How to hold an open house and who can help you prepare your property

There are many pros and cons to holding an open house. It can be a complex issue for many people and not all homes are suitable for holding an open house. Some of the problem areas may be the listing’s location or its condition. However, if you have decided to do it, there are benefits to reap for sure. Holding an open house will expose your home to potential buyers, as well as people who will spread the word about your home being listed. Real estate agents say some 20 percent of their sales come from open houses. In some cases, people even get a serious offer on the spot. Now, what do you need to know about how to hold an open house and who can help you prepare your property?

caption: There are simple ways to hold an effective open house.

alt tag: a key in a door

Set the date

Once they have truly decided to move house, most people are excited to get started with the sale. Many real estate agents will be open to showing your house on that very first weekend. Some agents like to do a pre-showing where other agents or brokers will come to view your home. This way you can get useful feedback about both your presentation and pricing. After this, you can think about setting the date for an open house.

One of the basic tips for a successful open house is to hold it on a Sunday afternoon. The minimal length would be two hours, but four would actually be optimal. Make sure your open house doesn’t fall on any major holiday, and you should also consult the weather forecast. People tend to stay at home if it’s raining.

Getting the place ready

Getting rid of excess

Sometimes people sell their existing homes after they have already bought their new one or started the process of moving. This can be good for your open house because you would be able to move some furniture into your new place. However, as this is often not the case, experts say using storage for your open house might not be a bad idea. Hiring a moving company will help you with this as movers arrange transportation of your furniture. Take out anything that does not really fit the room. It will make your house seem more spacious and much more inviting to buyers.

Some other pieces that you want to get rid of for the showing are any pieces you absolutely do not want to part with. Whether it’s a family heirloom like a chandelier or a very expensive bar, make sure it’s not there if you don’t want prospective buyers to start asking whether or not it comes with the house. Getting a storage unit is simple enough. Many movers like cover these services as well.

You should also consider if there is anything around your house that merits some work or repairs before selling. If anything, it will help you get more money from the sale.

Get a dog-sitter

Another one of the common tips for preparing for an open house is to get a dog-sitter. In most cases, it is very difficult to sell a home where pets live. It can be done, however, but you can do without this reminder on the day of the showing. Pets can also present a distraction for potential buyers. You want them to focus on your space and whether they can see themselves living there. So, make sure you have someone take care of your pets while you hold your open house.

caption: Pets are lovable, but can be a distraction during an open house.

alt tag: a black and brown puppy

Stay safe

One of the tips for holding an open house that’s often disregarded is worrying about safety. When holding an open house, you are basically holding your door open and welcoming perfect strangers into your home. People will be coming in and out of your house for two hours or more. This can almost sound like a recipe for disaster. Make sure you put all of your valuables in storage before your open house. You should also check to see if your insurance policy would cover anything that might happen during your showing. It is always better to stay on the cautious side and think about these things in advance.


Some of the tips for a successful open house suggest using a variety of different marketing tactics. You can take out an ad in the classifieds section. Furthermore, you can put up open house signs in front of your place and some additional signs that will point in the right direction along the way. You can also advertise online, on your social media or a blog. Some real estate websites even allow for placing ads on them for their subscribers.

You should bear in mind that you’ll need promotional material on the day of the showing as well. Spread out your little brochures around the house in convenient places. The brochure should contain some photos, but more importantly, all of the necessary information about your place and the selling process. Potential buyers can take these home and mull over them after the showing.


Get to work cleaning several days before the open house. One of the best ways how to prepare for an open house is to aim for the sterile feel. It may seem counterintuitive, but this is often key to a successful showing. You want your prospective buyers to be able to project what they want and need onto your space. So, pay close attention to details, like fluffing all of the bedding and pillows, making all flat surfaces shine, etc.

caption: The more light there is in the room, the bigger it will seem.

alt tag: A white living room with big windows.

Final touches

Open all drapes and windows on the day and let the light and fresh air in. Make sure soft, unassuming music is playing throughout the house. In addition to this, don’t forget to set up some refreshments and snacks. Turn on all of the lights, make sure there are enough parking spaces. And finally, mingle. Make sure you are upbeat and open and that your guests feel like they can talk freely with you. You can even ask them for feedback which can help you with selling.

Who can you turn to for help?

Firstly, you should definitely be able to have your listing agent help you with setting up the open house. You can bounce ideas off them as they have probably done this many times before. On the other hand, your moving company should be able to help you with moving furniture and storage. Finally, you can also ask members of your family to help out, especially when it comes to getting the place ready.

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