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31 Must Know Open House Ideas and Tips

Open House Ideas
Planning for your open house can be an overwhelming task. It seems like every detail matters and could be the difference between getting the best price for your home and selling at a loss. These ideas, tips, and tricks will help you get the most out of your open house. Planning an open house is one of the tasks your realtor will do for you during the process of selling your home.

Open houses are a debatable endeavor. Some Realtors swear by them, and others say that in the new digital age they don’t have as much effectiveness. We won’t resolve this debate for you, and you should talk to your Realtor about your own wishes for an open house. Forcing a Realtor to do an open house they feel is useless leads to annoyance on both sides. Make sure you and your Realtor share the same desire to hold an open house, as some of them might want to avoid open houses for safety reasons.

31 Open House Ideas and Tips That Will Help Sell Your Home

Use The Web To Advertise:

Every open house will need advertising. One of the most effective methods of advertising is to use the internet. Posting your home early, often, and everywhere is going to make your open house much more successful. Blogs, tweets, all of these are viable channels for letting potential buyers know your home is available.


While it may seem old-fashioned don’t forget the signs.  Promotional signs will attract those impulse type buyers who may just be out driving around and get interested. Professional signs say the home is ready to be looked at.

Be Friendly:

Your open house has to be a friendly and inviting event. Be sure that everyone involved is welcoming and personable. Don’t be annoyed at questions, even the most ridiculous ones. Never let any upset, boredom or exasperation show to your potential buyers.

Be Active:

The best Realtors and homeowners take an active part in the planning and conduct of their open houses. An open house is not a static event. Knowing the prices of comparable homes in the area lets you answer questions honestly and completely. Knowing the details of your home, from how old the roof is, to when it was painted last allows you to point out the great points of your home.


One of the best ways to determine if your open house is going well, or if the property is set up correctly is to listen to those who visit. Your visitor’s comments will let you know what needs to be addressed. This feedback is something to be put into immediate practice if possible.

Provide Value:

A great way to ensure that people remember you is to provide some sort of value for their visit. A map of the area showing great restaurants or a listing of schools with ratings from the internet can help them remember your open house.

Add a Personal Touch:

The impact of a small gift or baked good can be larger than you think. Have some fresh baked cookies or muffins available to give away to the people who come to your open house.

The Seller Shouldn’t Be There:

Often having the person selling the home can intimidate potential buyers. They may not feel free to discuss what they don’t like. The seller should be available to contact in case of a question, but not at the home for the open house.

Put Information Online:

Instead of putting together a bunch of booklets that will likely not be fully utilized make sure the online listing is complete. Have every possible highlight listed on the online profile. Most buyers can access this far more easily in today’s market.

Invite the Neighbors:

While it may be a bit uncomfortable to have your neighbors poking around in your home it can pay off in the end. Neighbors can often be the best salespeople. Your neighbors will often tell their friends and relatives about the home and start an information network without you having to lift a finger.

Keep it Neutral:

Remove anything that may be remotely controversial to any visitor. This may include things such as religious art and even family photos. Take the advice of your local Realtor on this matter as it varies from location to location.

Show the Floors:

Remove area rugs to let potential buyers see the floors. Suspicious buyers may think your area rugs are covering bad patches of flooring.

No Pets:

Pets should never be at your open house. Remove things such as litter boxes and old or worn pet items. Put away water and food bowls for the open house. Anything that can’t be removed should be scrupulously clean.

Secure Your Valuables:

No valuables should ever be left out on Open House day. You are letting strangers walk through your home. This includes all medications and personally identifying information.


Unless the house is completely empty always have a chaperone go with prospective buyers. This keeps your house safe from random theft or anything going wrong.


Have as long of an open house as you can. The larger the window you have for your open house the more people can do a walk through of your home. Most open houses run only a couple of hours. Consider running for the whole peak period from 1-5pm.

Clean the Closets:

Nobody wants to open a closet and see one that is a tumbled mess. Leave some clothes in the closet to look lived in, but remove everything else or your closet will seem too small.

Use Social Media:

Social media is a great tool for open houses. Make sure your sellers tell friends and relatives about the open house and ask them to put it out to their own friends and relatives.

Use a Drone:

One of the newest ways to grab attention is to hire a company that uses drones to fly your open house banners around and over the home. The novelty often brings in people who would ignore a traditional sign.

stage your home

Stage the Property:

The money you spend on staging a property can be dollars well spent. Sometimes it is better to empty the home of the seller’s property and hire professionals to stage a home. For more information check out our list of ideas for staging a home.

Highlight the Neighborhood:

Prepare and have a stack of “This is your neighborhood” flyers that detail schools, local attractions, cable coverage, and local restaurants.

Hire Professional Cleaners:

Don’t leave the cleaning to the family. Spend the money to hire professional cleaners to come through the home and make sure every inch is sparkling and ready to shine.

Keep Scents Neutral:

Avoid heavy scents or things such as potpourri and air freshers. You never know what scents will turn a potential buyer off. The only scents should be cleaning products, and those only after the house has been aired out.

Virtual Walkthrough:

Prepare and post a virtual walkthrough on the web. This allows potential buyers to take a view before the open house is held. Make sure to give the dates for the open house on the link to this walkthrough.

Open the Curtains:

Let as much natural light into each room as possible. This will give a feeling of openness and welcome, of course, if the view is of a brick wall 3 feet away those curtains can remain closed.

Have a Sign in Sheet:

Have all visitors fill our a sign in sheet with name, number, and email. This will give you points of contact for the home, and possibly for future open houses.

Follow Up:

Always follow up in a day or so after an open house. This personal touch can nudge a buyer into putting an offer in on a home.

Go Extreme:

A new trend in open houses is to hold an “Event” rather than a traditional open house. This shows the home in a different light and creates a fun atmosphere. The event can be themed, or just more of a standard dinner party type of arrangement.

Climate Control:

Make sure the home is heated or cooled depending on the season. Maintaining the home at a comfortable temperature goes a long way to making it feel more like a home, and less like an empty shell.

Play Soothing Sounds:

A nice soft classical or jazz background helps put your potential buyers at ease and create an upscale feeling. The volume shouldn’t be set high enough to be distracting.

Use Door Hangers:

Old school tactics like door hangers are still viable options. Placing door hangers on neighbors doors, and through adjacent neighborhoods can bring in some more potential buyers.

We hope these ideas and tips will mean your open house turns out a success.