Your Home July 27, 2022

What is an Open House? The Complete Buyers’ and Sellers’ Guide

If you’re a first-time home buyer, chances are good that you’ve heard of the term “open house.” More sellers are choosing to have open houses once again, particularly as Covid-19 regulations are being relaxed across the nation.

An open house is what, however? What benefits and disadvantages does an open house have? Whether you’re buying or selling a property, check out this guide below to learn everything there is to know about open houses and decide if it’s right for you to host one.


What Does The Term “Open House” In Real Estate Mean?

One of the many phases in buying or selling a property is holding open houses. These events are a terrific way for buyers to view possible homes and for sellers to build interest in their properties. They are open to the public and are held by the listing agent, who is the real estate agent representing the home seller. Potential buyers can come by at any time to see the home during the open house, which typically lasts a few hours.


How Do Open Houses Work?

The listing agent will probably welcome you when you arrive at an open house. They could ask for your name, email, and potentially phone number to sign you in. After that, you are free to wander about the house and explore every room. Water or very small nibbles could be available. The seller will almost never attend the open house since doing so could make it difficult for potential buyers to see themselves living there.


Open Houses VS Private Home Tours

The seller or selling agent may show the property to numerous people at once during open houses, which makes them special. Additionally, you don’t need to make an appointment to visit the house as a possible buyer. 

During the open house’s scheduled hours, you can just drop by. There might be other real estate brokers there. When a buyer schedules a private house tour, also known as a private showing, they do it with the listing agent one-on-one, which ensures that you are the only one viewing the home at that time.

You might want to see more of the house after an open house if you went. Or perhaps you’re still uncertain about making an offer because you have some unanswered inquiries regarding the property. Even if you’ve already been to an open house, you can schedule a private viewing with the listing agent in this situation. This will provide you more one-on-one time with the selling agent and the home, and it may help you visualize yourself living there alone instead of with a large group of people.



What You Can Expect As A Homebuyer

There are several guidelines you should be aware of before going to your first open house since they can become crowded with people coming through the door.


When it comes to open houses, there are certain etiquette rules. Additionally, if you are serious about purchasing a home, you should be ready to appear to be a wonderful buyer at whatever property you visit. When visiting homes, be careful to be aware of what to look for, and bring the following to the open house:

  • Basic information about the house
  • A set of inquiries to direct to the listing agent
  • If you want to ensure that your furniture fits in the house, use a tape measure.
  • A means to taking down notes, such as a notepad and pen or a smartphone that may be used to record movies, photos, and even your own commentary on each area

Avoid bringing these items when you go to an open house:

  • Children, unless they are older and can help ask questions
  • Pets
  • Drinks
  • Snacks


You shouldn’t bring the items listed above to an open house because they could obstruct other guests’ views of the property, keep you from seeing the home’s full potential, or even damage the property.



Another guideline is to put on booties if they are provided before entering an open house. Alternatively, remove your shoes if the listing agent asks you to.

Respect the homeowners’ privacy, of course. Don’t peek inside their dresser or medicine cabinet. But if you want to check what sort of storage the house has, feel free to peek inside their pantry or towel closet.