So it is selling season and you have put your home on the market. You want the best and most exposure to potential buyers so have asked your Realtor to conduct open houses. But do they really work and are they worth the risk?

In some cases they do work. Some potential buyers are not serious enough to have engaged a Realtor in an active search or are taking a break, yet they are still looking. If the right property comes on the market and they happen to come into see it, it may result in their putting in an offer. With respect to Island properties, often you get vacationers who are curious and want to see what their dream would cost. These can be great prospects for the Realtor hosting the open house but may not result in obtaining the buyer for your property.

On the down side, an open house can open your property to risks that you may not want to take. Most lookers are harmless and indeed just want to see the house. Unfortunately however, there are times when things go missing during an open house or someone is looking to see if there might be something to take such as jewelry, prescription drugs, electronics or financial information.

Some precautions to take prior to having an open house is to secure all these items that could be valuable and could “walk” out of the property easily. Be sure that the Realtor requests everyone sign in before touring the property. It doesn’t prevent them from fibbing however it will make them think twice. After the open house – be sure all doors and windows are locked! If you are not there, ask your Realtor to double check prior to leaving.

Open houses can be a great way to have more folks see your property, just be smart about the process.