Blog / Should Sellers Be Present for the Open House?


Should Sellers Be Present for the Open House?

As a real estate professional, it is likely that you have encountered this dreaded question from your home sellers more often than you would like to recall: “May I be there for the open house or showing?” It is understandable that your sellers are excited about this process and want to know as much as possible. Some sellers genuinely want to be helpful, and think that their presence would be helpful to potential buyers, to answer any questions that they may have. Other sellers, however, are just curious and want to be there to see how you are marketing their home to potential home buyers.

Either way, the question of whether or not sellers should be present for the open house continues to be a hot button topic for many real estate professionals. We are here to weigh in on this subject and provide a simple answer to the question “Should sellers be present for the open house?”: Not a chance.

Here are 3 reasons why sellers should not be present for the open house:

#1. The Seller’s Presence Will Immediately Make Potential Home Buyers Feel Awkward

You know that awkward feeling you get when you are browsing or shopping in a new store, and you can practically feel a salesperson breathing down your neck? All you want to do is look around in peace, and yet there they are, every time you turn around -- asking questions, looking your way, offering guidance, and more. It’s uncomfortable, right?

Now apply this feeling to your potential home buyers. This is likely how they will feel about a seller’s presence at an open house, and it is crucial that your potential buyers feel as comfortable as possible during your open house. This is a huge investment, and your potential buyers should feel comfortable opening closets, peeking into linen cabinets and other storage spaces, and more. This can feel like a huge intrusion of privacy with the current owner hanging around, and will often send those potential buyers running for the hills.

#2. Sellers Often Don’t Know When to Be Quiet

Again, the experience of your potential buyers is key during any open house. And while the adage “Honesty is the best policy” remains true in the process of selling a home, it is important to remember that there is still a certain amount of finesse and strategy to any sales process. As a seasoned real estate professional, you know how to navigate your way through this process with ease. Your seller? Not so much. Sellers will often talk too much, jamming up a potential sale in the process.

#3. Sellers Can Be Easily Offended, Which Can Ultimately Cost Them a Sale

Similar to their knack for talking too much, sellers can also often get their feelings hurt easily when it comes to their home. After all, their home has been their baby for years, and they tend to be very protective of it, along with the choices they made in it (appliances, decor, paint colors, etc). Sellers often have a hard time remaining objective when it comes to hearing any criticism of their home, and they tend to wear their hearts on their sleeve. This offense can be a huge turnoff to potential buyers,and can ultimately cost the sale of the home.

Of course, there are always the occasional exceptions to any rule, and this applies here, as well. Every now and then, it will actually help you to have the seller present during your open house or showing -- under certain conditions, of course.

Perhaps you have a seller who has continued to turn a deaf ear onto your suggestions for his or her home, regardless of the length of time the home has sat on the market with no offers. In this case, it can actually be helpful to you to have the seller attend the open house -- anonymously. This allows them to hear directly from potential buyers what you have been saying all along -- how the paint colors aren’t appealing, the home overall feels too much like a “bachelor pad” and more.

Even though you have been trying to tell your seller these things since you landed the listing, there is something different about hearing it directly from buyers. Just remember to prep your seller on keeping their anonymity -- and their cool -- when the critiques start rolling in.

About OpenHouseDay is a new real estate tool that connects buyers and sellers in one place, as a comprehensive listing of open houses in the Southern California market. Learn more about how it works, and then register to get started today. Have any questions? Feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.