personalized attention to everyone, potentially overlooking interested parties.
  • Potential for Low Turnout: Despite the effort to organize an open house, there’s no guarantee of a high turnout. Factors like weather, competing events, or market conditions can affect attendance.

How To Correctly Run An Open House

Running an open house effectively is key to attracting serious buyers and making a great impression. Start with preparing your home to highlight its best features, ensuring it’s clean and decluttered.

Advertise the event widely using social media, street signs, and real estate websites. During the open house, be welcoming but allow prospective buyers to explore freely, creating a low-pressure environment.

Afterward, following up with interested buyers through your real estate agent is crucial. This can help gauge interest and potentially secure offers, making your open house a direct result in the home-selling process.

Mistakes To Avoid When Running An Open House

Avoiding common mistakes is crucial for a successful open house. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Don’t Ignore Odors: Cooking fish or washing laundry can leave lingering smells. Use neutralizers like Febreze, but avoid strong scents that hint at masking something.
  • Pets Should Be Elsewhere: Even if your pet is a charmer, keeping them away during the open house is best. Allergies or fear can turn potential buyers away.
  • Be Mindful of Ambient Sounds: Music or TV might seem welcoming but could suggest you’re hiding noise pollution or simply distracting visitors.
  • Sellers, Stay Away: Your presence can make prospective buyers uncomfortable. Let your real estate agent handle it.
  • Prepare Early: Rushing to clean at the last minute or blocking access to parts of your home can leave a bad impression. Ensure everything is accessible and tidy.

Do’s And Don’ts When Running An Open House

Running an open house effectively is key to connecting with potential buyers and making a lasting impression. Here are some dos and don’ts to help ensure your open house is a success:


  • Stage your home to highlight its best features.
  • Advertise the event across social media and local signage.
  • Secure valuables and personal items to avoid security risks.
  • Provide detailed property information to visitors one-on-one.
  • Follow up with attendees for feedback and interest.


  • Use strong fragrances or air fresheners.
  • Leave the premises to your realtor during the event.
  • Refrain from the home’s exterior and curb appeal.
  • Forget to consider the weather when planning.
  • Overlook minor repairs and cleanliness.


Lastly, as we have explored the significant pros and cons of open houses, it’s clear that preparation and strategy are critical. Armed with the right approach, you can confidently scale the home selling process, attracting serious buyers and making your open house a success.

If you’re facing challenges with a hard-to-sell property, remember Mill City Home Buyers, the most qualified cash home buyers in Minneapolis, are here to help. We specialize in providing solutions and offering support. We buy houses in Minneapolis and we buy houses in  St Paul, MN too.Don’t let property problems hold you back. Reach out to sell your house in 5 days.


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