An open house is when you are inviting the general public, those qualified and not, those interested in buying and those that are not, and all in between. It is a good way to show your home to many people at once and hopefully someone interested sees it and makes and acceptable offer at best, and at worse you hope someone whom came tells a friend or family member and they are interested. It is also good when a lot of people are at the home at the same time because it fosters competition. It is also a great way of letting your neighbors know your home is for sale. Many may not be actively looking therefore not know the home is for sale.

Below are the steps you should take to prepare for and hold your open house. First, and most importantly, don’t hold an open house alone. Always have 1 or 2 others there. This is strictly for safety.

Prepare your home

Make sure you clean. When I say clean I mean a deep cleaning. It is obvious when someone cleaned up superficially. You want the home to look its best so, declutter, organize closets, make the beds etc. Clean off the kitchen countertops. Less is better. Do the same in the bathroom, tub, and shower. Remove all valuables. Ideally you will have so many people visit that you lose track of where everyone is. So lock up and put away anything of value.

Select a day

No hard fast rule here but generally speaking most people are off Saturday and Sundays. I suggest 12pm to 2pm or 2pm to 4pm. Earlier is hard if someone has children and they have a morning activity. And after is getting close to dinner time. But use your judgement. I suggest a 2 hour time frame because serious buyers will want to come when its available. Also if you are not getting traction on your listing then the foot traffic will be low. Thus you will be wasting your time. It would be a better use of time promoting your listing on and off line vs sitting at an open house when no one is showing up.

Announce your open house

There are several ways to announce and promote that you are having an open house. Make sure everywhere your home is posted the open house day and times are entered. This will be the best way to get people to come. There are also many social media groups that are local to your area where you can announce there is an open house. This too is very popular especially if your area has a local real estate page and or an events in the area announcement for local events. Further you can put an ad in a local journal, in a church or temple newsletter. Any place that is popular in the area and surrounding areas where events are shared with the public The idea here is to let as many in the public know your home is for sale and there is an open house happening. So be sure to email friends to help spread the word.


You should purchase at least 2 open house signs that have your address, an arrow pointing in the direction of the open house. These signs can be purchased on line at Vistaprint or many other printing companies. Place these signs are either end of the street you are on. If you want you can place more signs. For example if you are blocks from a major street or intersection you can place a sign there, and then a sign closer to the home to direct any traffic to your home. You want to put something in the front of the home that indicates to those looking for it this is the home. A good way to do this is with balloons. I suggest you tie a few balloons to the home. I also recommend each open house sign have a balloon tied to it to draw attention to the sign.

What to do during the open house

Greet everyone that comes in the home. Encourage them to look around. If you can show them around if no one else is there but if several than just let them know it is safe to move on and check out the home. If possible you can start talking about your favorite thing about the home, ie the kitchen was recently re done, the yard is large, the bedrooms all have large closets. As you as showing them around you can talk about what you like best about the area.

Answer as many questions as you can but if you don’t know the answer say you will have to get back to them and ask for an email, try not to give out your cell.

Do not say anything negative about anything. Keep everything positive. Do not engage in any speak about politics or religion. It will distract from your objective to show the home and connect with as many buyers as possible so you can explain what is so great about your home and why they should buy it. You wont be able to speak to everyone.

Therefore prepare a simple flyer for the home. State the address, price, property taxes, HOA fee is any, a few short sentences about the place, such as Gold level fortified, new roof, large rooms etc. If you are user you would simply direct everyone to your propertys website so they can enter our unique vetting system, and if passing they can make an offer. If not state your email, ideally not your cell, and tell them to direct all questions and offers to this location.

Do not take any offers at the open house. All offers must be in writing.

Getting offers is great but remember offers are not as simple as stating what you want to buy the home for. There is looking at the property condition report, the amount of the down payment upon signing contracts, and when they want to close. If getting a mortgage the buyer needs to have their pre approval from a lender. If buying all cash they need to supply proof of funds or how they are getting the cash to complete the transaction, for example if selling a home they would provide the fully executed contract of sale. And you need to validate everything, meaning touch base with the loan officer make sure the pre approval is still valid. If the buyer needs to sell their home confirm their home was listed by finding it somewhere online. There are far to many websites that provide the information for a home that is under contract.

Good luck at your open house I hope it is a success.