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When you are selling your downtown Boston condo, your real estate agent might suggest holding an open house, but is this really a good idea? Does it increase your chances of selling, and should you agree to it?

You may believe that open houses are a necessary part of selling your home. But hosting an event like this might not be as good as you imagine, or your agent claims. Your Boston real estate broker might be very persuasive, insisting they get great results when they have open houses, but this might be stretching the truth somewhat.

Boston condo market

Boston condo market

There are many reasons why opening up your home to anyone is a bad idea, let’s look at what can go wrong.

Who Will Attend your Open House?

Anyone could arrive on the day to wander through your Boston condo for sale, and the majority won’t be qualified potential buyers. Most of the people will fall into one of the following categories:

Nosy Neighbors

Boston real estate agent will want to plant a sign on the sidewalk in from of your condo building announcing your open home, and, of course, this will be seen by people in your neighborhood. This will lead to lots of nosy people from your street, and the surrounding area, taking a look inside your home.

The chances of this leading to a sale are remote. The invasion of privacy involved when you have lots of people looking through your home and possessions won’t benefit you in any way.

Looky Lou

Similar to a nosy neighbor, some of the people attending your showing will just want to look around your condominium with no intention of buying. Perhaps, this is a hobby of theirs, attending open houses to nose around. They may travel from outside the area and do this sort of thing on a regular basis.

Are you inviting criminals into your home?

Boston real estate

Boston real estate

If you are really unlucky, a criminal will come to your open house. They will either be looking to steal something on the day or check if you have items worth coming back for later.

Criminals looking to take things during an open house might only be looking for documents containing personal information. This could be a bank account or credit card numbers, or social security details to be used in identity theft.

Anything small could be taken and needs to be locked away. The theft of prescription meds is also very common, with homeowners not imagining that their pills are at risk in medicine cabinets. If a lot of people are attending the event, there is no way the agent can monitor what everyone is doing in your home.

You will be more at risk from being burgled after a showing like this. Criminals can find out if you have anything worth stealing, and they can check out your security. Perhaps they will even unlock a door or window to make their entry even easier when they return.


This is someone who would like to buy your home, but they simply don’t have the means to do so. Maybe they don’t income to be approved for a loan or the downpayment. They may tie up your agent with questions as they live out their fantasy, but they will never buy.

Unqualified Condo Buyers

An improvement over the dreamers, they are looking to buy, but they don’t have the budget for your property. They really love your home but aren’t pre-approved for a loan of the value they would need to purchase.

An Agent with their Client

The agent may have been showing other homes in the area when they saw your property. This could lead to a sale, but they would have scheduled a showing for their client anyway.

Qualified Condo Buyers

Some of the people who attend your open house could be potential buyers, with a pre-approved mortgage who are in the market for a home just like yours. However, you will be very lucky if any of the people viewing your home fall into this category.

Statistics show that less than 3 percent of houses are actually sold thanks to this method, and potential buyers would have made an appointment if there wasn’t an open home showing anyhow.

The Benefits of an Open House

Arranging an open house for your home certainly makes it seem like the agent is working hard to find a buyer. If you have concerns about how your property is being marketed by the agency, an open house might be suggested, but it is rarely a benefit to the seller.

The real estate agent is the greatest beneficiary of an open house. It is good advertising for their business, helping them pick up clients. They get to put a sign in your front yard with their name and contact information on it, and it doesn’t cost them anything.

The open house may also attract people thinking about selling their home soon, and your agent gets the chance to pitch for their business during an event that is supposed to be about working for you.

Do Open Houses Sell Homes in This Day and Age?

Despite all the negatives, you might still imagine that having an open house will help you sell. However, the reality is that you have a very low chance of finding a buyer through having an open house. Staging an open home is likely to be very inconvenient and a stressful experience, adding to your worries at an already difficult time.

The risks you are taking simply aren’t worth the very small chance you will find a buyer through this process. The real estate agent should be working for your benefit, but the reality of an open house really only benefits them and puts you at risk.

Potential buyers will find your property online and arrange an appointment to be shown your home if they really like it. What they don’t commonly do is drive around areas they like, looking for open houses. Instead, you are going to get people you don’t want traipsing through your home, and it will remain unsold.


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