As I was driving home last weekend, I noticed there were a ton of open houses in Milton.  Most weekends, there are at least 15-20.

The question I am often asked by my clients is: are open houses effective and will it help sell my house?

The answer is yes and no. Having an open house will create awareness about your property with neighbours and passers by.

Most people don’t realize that neighbours can really help you.  The statistics say that 18% of all home sales are the direct or indirect result of a neighbour referring a friend or family member to a house for sale on their street.

The odds are very low that any potential buyers are ready to buy, and secondly the house probably isn’t exactly what they’re looking for.  The price may not be within their budget and all the terms and conditions being asked by the seller may not be acceptable to them.

So why do some many agents still hold open houses?  Truthfully, in the majority of cases having an open house is of greatest benefit to your agent, not to you.

Your agent gets to meet potential buyers for other homes. Your agent also talks to neighbours who visit your open house who are there to get an idea of what is being offered, since they are also planning to sell their home.

Consider also the risk of having total strangers walk through every room in your house. If more than one person walks in your agent can only keep an eye on one or two visitors. The others are completely out of sight and thefts of personal belongings do happen.

If your home is located on an interior street away from traffic, having an open house may help give it some exposure. The National Association of Realtors has been conducting surveys of buyers and sellers for more than 40 years. Their statistics over the years show that less than three percent of buyers find the home they buy through an open house.

Some food for thought!