What Type Of People Attend Real Estate Open Houses?

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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Who Are The Potential Real Estate Open House Attendees?

What Type Of People Attend Real Estate Open Houses

What Type Of People Attend Real Estate Open Houses

Whether you’ve purchase or sold zero homes or ten homes, a real estate term that you’re likely familiar with is open house.  Like with almost everything, there are pros and cons of open houses.  One of the biggest drawbacks of an open house is that you truly have no idea who will be attending.

While it’s impossible to predict exactly what type of people who will attend an open house, it is fairly predictable.  If you’ve never attended an open house, you may be thinking to yourself, “What type of people attend real estate open houses.”

Recently while selling a home in Rochester, NY, the seller was inquiring about the type of people who typically attend an open house.  This is a great question that many homeowners who are selling their home neglect to ask or consider.

Below you will find out six types of people who you can expect will attend real estate open houses.  If you’re buying or selling a home it’s a smart idea to understand who will be attending open houses to determine if they are the right fit for you or not.  

What Is An Open House In Real Estate?

Open houses in real estate are a long standing tradition that allow anyone to walk through a home that is for sale.  Typically open houses are held on weekends with Sunday being the most popular day for open houses since most people do not work on Sundays.  The duration of open houses will vary depending on the market, however, the majority of open houses are two hours.

In an attempt to generate traffic through an open house a real estate agent will place signs on the corners of busy streets in the neighborhood as well as utilize other real estate marketing strategies.

Who Typically Attends Open Houses In Real Estate?

If you’re shopping for a home or selling your home, it’s important that before you agree to participate in open houses that you understand the type of people who potentially will be attending.  Below are some of the most common open house attendees.

Serious Sally

If you’re selling your home and believe that open houses are something that you want to participate in, you are hoping that your open house event draws people like “serious Sally.”  Serious Sally is a potential buyer who is ready, willing, and able to purchase a home.

This type of person has already spoken with a lender to get pre-approved, knows what type of mortgage is best for their situation, and has a strong understanding about the home buying process.  These type of open house attendees are not as common as many buyers and sellers think they are.

The reality is that if a buyer is serious and ready to purchase a home, they likely have already interviewed and hired a top buyers agent and would prefer to view potential homes privately with their agent.

Deceptive Debbie

Who Attends Real Estate Open Houses

Who Attends Real Estate Open Houses

Another potential open house attendee is “Deceptive Debbie.”  This type of person is one who attends open houses and when they are asked questions or information about themselves, they tend to shy away or even lie.

One thing to expect when attending open houses is that you will be asked to sign in on a piece of paper or potentially a tablet, depending on the hosting agent.  This type of open house attendee will sign in with a fake name, fake phone number, fake e-mail address, and other fake information.  Why you ask?  There are a number of reasons whether they are not ready to buy a home, aren’t interested in buying at all, or don’t feel comfortable providing their true information because they don’t want to be solicited.

An agent who was holding an open house for one of my Rochester NY waterfront homes encountered this type of attendee.  When the hosting agent attempted to follow up with the attendee they realized the person signed in with a fake name, phone number, e-mail address, and actually used an address that was not theirs.

Nosy Ned The Neighbor

One of the most common open house attendees is Ned, the nosy neighbor.  It’s pretty common that when a home is being held open that the neighbors will be attending because they are curious and wonder what their neighbors home looks like inside, how it’s decorated, how it compares to their own home, or even how their neighbor lives.

Nosy neighbors will visit an open because they are thinking about selling their home and are trying to determine the market value of their home and comparing a home in the same neighborhood can be helpful.  If a home has just been listed and is going to be open, there is a good chance that several surrounding neighbors will be attending.  After the initial open house the number of nosy neighbors attending will normally decline.

Alan The Agent

There are some real estate agents who will attend opens and for a variety of reasons.  One of the most common reasons an agent will attend an open house is because they want to preview a home for a potential buyer of theirs.  If an agent is working with a buyer who is out of town, it’s possible they have to be the eyes for a buyer and narrow down potential matches for their buyer.

Another reason why an agent will attend an open house is because they may have lost the listing because the seller interviewed multiple agents.  Agents will spend lots of time and effort preparing for an interview, preparing a comparative market analysis, and making suggestions to a homeowner to get their home ready for the market.  An open house gives an agent who lost a listing the opportunity to see the property anonymously to see if the sellers took any of their suggestions.

Christopher The Crook

It’s extremely important when thinking about the type of people who attend open houses that you keep in mind that “Christopher the crook” may be in attendance.  We all like to think that all people attending opens are upstanding citizens but the reality is that open houses can be a draw for crooks and criminals.

One of the most important tips for selling a vacant home is to strongly consider whether open houses are worth it or not.  This is because there are some crooks and criminals who will use open houses as an opportunity to scout potential targets for their next break in.  A trending topic in the real estate industry is vacant homes that are being broken into by crooks to steal the copper.

For homeowners who are selling their home while still living there, these type of open house attendees are not afraid to steal valuables such as jewelry, prescription drugs, and other personal items.

Larry The Lookie Loo

What Type Of People Go To Open Houses

What Type Of People Go To Open Houses

Last but certainly not least, another attendee that you can expect to be at an open house is “Larry the Lookie Loo,” sometimes referred to as “Larry the Professional Looker.”  This type of attendee is someone who has zero desire to purchase the home they are viewing but decide to look anyways.

These type of attendees often come to an open house because they are driving around town and happen to see an open house sign and have nothing better to do than walk through a home that is for sale.  It’s pretty obvious when a person has no interest in purchasing a home because many of them will make agents aware when they walk in that they are not interested in buying but just wanted to walk through the home.

How To Determine If You Will Participate In Open Houses

If you’re buying a home or selling your home, you need to determine whether you will participate in open houses or not.  It’s important that you not only understand the type of people who attend open houses but also weigh the pros and cons.

Below are some of the benefits and drawbacks of open houses in real estate.

Benefits Of Open Houses

  • Additional exposure of the home
  • Low pressure
  • Buyers can learn about home buying and ask hosting agent questions
  • Real estate agents can prospect and pick up clients

Drawbacks Of Open Houses

  • Slim chance of sale
  • Potential theft
  • Crowded homes
  • Unqualified buyers


Final Thoughts

The above 6 types of people are who you can expect at an open house.  The number of serious buyers that attend open houses is relatively low when you compare it to the other types of attendees.  Buyers and sellers who understand the type of attendees at an open house in real estate put themselves in a much better position than those who believe that all attendees are serious buyers.

If you decide that open houses are something that you would like to participate in, make sure that you realize that nowadays real estate agents are taking additional security measures due to the increasing number of physical crimes in real estate.  Agents are now asking attendees for photo IDs, taking license plate numbers, and other security measures to improve their overall safety.

Other Resources Related To Open Houses In Real Estate

Regardless if you’re selling or buying a home in Rochester NY, you need to understand what type of people typically attend open houses.  It can help you understand whether you plan on participating in open houses or not.  If you’re selling or buying a home in Rochester and haven’t hired a top Rochester NY Realtor®, contact me and I’d love to discuss your real estate needs in depth!

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About the authors: The above article “What Type Of People Attend Real Estate Open Houses?” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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