Expert Tips and Secrets to Hosting a Successful Open House

Know what it takes to get buyers to walk through your door

Anyone can hold an open house. But getting people to show up is a different story. If you want to get your home seen by potential buyers, here's what you should consider to make sure you don't just have an open house, but a crowded one.

To Open House or Not to Open House?

Some real estate agents will tell you that open houses belong in the 20th century because here in the 21st century, we have the Internet, which has taken away a lot of the reasons for an open house with Web sites that show you photos and video of every inch of the place.

But John Kriza, a Realtor for over 30 years, says that it's precisely due to the Internet that open houses are more relevant than ever.

Last year, over 77 percent of homebuyers did research online, says Kriza, a sales manager at both The Residences of Dockside, a waterfront gated community of luxury condominiums in Philadelphia, and Siena Place, a community of townhomes. "I know from experience that buyers appreciate the opportunity to take what they've found on the Internet and see the product first hand. They want to be taken beyond a virtual tour that the Internet provides and personally be shown the home, the layout, concepts and design elements by someone who knows the property inside and out."

So, yes, the Internet is great, but until home buyers can break that fourth dimension and climb into the seller's Web page and look around, an open house will have to do.

But Realtors who don't like open houses do have a point. Diann Patton, spokesperson for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, says that they can be great selling tools if you have two components.

"If you live in the country on the end of a dirt road, then there's no point in having an open house," agrees Patton. "People just won't come. But if you're near a main artery, say, close to a park or a school, then it's the perfect opportunity to bring the public into your house. It's all about the location."


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