Do Sellers need Open Homes.... and Why Agents Conduct them? (Jaimie Juriansz, Principal)

When selling a house it is natural to want buyers to come through and inspect the home. So, on the surface, having an Open House would appear to make sense.

Every weekend a number of people stroll through the house, make dutiful comments and leave.  After a month the agent gives his report for the seller, saying “You have had lots of inspections but no one made an offer.  The feedback is you must be overpriced.  You need to reduce your price!”.

Sellers rarely question this but, in fact, they should be asking the agent the following:-

  1. How many of those who ‘looked’ were genuine buyers, i.e. were in a position to actually purchase?
  2. How many in reality could afford to buy, i.e. were they $500,000 buyers looking at a $700,000 house?
  3. Why are people who are unqualified even looking at the house? (We didn’t really want those nosey neighbours traipsing through our bedroom!).


After all – if all it took was an Open House to sell a house, why employ an agent?  An owner could easily welcome all prospects, and hope that one is qualified enough to want to buy the home!

In truth, agents conduct Open Houses for a different purpose.  It is not to benefit the seller!  (well, yes, on occasions someone does buy, but it is a bit like throwing darts blindfolded; at some stage  you’ll hit the bullseye!).

Most agents are hoping to find their next listing from the many prospects who come through.  Agents don’t really need buyers for well-priced houses will always find a buyer: they need more houses to sell.

How many buyers do sellers really want?  Only one – the right buyer, qualified, able to buy, needs to buy and who will make a decision quickly.

A good agent doesn’t need an Open House.  A seller doesn’t need an Open House.  A Seller needs a good agent who will help them price the home fairly and carry out a 'private inspection' for a qualified buyer.  The right buyer will come!