Is open house a good way of selling?

Open house viewings are on the increase and have recently become a popular method for many Southend estate agents to show buyers available properties. The term ‘open house’ is used when more than one possible buyer looks around a property for sale in Southend at the same time. Not only does this save time for the vendor, compared to arranging several separate viewing appointments, but it also creates a healthy level of competition among potential buyers.

The number of people who arrive to view at an open house is very much determined by factors such as the property’s location and price. Generating interest among buyers who are keen to view the same property it not usually difficult. Currently in London, an average of 150 people arrives for each open house viewing and they have only 15 minutes to view the property. They must instantly decide whether or not to make an offer and try to become the future owners. This would only work in areas where there was a high demand for properties which is not always the case outside of the capital.

Originating from the United States and Australia, the open house viewing process works well where there are many interested buyers and agents struggle to schedule individual viewing appointments into busy diaries. However, this new method of selling also works well for vendors and agents. There can be a sense of urgency among buyers who see competitors face-to-face and properties often sell for more than the original asking price. It can also mean other buyers, knowing an open house day is looming, will place an offer above the asking price to pre-empt the whole process. It may be accepted by the seller, so the sale is agreed even more quickly and everybody wins.

The downside of open house selling is clearly the pressure on buyers to make an instant decision, often with no opportunity for a second viewing or the chance to go home and “think about it”. For many potential buyers, the intensity of the open house process is simply too intimidating.

Other weaknesses in the process are: ‘Did the viewing reach the whole market? Did it attain the highest price? What does a one-day sales window actually achieve? Maybe some purchasers could not make the open house viewing on the appointed day? Did the buyers in the best buying position get to see it?

If you are putting your home on the market think about these points before deciding that open house is the sales method for you. A more traditional, private viewing system may take longer, but depending on the type of property you are selling, can be better for all involved. Take the advice of a trusted estate agent in Southend who will know the local market and advise you accordingly on the best selling process for your property.


Lisa Clark is Sales Manager at Pace Plc, an independent Estate Agency in Southend on Sea. She deals with every aspect of the sales process, providing expert and honest advice together with tailor-made marketing plans for each property she lists for sale.

She prides herself on providing excellent customer service and takes a highly proactive approach to achieving the best possible price and sale time for our clients in an increasingly competitive property marketplace.


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"I am a landlady with many properties and have dealt with Pace for about 10 years. Marcus is very friendly, honest, efficient and helpful and has made my letting experience extremely easy always finding me suitable tenants. I have nothing but praise for Marcus who has been with Pace many years.

Mary R

After renovating a block of 21 flats to place into our rental portfolio we instructed PACE and gave them two weeks to let all the units on a sole agency basis. They marketed the flats for a week and conducted a strict open house event on the following Sunday for 4 hours. Within this slot 15 flats were let with the remainder let the following week.

The Director of Runwood Homes

As a landlord with multiple HMO properties, I have employed the services of PACE for a number of years now as they ensure I have my required specification of tenant placed in all my rooms. I only let rooms to employed applicants and very much favour their opening hours as this attracts and accommodates the right people.

Johnathon Simons HMO Landlord

Sara is my dedicated property manager and has been for some time. I have always found Sara to be a very professional member of staff. Sara always keeps me informed and provides regular visit reports, which is important for any landlord. Sara deals with any problem that befalls her, contacting me if she needs to. Sara will discuss any problem and invariably come to a solution.

Raymond Durrant – multi property landlord

The staff are always friendly and helpful, my special thanks to Sara, we have built a very special rapport and I feel very comfortable phoning if I need anything. I feel very happy that I have one person to deal with all of my issues.

Evelin Jenkins - Tenant

We cannot stress how much we appreciate having a dedicated property manager for our properties. We live 350 miles away and also spend a great deal of the winter out of the country. To be able to phone our manager who understands our properties and how we operate is for us complete peace of mind.

Peter and Maureen Mason – Multi property landlords

I was extremely thankful I chose PACE to conduct the sale of my property and extremely grateful to Sue Mellor who worked very hard to ensure a smooth transaction. She was most knowledgeable and professional throughout, always reachable and approachable. She was able to answer all the questions I posed.

Yvonne White

I've recently purchased a property with the help of Pace. I found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. My first contact was Katie, she showed me around the property and liaised with the vendor. After, I dealt mostly with Sue Mellor. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process and was the first to congratulate me on completion.

Roni Miller

I just thought I'd drop you a line about Adele Moore who is managing my flat. Adele is doing a great job and is a credit to Pace. She has done, and continues to do, exactly what she says she will do and as a customer that is exactly what I want. Adele doesn't take things at face value and investigates things when she needs to, again a thing that clients will prize.

Tony Mihill - Landlord

Thank you to the team at PACE for firstly providing excellent property management services over many years and secondly for helping me to sell my property recently.

All your hard work has been very much appreciated. Special mentions to Sara, Amy, Sue and Billy for their friendly and professional service!

Charlotte, (Property Management & Seller)