DEFINITION of 'Open House'

An open house is a scheduled period of time in which a house or other dwelling is designated to be open for viewing by potential buyers. The term open house can also refer to the real estate property itself; in either case, it applies to dwellings that are for sale by the owner. They are often held to advertise a newly developed community.

BREAKING DOWN 'Open House'

Many open houses occur on weekends, with banners and other fanfare used for advertisement. Owners keep the houses clean and immaculate during this time, to attract potential buyers. Some owners or agents also serve cocktails or hors d'oeuvres at these events.

Benefits of Open Houses

For people trying to sell their homes, an open house provides an opportunity to attract interested buyers to the property. A well-executed event can generate excitement about the home and potentially lead to an offer. Many realtors advise their clients to hold an open house the first weekend after the property goes up for sale.

Even if the event does not snag a buyer, an open house can still be beneficial. As visitors walk through the home, they are likely to discuss their perceptions of the home. This feedback can alert the realtor to issues that might be preventing the house from selling. Unattractive paint colors, for example, can be an easy fix that can boost a home's selling potential.

Broker's Open House

In contrast to a traditional open house, which is open to the public, a broker's open house is strictly for real estate professionals. The intention of a broker's open house is to give real estate agents an opportunity to view the property. It also allows the seller's realtor to solicit professional opinions from peers about the property and its price. In many cases, the broker's open house encourages buyer's agents to schedule a showing for their clients.

Arguments Against Open Houses

For some sellers, an open house entails more effort than it is worth. During the event, the property owner must leave the property to give the realtor free rein. This means making alternate arrangements for children and pets. Owners also need to remove personal items such as photographs that can prevent prospective buyers from imagining themselves in the home. Due to safety concerns, some sellers are also hesitant to have groups of strangers walking through their homes.

With the advent of the Internet, most properties are listed on the Web before the first open house is even scheduled. Home seekers can view photos and information about the property's condition on a website, allowing homeowners to cast a much wider net for potential buyers. For some sellers, this can make open houses seem obsolete.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Broker's Open House

    An event designed to showcase one's home for sale to other real ...
  2. Real Estate Agent

    A person with a state/provincial license to represent a buyer ...
  3. Property Management

    The administration of residential, commercial and/or industrial ...
  4. Listing Agreement

    A document in which a property owner (as principal) contracts ...
  5. Buyer's Market

    A situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers ...
  6. Soft Market

    A market that has more potential sellers than buyers. A soft ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    5 Ways an Open House Can Actually Hurt Your Home Sale

    They may be more trouble than they're worth.
  2. Investing

    A Broker's Open House Can Help You Sell Your Home

    This special type of open house can provide targeted marketing and yield expert advice.
  3. Investing

    6 Ways To Make Your Home More Enticing To Buyers

    The real estate market is on the recovery, and there are ways you can ensure your home sells faster and for the price you want.
  4. Investing

    Closing A Real Estate Deal In A Down Market

    We provide top tips on how to help sell your home in a rough market.
  5. Investing

    How Real Estate Agents Sell Their Homes For More

    A well-publicized statistic finds that when real estate agents sell their own homes, they tend to get a higher price. But why?
  6. Managing Wealth

    8 Reasons Not to Sell Your Home Without An Agent

    Is saving the seller's side of the agent's commission worth the trouble of selling your home without one? Why it could cost you more in the end.
  7. Managing Wealth

    The Best Day and Month to List Your Home

    Want to make a quicker sale? Get your house on the market this spring and pick the perfect day of the week to attract buyers.
  8. Investing

    Selling Your House? Avoid These Mistakes

    Don't put the sale of your home at risk by committing one of these dirty deeds.
  9. Investing

    Buying A House Sight Unseen: Good Deal Or Bad Mistake?

    There are significant risks that need to be acknowledged before buying a home without viewing it in person.
  10. Investing

    10 Tips for Getting a Fair Price on a Home

    When the housing market booms, it's tougher than ever to get a good price. Make sure the house you choose is worth the price you pay.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the law of supply and demand affect the housing market?

    Learn about the law of supply and demand, the relationship between supply and demand and how the law of supply and demand ... Read Answer >>
  2. Do real estate agents get paid hourly or by salary?

    Learn about real estate commissions and how real estate agents, including listing agents, buyer's agents and real estate ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Money Market

    A segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities are traded. ...
  2. Block (Bitcoin Block)

    Blocks are files where data pertaining to the Bitcoin network is permanently recorded.
  3. Fintech

    Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century.
  4. Ex-Dividend

    A classification of trading shares when a declared dividend belongs to the seller rather than the buyer. A stock will be ...
  5. Debt Security

    Any debt instrument that can be bought or sold between two parties and has basic terms defined, such as notional amount (amount ...
  6. Taxable Income

    Taxable income is described as gross income or adjusted gross income minus any deductions, exemptions or other adjustments ...
Trading Center