As a real estate expert, Brian Prince spends his day coaching his clients on how to market their homes and make sure they will sell. Often, his clients ask about holding an open house to showcase their homes and make sure a large number of people can see the house, and hopefully buy it. While there are good reasons to hold open houses, Brian Prince says, the practice also holds some serious risks for people who wish to sell their homes.
In a typical home viewing, Brian Prince says, people walk through a home in the company of a licensed real estate expert. They are, in essence, under that person’s supervision and control almost 100 percent of the time. By contrast, when people enter an open house, they’re encouraged to wander through that house on their own. Some people bring agents, but many other people are simply walking about and looking at homes when they haven’t even hired an agent.
People who wander through a home without supervision are in prime position to steal items from the home. Small pieces, such as jewelry and electronic players, are common targets, but some people steal prescription medications or clothing. Some even steal keys, so they can come back to the house later and steal items.
While most people who go to an open house are in the market to make a purchase, wanderers can make even a perfect-seeming day go south in a hurry, Brian Prince says. Homeowners can return to find that many items were stolen, and no buyers were found in the process. It’s not something anyone would sign up for.
So while real estate open houses can be beneficial for some buyers, Brian Prince often encourages his clients to use caution, thinking hard about their goals before they sign up. This is the best way to ensure that clients make the right decisions about selling their homes.