Sellers often have a strong idea of whether or not they would like us to hold their listing open on the weekends; however, sometimes, once we talk it through, they change that opinion.  As your agent, we will follow your dictates on this subject.  If you want us to hold an open house we will – and if you don’t, we won’t. We love holding houses open because it gives us the chance to interact with buyers and neighbors and make business contacts – and potentially meet new clients.  But an open house may or may not be the right thing for you.   In determining the right approach for your listing, here are the pros and cons.

PRO: potential buyers are out there!   On weekends, particularly Sunday afternoons, there are potential buyers who know that Sunday afternoons are “open house time” and will drive their chosen neighborhoods to see houses.

CON: those potential buyers are often “tire kickers”.  They are buyers who are not serious enough about buying a house to have an agent show them properties.  Some of them DO have agents, but if they were serious about the neighborhood and your property, they would have their agent show them the house.  In other words, a serious buyer would likely see your listing whether it was held open or not.

PRO *AND* CON:  when we hold your house “open” with open house signs and balloons, the public is invited.  The public may and probably will include noisy neighbors who want to see what your house looks like and what you are asking for it, but who have no interest in purchasing it.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, because often your neighbors are your best advocates.  If they love the home, they will tell their friends about it – and sometimes it’s the neighbor’s friend who ends up buying the house.

CON: The public may potentially include more nefarious characters as well (true “cons”), who prowl open houses looking for loot.  That is why no matter what, we ask sellers to put all valuables under lock and key, including all personal information that could be used for identity theft.  This is why higher end properties are less likely to be held “open”, particularly if there are valuables in the home that can not be adequately protected.

PRO: if a buyer is seeing your home for the first time at an open house, they are seeing it at its absolute best.   Assuming your agent has guided you correctly, you have cleaned it thoroughly and staged it perfectly.  All the lights will be on, fresh flowers on the table, and perhaps even the smell of chocolate chip cookies wafting from the kitchen.

PRO: while a serious buyer will likely see your home whether or not it is open on the weekend, that is not always the case.  Sometimes a buyer who would not otherwise be considering the house – either because it is slightly out of their price range or is in a neighborhood that they had not considered before.

PRO: when we advertise your open house in all the many places we advertise (including Ga. Open, MLS, Trulia, Zillow, Facebook and Twitter) it not only advertises the open house, it gives new exposure to your listing in general.

So as you see, generally speaking the pros of an open house outweigh the cons.