Open Home Vs Inspection by Appointment – Privacy & Security Concerns ?

Are they an effective way to sell your property, or an invitation to trouble?

Open Houses


It is a long established practice to show residential properties for sale by way of “Open Home” or “Open for Inspection”

The effectiveness of open homes is questionable, but moreover the exposure of your home to total strangers could be inviting into your lounge room more than you bargained for.

I read an article published earlier this week advocating that buyers should plan their weekend open for inspection “mission” to fit in as many properties as possible.

Disturbingly, the recommendation was to take multiple pictures inside the home to remember detail starting with a picture of the front of the home with the letterbox and street number to identify to which house the following stream of pictures belonged.

As a home owner I would think very carefully about exposing the privacy and security of your home to total strangers. Particularly, if they are circulating around your home and property taking pictures.

In reality the vast number of people at open houses are not genuine buyers but rather neighbours, sticky beaks and tyre kicking maybe in the future buyers. None of these people are intending to buy your property.

Why then are they inside YOUR home??

Many agents who routinely run “Open for Inspections” do so to funnel through numbers of “buyers” to impress the vendor but in all reality it is to increase their data base of potential sellers.

The “buyers” have rarely had any previous discussion with the agent, are totally unknown and only identified after they are inside your home by being asked for their name and phone number. It is common that people give false names and numbers in this situation.

Their identity is not verified at all. You need more ID to hire a BBQ Boat for an hour.

One could suggest that the “Open Home” is a convenience for the selling agent but does nothing to assist the seller or the buyer. Not all buyers can get to a 30 or 45 minute open home on a Saturday.

It is well documented that criminal robberies and home invasion assaults have occurred in properties that have been exposed to “unknown persons” through open for inspection.

You may also want to check how your insurance policy stands up to thefts related to “Open Homes”.

ANYbody who enters your home, should be fully pre-qualified and identified by your agent.

If you want your home to be used as a real estate market education tool for tyre kickers, sticky beaks and prospective thieves, open it up to the public.

Alternatively, use an agent who is prepared to take the time required to qualify and identify all enquirers and show your property by appointment, and only to genuine buyers who are in the market to buy now.

Drew Oliver

Regional & Rural Realty