5 Questions To Ask Before Holding An Open House

Not sure whether your home might benefit from an open house? Here's how to decide.

By Melinda Fulmer

1. Is your house in a high-traffic area? While many are advertised in the newspaper, on the Internet and in fliers, it's still drive-by and foot traffic that brings most open-house visitors. Amanda Staines, a sales director from Atlanta and a former agent, says she plans to hold an open house every weekend until her newly renovated two-bedroom townhome sells. The reason? "Location, location, location. My house is off a major road, so the signage can really pull" people in, she says.

2. Does it have special features or was it recently renovated?  An especially beautiful house can make buyers out of the most casual visitors.

3. What's your home's sale price? Many real estate agents say they no longer hold open houses for high-end homes, because they consider them a draw for thieves and gawkers. They prefer to schedule private tours.

4. How much time and money am I willing to invest in an open house? In some markets, much of the competition is using stagers and investing in costly upgrades such as painting and landscaping. If you aren't wiling to spruce things up, an open house might not be worth it.

5. Is my real estate agent behind the idea? If they don't think it's a good idea for your home, or are unenthusiastic about it, it might not do much for you.