In the 2017 Toronto market, is there still a point in having open houses?

Category: Houses


Hi David,
In the 2017 Toronto market, is there still a point in having open houses? My understanding is that all houses get multiple offers, often unconditional. Does the foot traffic from an open house really make any difference?


Hi Bonnie,


There’s a cause-and-effect relationship between open houses, and multiple offers.

Despite what people might think, houses do not “sell themselves in this market.”

With every listing I bring out, I empty the house (ie. end a tenancy, owners move out for a week), clean it, paint it, stage it, and market it.

The same house, tenanted, dirty, cluttered, not staged, and with restrictions on showings and/or limited access, would not sell as well.

An open house is part of the marketing process.

It enables buyers to have unfettered access for two hours per day, both days, whereby they can come back for a second or third viewing, with or without their agent, with family or friends.

Sometimes, buyers working with agents aren’t able to view a property during the week, and use the weekend open house as an opportunity for a viewing.

Other times, the buyers want to coordinate with other parties (agents, parents helping with down payment, friends that live around the corner, contractors, inspectors, etc), and the weekend is the perfect time.

Lastly, I’ve seen a lot of buyers who weren’t really “in the market,” but then happened upon an open house, and suddenly became buyers.  I’ve sold properties off the open house many times.

Sometimes when the market is hot, people look for short-cuts – both agents and buyers/sellers.  But in the end, the “right way” never really changes.


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  1. Jason says:

    Which part of the Residential Tenancy Act permits a landlord to unilaterally end a tenancy due to listing a property for sale? Section 49 only seems to allow this after an agreement of purchase and sale has been put in place and other conditions are met.

    1. Sevyn says:

      Jason I think you are being literal – HE MEANS JUST TO HAVE THEM STAY ELSEWHERE for the time being just to get the house ready.

      1. Ralph Cramdown says:

        No, I think David means get them out. The legal way to do it is to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement, i.e. pay them to move.