What is a ‘Broker’ Open House, and Should You Hold One When Selling?


Everyone knows what an open house is. Sellers essentially give free reign to prospective buyers to meander through the home for a couple of hours to scope out the property and get a feel for whether or not they might be interested in further pursuing a potential offer.

But a broker open house is slightly different – instead of buyer clients checking out the property, the target audience is other professional brokers who are looking to find the perfect home for their buyer clients before they bring them there.

What’s the Difference Between a Standard Open House and a Broker Open House?

The main difference between a typical open house and a broker open house is the people who are invited. Standard open houses don’t have an invitation list, but rather allow just about anyone in, from interested buyers, to nosy neighbors, to passersby who just happened to catch a glimpse of the open house sign. With a broker open house, the invitation list is restricted to other real estate industry professionals.

Broker open houses can also be scheduled at any time during the week, particularly midweek when their schedules tend to be more open, as opposed to standard open houses which usually take place on weekends to accommodate the schedules of the majority of buyers.

What’s the Purpose of a Broker Open House?

Essentially, a broker open house is intended to market a property to other real estate agents who have buyer clients that may be interested in the home. Buyer agents will have a list of requirements that their clients have specified, and a broker open house will provide these professionals with the opportunity to check out a specific property to see if it would be something their clients may be interested in seeing.

Seller agents take various avenues to market their clients’ properties for sale, and a broker open house is one of them. Along with online marketing systems, a broker open house is another tactic of showcasing a listing to industry professionals in the area. Seller agents may also provide a complimentary lunch as an added incentive for other agents to show up. It also provides agents with the chance to network with each other and potentially advertise their own listings.

Every agent who tours the home provides additional potential exposure to buyer clients who may be interested in the property.

A broker open house is usually held within a week of a listing going live in order to generate interest right off the bat and take advantage of the initial wave of activity on a property that typically occurs with a new listing.

Should You Have a Broker Open House?

The idea of random strangers trekking through your home during a standard open house may not sound very appealing to you. However, a broker open house allows only industry professionals who have been specifically invited. If you’re the type that cringes at the thought of a standard open house, you might find a broker open house a more attractive option. Of course, you can always do both.

Ideally, a broker open house will match up your listing with a potential buyer who may be interested in putting in an offer. If one (or more) of the agents has a particular buyer client who they believe might be interested in your home, they’ll schedule a private showing to bring the clients to the home.

At the very least, a broker open house can provide your agent with the opportunity to get feedback from their fellow colleagues about what’s working in the home, and what’s not. These other agents can honestly critique the home and offer their opinions about how it stacks up against others in the area. This can be valuable information to help improve the listing and attract more buyers.

The Bottom Line

It’s possible that no real buyer will come out of a broker house. However, it’s also possible for the opposite to happen. Considering the exposure that a broker open house will bring to your listing, it may be worth considering holding one. The worst case scenario will just be a couple of hours spent holding the event and a few dollars spent on food and beverages for the other agents. Best case scenario? A real buyer who puts a solid offer on the table.