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10 Essential Tips To Hold A Successful Open House

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Kitchen staged for an open house
There are some tried and true methods to holding an open house. Here's what you need to know.

The time has come. You're ready to sell your property, and you've decided that holding an open house is a great idea.

Open houses can be a great way to draw in some additional foot traffic and make your listing stand out online.

After you've followed the ten essential tips to make sure you hold a great open house, you'll be all set up for success.

Stage It Beautifully

When planning an open house, you have to make sure everything about it screams, "Buy Me!"

You need prospective buyers to walk in and instantly feel at home.

A great way to do this is to have the house professionally staged.

Yes, professional staging costs a bit of money, but did you know:

  • Staging your house can help it sell faster.

  • Staged homes may sell for more than their non-staged counterparts.

If you don't want to pay to have everything professionally staged, you should at least do some light staging.

  • Hang appealing towels in the bathroom.

  • Put up nice curtains

  • Decorate the kitchen with some pops of color like fruit bowls.

Small, tasteful staging choices can go a long way when done well.

Mandatory Deep Cleaning

Before launching your open house, you absolutely must do a deep clean. Then go back and do a deeper clean.

You can do it yourself or hire it out to a cleaning company. But either way, you have to make sure your house is spotless before opening it up to potential buyers.

You may no longer notice the:

  • Fingerprints on the windows

  • The cobwebs in the corners

  • Or the weird odors coming from the bathroom

But everyone who walks into your house will. You have to at least:

  • Scrub your bathrooms until the sparkle

  • Get every ounce of grease and grime off of the kitchen appliances

  • Scrub the walls and windows of all finder prints and dirt

  • And make sure all the floors are spotless

The time you invest in making sure everything presents at its best will be well worth your while.

Take Stunning Photos

Have you ever seen a terrible photo of something and wanted it?

No? Me neither!

You may have a beautiful house to show, but the buyers won't know that until they look at all the lovely photos you post online.

This is another thing you can choose to do yourself or hire out to a professional.

Beautiful online images are so critical to your success that if you have a lackluster camera, or don't feel confident you can take decent photos, I would definitely hire a professional.

Should you decide to take the photos yourself, follow these three rules:

  1. Make sure you have as much natural light as possible. Dark photos look dull and boring.

  2. Never post blurry photos.

  3. Take and post pictures of every room in the house. Buyers want to get the best possible idea of what the house is like before showing up.

As long as you follow these three tips, or hire a professional real estate photographer, you should be okay.

Advertise Your Open House Everywhere

You may have a beautiful house, and you have the highest quality photos in the world. However, none of it matters if you don't adequately advertise your listing.

Take advantage of every marketing channel you possibly can to get maximum exposure for your open house.

Create an open house on Zillow

Zillow is the largest online resource for listing your open house. Be sure you claim and set up your listing if you haven't done so already, then add an open house date.

Zillow will then show your property to everyone looking to view open houses in your area.

Create a Craigslist posting with an open house date

Craigslist can be another great way to advertise your open house for free.

Craigslist will give you the option to add an open house date during the creation of your listing, or you can go back and add one when it's time to do so.

Create a Facebook event and invite your local friends and family

Another great online resource you can use to promote your open house is Facebook events.

Simply log onto Facebook, create an event, and fill in all the details so any interested parties can come to check out your property.

You can even invite friends and family members directly to the event who you think would be interested.

Place physical signs leading to your house

Realtors do this when promoting open houses all the time, and so should you.

Be sure to place physical signs leading to your property off the nearby main roads. These signs will help to direct additional traffic to your house.

You don't have to have the fanciest sign in the world, but I do recommend something more professional than a black marker on paper stapled to a telephone pole.

An important thing to consider is your city's or town's local laws regarding signage. Make sure you are fully compliant with the law on where, when, and how long you can place your signs.

The last thing you want is your local codes department giving you a citation.

Print and post local flyers with all the information and beautiful photos in high foot traffic areas

Flyers may be a bit old school, but don't discredit them. Impressive, to the point flyers put in the right place, can help bring more traffic to your open house.

