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An open house viewing conjures up a number of mental images, mostly drawn from American dramas and sitcoms. While it might principally be associated with 'real estate' across the pond, open house viewings are becoming an increasingly popular selling technique in the UK. Like anything else, open house viewings have their upsides and downsides, but they may be something that certain sellers wish to consider. 

Using our experience as a leading estate agency in Exeter, Exmouth and East Devon we take a look at the pros and cons of this way of selling.


Open house viewings can increase the chances of a quick sale being achieved. They may even result in higher offers being placed. Both these things are more likely to happen because of the competitive element an open house viewing generates – if you have lots of would-be buyers under the same roof at the same time, they might look to act fast to ensure they don’t miss out. They might decide to put in a higher offer to avoid losing out to another buyer. You might get a situation where numerous buyers are outbidding each other, wary that they could lose out on their dream home if they don’t. 

Another major advantage of open house viewings is convenience. It can often be tricky to arrange individual viewings with interested buyers at a time that suits both parties – work, children, leisure activities and other commitments could make organising a viewing a real pain.It is therefore to the benefit of both buyer and seller for individual house viewings to be swerved in favour of one single open house viewing. 

Would-be buyers can be brought together under one roof, at the same time, and shown around the property. The juggling act of arranging house viewings would no longer be an issue. It also means that, as a seller, you have to do less preparation for lots of different house viewings. 

You only have to clean and thoroughly prepare your home the once – to make it look its best and be as attractive as possible to would-be buyers – rather than going through that process four, five, six or more times. 

Open-house viewings are an excellent time-saving device, saving you hassle and freeing up hours at the same time.


Time-wasters could be a potential problem when it comes to open house viewings. Although most, if not all, of the people visiting your home with be genuine buyers with a genuine interest in the property, there is always the chance that people are just there for a snoop. Completely eradicating potential timewasters is impossible, but you can make sure that all would-be buyers visiting your home register their details with your estate agent first, to ensure they aren’t just messing you around.

Don’t forget that in a quieter market, potentially nobody may arrive at all – But worse than that you might only have one viewer who stays for the duration and realises that they are then the only people interested! – They may then assume that they could have you over a barrel if they were to make an offer!

Also, one of the advantages of an open house viewing – only having to show potential buyers around once, all at the same time – is also one of its disadvantages. 

You may only have to prepare once, or twice (depending on how many open houses you choose to hold), but this preparation could require more time and effort than would be required for a single house viewing. What’s more, certain buyers may be more demanding than others and they may demand more attention from you while you show them around, which could lead to issues. 

You could also be faced with a wide range of questions and requests on the day, which you may also find overwhelming. There is also the issue of security to consider. Opening up your home to a larger number of people allat once doesn’t come without its risks. While it’s very unlikely that items would be stolen or your property damaged, there is always the small possibility that this could occur. 

In nearly all cases, open house viewings and individual viewings will pass by without a hitch, but it’s something that sellers will need to be aware of. 


We have developed a hybrid of the Open house and Bespoke viewing which we think is the very best of both worlds and it’s not only simple but also very effective  - we call it the “Block viewing” This is where we allocate a “block” of time, determined by the level of interest already received into which buyers are allocated their own “Slot” which will vary in length depending on the size and complexity of the property. All of the benefits of both methods are retained and we know because weve been honing it for years that the “Block viewing” method produces the best results for our clients coupled with the fairest environment for the buyers.

At Whitton & Laing, we’ll do all we can to achieve a sale with the best results, whether you opt for open house viewings, bespoke individual ones or the Block viewing method. Please get in touch with us for Exeter and district on 01392 259395 or or for Exmouth, Budleigh and East Devon on 01395 267777 or for more information.