The Open House Scam Your Agent Doesn’t Want You to Know

open house

If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, or currently have it listed, you’ve probably considered an “open house” or two to help facilitate the sale.

Put simply, an open house is an event where your listed property is made available to the general public (anyone off the street) to tour for a specified time period, usually a few hours on a Sunday.

The listing agent will make the open house known to prospective buyers via the MLS, and they’ll also put signs out on street corners nearby the home.

Sounds pretty good so far, right? After all, more eyeballs must mean a higher chance of a sale.

Will an Open House Sell My Home?

The general purpose of an open house is to find a buyer. Correct? Well, that’s what real estate agents might have you believe, but it’s not as innocent as it appears.

Sure, an open house may lead to a sale, but statistics suggest that open houses are actually behind very few sales. We’re talking single digit percentages here folks.

So an open house can sell your home, but more than likely it will NOT.

You’ll probably wind up with more lookie loos than anything else, namely curious neighbors who want to see what the inside of your home looks like, along with random passersby.

Clearly, these people have no interest in buying your home, so if anything, you’re just letting a bunch of strangers into your home.

That means you’ve got to lock away all the valuables, clean the house, and hope no one does anything stupid while touring the property.

At this point, you may be wondering why exactly you’re still planning to hold an open house.

After all, serious buyers already know your home is listed, and if they want to see it, their agent will contact your agent and set up an appointment.

The Real Reason Agents Hold Open Houses

Okay, so why on earth does my agent want to hold an open house then?

Good question. When it comes down to it, they really want to use your home as a means to snag more prospective buyers, for OTHER properties.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Real estate agents are essentially holding an open house to market their own services.

Their general thinking is that potential buyers may come in without an agent, at which point they can schmooze a little in hopes of representing them.

In other words, they can work with these buyers in the future, assuming they’re actually looking to purchase a home.

So even if they’re not interested in the home where the open house is being held, your agent can get their valuable contact information and take them to other properties that may be more suitable.

Long story short, an open house will probably do more to benefit your agent than it will to benefit you.

Assuming they do find some prospective clients via your wide open home, it will mean that they’ll be spending even less time selling your home and more time showing their new prospects homes.

Think twice about agreeing to hold an open house. It’s a lot of work, it displaces you on Sundays (or any other day), and probably won’t lead to a sale.

Read more: What is a pocket listing?


  1. If I agree to a open house would the agent or the company if anything came up missing from my home be responsible for my property inside my home?

  2. we have our home for sale right now, and the agent is pushing us for an open home, but we have discovered that he is sending people on drivebys rather than showing them inside our house because he is too lazy or too busy or thinks he can read peoples minds as to what they are going to buy….
    if a house is up for sale with an agent then you would assume its an open home already available to anyone interested in looking at it, if not and an “open home” is required as well then the seller really has to think about what effort the agent is putting in to selling your home the rest of the time….

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