How to Have a Great Open House

Selling your home can be at once both exciting and terrifying…especially if you’ve lived in your home for many years.

Not only are there memories tied to your home, you might be afraid that you won’t be able to find a great community like the one you’re part of now.

And while you love your home, maybe you’ve got a once in a lifetime job offer, or your family is growing…or shrinking.

No matter what your reasons for selling, an open house is a good way to get a great number of people to view your home in a very short time.

Whether your realtor has suggested an open house or you’re opting to hold one yourself, following are some tips for making your open house a memorable…and effective one.:

  • ⬧ Clear out any and all clutter, tossing, packing and storing your possessions
  • ⬧ Remove or hide personal items such as family portraits and any and all electronics (to discourage theft)
  • ⬧ Thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom. Or, if you have the budget, you can also hire a cleaning service to save you time
  • ⬧ If you have the budget for it, have your home professionally staged. If not, look online for ideas on the best ways to stage your home
  • ⬧ Keep your driveway and the front of your house empty from cars
  • ⬧ Open all of the drapes and blinds to let in abundant natural light
  • ⬧ Don’t use air freshener…some people can be allergic
  • ⬧ If you’re going to simmer spices on the stove, offer fresh cookies and coffee as well…or if it’s in your budget provide a catered lunch
  • ⬧ Turn all lights on (except those that are tied to exhaust fans)
  • ⬧ Play soft music in the background to lend a relaxing atmosphere as potential buyers walk through the house
  • ⬧ Provide colored flyers of your home showing beautiful images and detailing what makes your home a great place to live
  • ⬧ If you have four seasons, post pictures of your home in each season to help prospective buyers see what it would be like to live there


Set out documents that pertain to your home for visitors to review such as:

  • ⬧ Inspection reports
  • ⬧ An appraisal or comparables
  • ⬧ Major repairs and warranties


If your realtor has arranged for an open house it’s recommended that as an owner you’re not there.

Potential buyers should feel free to ask questions or make comments about the home…something that may be harder when the owners of the home are there.

However, if you’re hosting the open house make sure that you greet each and every visitor warmly. Discover what they’re looking for and show them how your home can meet their needs.

Ask your visitors what they think about your home and if they would consider buying it. While it may seem blunt, it’s the best way to understand what people are looking for (which can help you or your realtor when marketing your home).

And…the question just might lead to an offer on the spot.

However, if you don’t receive an offer straight away, that doesn’t mean your open house was unsuccessful.

Since most open houses are held on the weekend, your future buyer could simply be arranging for financing pre-approval and will send you an offer the following week.