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The arguments on the con side, however, are many. Detractors point to the quality of traffic. Open houses can attract lots of people, especially in peak season, but not always the type of people sellers want to see. Too often they attract a mix of curious neighbours, people whose full-time hobby seems to be visiting open houses, or in the worst case, even criminal types sizing up a place for burglary — or perhaps even taking a few items with them on the way out.

Determine which properties to showcase

Have you hosted an open house? Did you find it useful in the home selling process?

Keep clients’ expectations in check

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Real Estate Training - Open Houses

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Toronto Realty Blog

Share Nothing scares off buyers faster than getting cornered by a desperate seller, says Elizabeth Weintraub, a Realtor with Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California. Give the buyer some information and let them look through the home on their own. If you are going to professionally stage your home, stage the whole house, or at least one entire floor. Nothing is more jarring than two elegantly appointed rooms followed by an empty dining room or den, says Maureen Reddy, a professional stager and owner of DaVinci Designer Gallery in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

And unless your agent is a professionally trained stager or interior designer, hire someone who knows what they are doing to handle this sensitive job.

Don't let your agent start bringing in his or her furniture for the open house -- it happens more than you would think and it can backfire badly, Reddy says. Your agent may not be the one to actually show your house. But make sure you are confident your Realtor has a capable and well-trained team, Weintraub says. While you don't want the agent at your open house to bombard potential buyers with information, you want to make sure whoever is there is available to answer any and all questions and is not more concerned with texting or reading a book.

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All buyers who walk through your house should be able to pick up an info packet to take with them, says Weintraub. There's no excuse for running out of copies.

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    New Agent? Here's How To Hold The Perfect Open House

    Like other attempts to spice up the atmosphere, at best it's a distraction and at worst it may raise questions about what you are hiding. And yes, while pristine cleaning is paramount, the night before your open house is not the time to plaster your abode with industrial cleaners. The stench of bleach -- and the immediate questions it will raise in a buyer's mind -- will do more damage to your chances than that tiny patch of mold in the corner of the shower.