Why Your Realtor Won’t Host an Open House at Your Home

by Jennifer McMurrayDecember 5, 2018

You’ve cleaned the house, touched up the paint, planted some flowers- you even organized the garage! You’ve hired a Realtor, they’ve planted their sign in your yard, and they even made pretty flyers promoting your house. And then you’re shocked to hear your Realtor tell you they won’t be hosting an open house.

Open House Signs in a row along a rural street.

Is your Realtor lazy? Does your Realtor have too much business, and you aren’t a priority? Did you hire the wrong Realtor?

Before you get upset with your Realtor, consider why public open houses aren’t the best use of your Realtor’s time or the best way to get your home sold.

They Value Their Life

When you think of dangerous careers, you might think of police officers, military, or firefighters, but did you know that real estate agents also face danger every day? In 2013, 25 Realtors were victims of homicide. In 2015, a National Association of Realtors survey revealed that 40% of Realtors have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or personal information.

During an open house, your home is open to anyone and everyone – nosy neighbors, bored families, potential buyers, and even criminals or those with evil intentions. During a public open house, a Realtor is a “sitting duck” in a home if someone wanted to harm them. In fact, in 2011 Iowa Realtor, Ashley Okland, was murdered while hosting an open house at a model home, and the killer hasn’t been caught.

surveillance camera caught the robber in a mask with a crowbar.

Another possible safety issue to consider with open houses is that someone wishing to scope out your home for valuables, layout, and exits can easily peruse your home during an open house. While it might be rare, it’s certainly possible for that to happen. A Realtor’s goal is to keep your home safe, you safe, and themselves safe.

They Plan To Host A Different Open House

While a Realtor might not conduct a public open house, it doesn’t mean they don’t have an alternative plan. Another method growing in popularity is Broker Open Houses. These open houses aren’t open to the public. Instead, a Broker Open House is open to area Realtors from all brokerages to tour the property to see if they think it might work for any of their current clients. It’s a great way for them to get familiar with the home, amenities, and layout prior to showing it to their client.

While your home is most likely on the MLS, not every listing is seen by every single Realtor. By orchestrating a Broker Open House with lunch or door prizes provided, often numerous Realtors will tour the home during their lunch hour, ask questions of the Listing Realtor about the home, the history, and the amenities. It’s also common for several Realtors to coordinate a Broker Open Extravaganza with several homes on the “tour”- either listed with their own brokerage or another firm. This coordinated effort gets more eyes on your home—and it’s not just the eyes of your nosy neighbors!

They Just Aren’t Effective.

There was a time when open houses were the standard, but thanks to the Internet and virtual tours, they aren’t truly effective in finding the right buyer for your home. In fact, sometimes the only thing that comes out of a public open house is the Listing Realtor getting the contacts of potential buyers he or she could work with in the future.

Rather than expecting your Realtor to sit in your home for 2-3 hours while neighbors tour it, try altering your expectations. In the world of the Internet and millennials, your visual online presence is far more important. In fact, 44% of buyers initially find and see their home online before they ever step foot on the property. Keeping that in mind, consider inquiring or requesting the following items from your Realtor instead of a public open house:

  • Will you be creating a 360 tour of the home to have online?
  • Besides the MLS, what websites will my home be on?
  • Will you be hiring a professional photographer to create crisp images?
  • How do you plan to use video in the marketing of my home?
  • Are you planning to utilize Facebook & Instagram to market my home?

Female hands typing on a laptop.

It’s essential to use a Realtor when selling your home. Not only do homes listed with Realtors tend to sell for more than For Sale By Owner, but they have the resources, knowledge, and network to get it sold fast. Realtors have evolved and progressed from the days of newspaper ads and public open houses. Instead, they are working to meet the buyers where they are at: online. When your Realtor doesn’t do an open house, just remember that doesn’t mean they aren’t working hard to earn their commission. They are just working differently.

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About The Author
Jennifer McMurray
Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She's passionate about the power of real estate. She's also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.

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