If you are selling your home, you or your agent may decide to do an open house, which is a scheduled showing where anyone can come and see the home. And if you are in the market to buy the home, you may decide to attend an open house. Though open houses are a fairly easy way for people to see a house that's for sale, there are some drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of open houses.


Pro: They Give Your House Exposure

One of the benefits of having an open house it that it can give your house exposure to a wide range of potential buyers, although the effect is less than it used to be now that people can see just about any house they want on the internet. An open house may attract people who are on the fence or who are looking for a home but who don't know how to get started in the process.


Con: They May Not Attract the People You Want

While an open house can attract a lot of people to see your home, it may not bring in very many serious buyers. Open houses often attract people who live in the area who want to see the inside of the home. It also may attract people who are looking to sell a similar home and want to see the condition of the home compared with the price. Actual potential buyers who come to your open house may not be qualified to get a loan for the price you are asking.


Pro: More Convenient Than Showings

Another benefit of having an open house is that it is a lot more convenient than a showing by appointment. Open houses usually are scheduled at least a week in advance, which gives you plenty of time to ensure the home is clean and to make arrangements for where you will spend the time and what you will do with any pets you may have. Appointments, on the other hand, often don't even offer you 24 hours notice.


Con: They Can Be Security Risks

During an open house, you may have 10 or more people walking through your house at the same time, which makes it difficult for your real estate agent to keep an eye on them at all times. That can present a security risk. Thieves often target open houses as an opportunity to steal valuable items or prescription drugs. If you do have an open house, make sure to secure these items.


Pro: They Are a Good Option When Selling on Your Own

If you are selling your home on your own, an open house may be the best way to get your house seen. Most Multiple Listing Services do not allow for-sale-by-owner homes, and though posting on social media can help you get exposure, an open house may still be your best bet to have people physically see your home.


Con: May Be More For Your Realtor Than You

Open houses these days often act more as a recruiting tool for your real estate agent than a way to get your home sold. Agents often wind up picking up additional clients from open houses, which may mean they are not fully engaged in trying to sell your home.


These are a few of the positives and negatives to having an open house. You should evaluate them and talk to your agent to decide whether an open house is right for you.

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