Use Vistaprint to put together a compelling flyer that has:

  • At least one fantastic picture of the front of the house

  • All the vital information such as square footage, bedroom, and bathroom count.

  • Your asking price

  • And the open house details such as the date, time, and of course, the address.

If you're not excited about making a flyer by yourself, don't worry. Vistaprint has design specialists who can help you for as little as $5.

After your flyers are completed and shipped out, it's time to distribute them.

Put them out at local grocery stores, community boards, libraries, and anywhere else you can think of that gets heavy foot traffic.

To be safe, make sure you confirm with someone first that you're allowed to place the flyers.

Word of Mouth

Last but not least, use your voice! Tell all of your friends, family, and co-workers about your open house.

They may not be looking to buy, but they may know someone who is.

If you're feeling generous, tell everyone you speak with directly that if anyone they refer to the open house purchases it, you'll give them a thank you gift card.

Offer Light Snacks And Refreshments

When it comes time to hold your open house, it's a good idea to provide some light snacks and refreshments.

You don't have to go overboard and serve lobster. Some small finger sandwiches and some lemonade (in the summer) or hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate (in the winter) should do just fine.

Include that refreshments will be served during your open house in your advertisements, and you may pull in a few more interested parties.

Leave Flyers on the Kitchen Counter

Here's an example of a flyer our real estate agent made for one of our properties.

Contenza Properties - Open house flyer example

At this time, you've done so much work getting interested buyers to stop by your open house.

Make sure all the information they need is easily accessible in the form of a flyer.

Like the flyers we discussed above, you can make these using Vistaprint.

Leave out vivid flyers that discuss all the fantastic features of your house on the kitchen counter so buyers can grab one and take it home.

Tidy Up The Landscaping

Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal. You have to nail your curb appeal.

This goes without saying, but the first things everyone will see when pulling up to your open house is the landscaping and front exterior of the property.

Take extra time in the days leading up to your open house to spruce up the front of your property.

  • Plant some colorful flowers or shrubbery

  • Clean out any and all yard debris

  • Cut the grass and manicure any hedges

  • Don't leave junk items lying around. This could be a huge turnoff

  • Remove any vehicles from the property, so everything is open when buyers pull in

These few steps can help leave a great first impression with potential buyers.

Mandatory Cookie Bake

No open house article would be complete without telling you to bake cookies, so, bake cookies.

Be Professional And Friendly

Last, and certainly not least, you have to carry yourself in a professional and friendly manner.

People want to do business with individuals they like, so make sure you have a helpful and positive attitude.

  • Respond to questions genuinely

  • If someone isn't interested, thank them for their time

  • Don't take negative feedback personally

  • Ask interested parties for their contact information so you can politely follow up with them

A simple smile can go a long way.

What If You Don't Want To Go Through All This To Sell Your House?

Does setting up an open house and dealing with buyers sound like a huge pain in the butt?

Don't worry, we understand. Selling a house on your own takes a great deal of work. Especially when it comes time to hold an open house, and do it right.

If you'd prefer to sell your house quickly without all the typical headaches of listing it on the market, you can sell your house directly to a professional home buying company like Contenza Properties.

We buy houses in their as-is condition, so you never have to do any:

  • Repairs

  • Staging

  • Cleaning

  • Or hosting of open houses

We'll never charge you any fees either.

Submit your information below using our simple form, and get an excellent offer for your house today.


About The Author

Jordan Reid - Founder of Contenza Properties

Jordan Reid founded Contenza Properties in April of 2018 to help homeowners solve their real estate problems quickly.

Since then, Jordan has helped multiple homeowners facing difficult situations such as divorce, property liens, and unwanted property inheritance.

Jordan believes in putting people first, and numbers second, which helps him reach the best possible solutions for the homeowners he works with.

Currently, Jordan and his team at Contenza Properties offer their professional home buying services in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Knoxville, Tennessee.


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