Are Open Houses a Good Idea?

Are Open Houses a Good Idea?

  • Amber Lee
  • 05/4/22

Sellers are often on the fence about letting their agent host an open house while selling their Big Island home. On the one hand, it draws attention to the house being on the market and gets people in the door quickly – literally and figuratively. But on the other hand, many sellers feel it’s an invasion of privacy or that it’s a pain to get the house prepared. Truth be told, it’s not much different from private showings in that way, but timing an open house when your home hits the market can get your home sold much more quickly.

Open Houses Provide Exposure

Private showings are great, but they take a lot of coordination from everyone involved. From getting the house ready to setting an appointment time, an open house can eliminate some of that redundancy.

On top of that, timing an open house for the first weekend your home hits the MLS triggers excitement about your listing. Buyer’s agents are always sending new listings to their clients and seeing that your home will be open for easy viewing right away makes them curious to see it in person.

Buyers Feel More Comfortable at Open Houses

Due to the casual nature of attending an open house, buyers tend to feel more comfortable showing up. They don’t need an agent to let them in or stand there while they look around. While the agent hosting the open house does give a tour to each attendee, the constant influx of people does not allow the agent’s attention to be focused on any one person. This gives buyers time to focus on evaluating the things that matter most to them without someone standing over them or making them feel rushed. For the same reason, couples touring together can have a short chat about what they like or don’t like without the agent chiming in.

Open Houses Provide More Flexibility for Buyers and Agents

Since no appointments are required, buyers and agents both can attend open houses according to their own schedules. While open houses only last a couple of hours, that time slot still gives some flexibility for when they can show up, which is a great asset when selling your Big Island home.

open house

Can I Be Present for My Open House?

My advice is always that owners should not be present when their agent is hosting an open house. The reason for this is that owners tend to have an emotional attachment to their home, understandably, but it can trigger bad feelings and defensiveness when critical comments inevitably are made. Owners further feel compelled to explain away or give rationale for why the home is the way it is, but frankly, buyers and other agents don’t care. It doesn’t change anything in the mind of the buyer because they are looking at the home as it is now and as they envision it for their future.

For this reason, buyers and agents tend to shy away from viewing a home when an owner is present. They feel they cannot comment openly about what they are seeing and feeling when they tour a home when the owner is standing in earshot. We want a comfortable vibe in the home while potential buyers are touring it.

So, for a variety of reasons, when clients ask, “Can I be present for my open house?” my answer tends to be “Sorry, but not a good idea.”

big island condo outdoor seating

How to Prepare for an Open House

Just like getting ready for a private showing, you want your home to be as clean and organized as possible. Get rid of any clutter, make sure walkways are clear, put away personal effects, and focus your attention on a few key areas.

Your curb appeal is the first thing people will notice. Pretend you’re a buyer and take note of what you see when you pull up to your property. Your next focus is on what the buyers will see when they walk in the door. Where do your eyes focus when you first come inside? Make sure that area is neat and clean.

The kitchen is always going to be a big draw and this is often where I set up and will hang out when hosting your open house. Clean off the counters and make sure your sink is clean and the trash has been taken out.

The master bedroom is a big consideration as well as the bathrooms, so these should be cleaned, although people do not tend to linger in smaller bathrooms. Guest rooms, kid rooms, offices, and dens should look neat and not have clutter on the floor or on desks or dressers. Be careful not to just throw things into closets when tidying up since buyers do tend to check out closet space

bird of paradise plant

Ways to Promote Your Big Island Open House

There are a variety of ways to promote your open house. Your agent can announce your open house on the MLS listing, but she can also add it to Zillow and other home-selling sites as well as share it across social media. She can put up signs for passersby, and her brokerage will also be aware of your open house so they can let their qualified buyers know so they can attend, too. Any word of mouth is helpful, so sharing it on your own social media can attract even more interested buyers.

If you’re looking to sell your home, an open house is almost always a great idea. Preparing your home is important, but other than that, you can head out and let your agent work for you. She will promote your Big Island open house, host potential buyers and agents, and follow up with anyone who expresses interest. It can help you get more eyes on the inside of your home and reduce the number of private showings you have to deal with. It’s a time-saving and low-key way for buyers to view your property, so it’s a win-win for buyers and sellers alike. Contact me today to discuss selling your home on the beautiful Big Island!

With aloha,


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