Real Estate Information Learning Center

Selling rarely happens until you first do effective marketing, and one of most popular and proven techniques Realtors use for advertising their listings is the Open House. New home construction, existing home sales, and FSBO offerings all respond to the Open House technique, making it a versatile and wonderful sales tool.

Real estate agents attend classes and workshops to learn ways to improve their Open Houses, because the strategy is invaluable for exposing property to large numbers of buyers in a short period of time. But home owners who choose to save money by selling their homes by themselves can also put the Open House format to good use, by learning the tricks of the trade from the real estate marketing experts who contribute insight and educational resources through Here are the Top 10 Tipsfor hosting your own Open House, brought to you just in time for the peak real estate shopping season:

  1. Prior planning prevents problems

    Plan ahead; don’t rush into hosting your Open House. Tidy the house, schedule your day, create marketing materials to share with buyers, and double check your to-do list before the big event. If you can pull off one successful Open House, you’ll be able to repeat the process, so the planning you invest in your first one will pay for itself by making subsequent Open Houses easier

  2. Dress up for the event

    You’re having a celebration, and the house is the special guest, so dress it up from the inside-out. Clear away the clutter, empty the closets so they look spacious, and do a good cleaning. Manicure the landscape and tackle the overstuffed garage, because when people come to your Open House, they’ll scrutinize the details before making a purchase offer.

  3. Make your house easy to remember and impossible to forget

    When you met that eligible guy or cute gal, you were careful to get a phone number, for reasons we don’t need to explain. But many sellers forget to provide adequate contact info for guests on Open House day, and the romance ends as soon as they walk back to their car and drive to the next house. Yours may be one of a dozen homes that house hunters browse in the course of an afternoon, and even if they love it, they might forget where it was. Provide a flier or simple brochure with a photo of the house and your full contact information, and you’ll win in the end.

  4. Invite and make it inviting

    Your neighbors and friends know you’re there, but buyers from elsewhere may not. Put up signs, as if you were directing people to a yard sale, so that they can’t get lost en route. Advertise in local papers, put up fliers, and send postcards to local Realtors.

  5. Teamwork rules

    Create an Open House team, comprised of family members or friends, so that you don’t have to wear all the hats at once while being the hostess with the most-est. Leave yourself free to roam and mingle, so that when a hot prospect enters the house, you can give them your full attention and a personal tour of the property. Station people on different floors, to keep an eye on visitors, and have one team member designated to ensure that everyone signs your guest registry and takes a marketing packet or flier.

  6. Food sells, but spills happen.

    Serving food and drinks helps attract visitors, but be mindful of the potential for mess, and stick with items that are easy to serve, quick to clean up, and won’t wreck your upholstery or carpet if an accident happens.

  7. Focus on buyers, not browsers

    When visitors arrive, ask them if they have thought about mortgage finance options and if they are just starting to look at houses, or are actually ready to buy if they can find the home of their dreams. Many who attend your Open House may not yet be ready to buy, and are more curious than they are serious about purchasing a home. Concentrate on those who are ready and willing to sign the dotted line, to increase your chances of closing a sale.

  8. The mortgage math equals money equation

    People often shop for houses by trying to figure out how much they can afford per month, which is a sensible and practical approach. But very few actually understand their financial options in detail. Visit your bank or mortgage company and recruit a loan officer to help host your Open House. They can give loan advice to your guests, and if you sell the house, the loan officer will get the business, making it a win-win partnership for both of you.

  9. Family, friends, and “Fido”

    During the Open House, make sure that your kids and pets have something to keep them entertained elsewhere, so you don’t wind up mixing your business with their pleasure. Plan ahead for a family excursion with another adult, so that you can stay back and sell the house while everybody else goes to the park. It will help to make your real estate event seem like a walk in the park.

  10. Last but not least….

    For your own safety and the security of your home and belongings, be sure to have another person with you at all times during your Open House. While one of you accompanies potential buyers on a tour of the house, the other person can keep an eye on the front door. Put away all personal belongings and lock up valuables so that nobody is tempted to take anything like jewellery, cash, designer clothes, or that bottle of champagne you’re saving for moving day.

An Open House done right may seem like a big endeavour. But all the hard work and attention to detail is a wise investment, because if your property appears well maintained, buyers will assume that it is problem-free and be willing to pay more for it. Hire some help so you don’t get overwhelmed, and schedule a trip to the Spa or golf course for the following day. You deserve to be pampered and rewarded for doing a professional job.