Open Houses

For my final post, for the semester at least, I find it appropriate to delve into the world of real estate open houses. It is appropriate, and my be well over due, because of the slogan of this website, “an open house of real estate.”For those of you already in the industry, this may seem like a silly question. But my less experienced viewership may have questions of these events entail.

So what exactly is an open house? It isn’t when mom and dad go out of town and a half of the senior class comes over. It is an event held by real estate agents and salespeople across the country. Some people think they are beneficial, others do not. Regardless we will explore them in great depth.


There are two kinds of open houses, open houses for potential buyers, and broker’s open houses, also known as, “broker’s opens.” Regular open houses are intended to help people in the market of buying homes to tour homes that are for sale. Of course they can do this with their agent on an appointment, but open houses allow for a relaxed atmosphere where buyers can attend by themselves.

There are several different people who attend open houses. Brendan Desimone, of Zillow, illustrated these very kind of people in his article. It is no secret that most people that attend these functions are newsy neighbors. I admit that I have gone through… many open houses with absolutely no intention of purchasing it. People like me, simply enjoy touring houses, comparing it to others, and just taking it all in. Agents know that when they hold open houses. But just as much as the goal of an open house is to sell a house, there is another item on agent’s agenda that you may not have thought about before.

Of course there are some people that attend open houses that are looking to buy a home. If you are one of these proud and few, make sure to take a few few tips from Virginia McGuire on, ” Top 10 Questions to Ask During at Open House.” Often agents will have anyone who comes to an open house, “sign-in,” with their name, email address, or maybe a phone number. The purpose of this may be to show to owner of the home how many people came through, but it is also for the agent to acquire more clients. In this business you have to sell houses, and before you can do that you must sell yourself. Those nosey neighbors may not buy the house you are standing in, but make a connection with them and maybe a year or two from now they will use you to buy their 1.5 million dollar mansion, and refer you to three of their friends. You never know right? Agents have an agenda for sure. You may be able to see what it is by seeing what kind of questions that ask you. Chrystal Carethers of wrote a fantastic article about 6 questions agents may ask people at an open house, and what they really mean.


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Some agents with a plethora of listings even let other agents have open houses in their own listings. This is a, “win-win,” situation where the listing agent gets people through the home, making the owner happy. On the other end, the non-listing agent holding the open house has the opportunity to attract new buyers. While open houses may seem obsolete with the increasing technological advances in listings, nothing in my opinion can beat the face to face interaction with the public in order to market yourself.

The other kind of open house that exists is, as previously noted, a “broker’s open.” These open houses are for real estate agents and salespersons and have a different vibe than regular open houses. The goal of these events are to get agents in the house to decide whether or not the property would be a good fit for one of their clients.

What also is done at these broker’s opens is discussion of the market, and chatter of whether or not individuals think the house is priced correctly. Information is shared about listings agents might have, potential buyers, and other relevant information that all fall under the umbrella of networking. Broker’s opens are great networking opportunities. Breakfast or lunch is often served at broker’s opens which makes viewing a house more of an experience than a part of work.

Want to find an open house near you? Zillow has a great user-friendly search tool that allows you to type in an address or zip code and open houses magically appear. Click here to explore more.

So next time you go to an open house of real estate, try to see what else is going on beyond the granite counter tops and hardwood flooring. Don’t forget to be respectful of the home and take a few tips from Annalisa Burgos of HGTV in her recent article, ” A Buyers Guide to Open House Etiquette.”  If you are an agent, what makes your open houses different than the rest? Let us know because just as your open houses are open, so is this blog.



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