Open House Basics

Open House Sign

I used to think that open houses were nothing more than an agent sitting in the house waiting for people to stop by and visit after they notice the balloons and signs as they drive by.

But, what I discovered after becoming an agent is that open houses take planning, preparation, a financial investment, and strategy to not only give the home exposure but to so attract the perfect buyer for that particular home. And, if you are an “out of the box” thinker and strategist like me, it could take you a little more planning time to target the right audience.

An open house is optional for both the homeowner and the agent; but the purpose of an open house is draw attention to the property and to attract a wide spread of potential buyers through various sources. The open house also creates a win-win situation for the seller and the agent in that it attracts buyers so that sellers can get the house sold for the most amount of money in the least amount of time; and for the agent, because he/she can, not only have a satisfied customer, but can also get more potential clients.

Open houses are also a great way for new agents to collaborate with seasoned agents or partner to help sell the house, as well as to gain experience speaking to prospects, communicating selling features of the property, and creating advertisements. The opportunity prepares new agents for success and helps them to set expectations for themselves and for their clients.

Respectfully, an open house takes up a chunk of an agent’s time (up to 4 hours at least); and as Benjamin Franklin used to say, “Time is money”. A real estate agent who wants to be successful can never be a “secret agent”. He/she must let the world know that they can help you with all of your real estate needs. Therefore, he/she should never stop hunting for new business, collaborations, creating new ideas to find leads, or discovering new strategies to expose a listing to a new pool of buyers.

So preparation for a successful open house is a must!! An open house should be planned similar to that of a party engagement. Invitations, balloons, themes, décor, fun focused, and give-a-ways.

Here are a few more tips to help with having a successful open house:

  • Agree with the homeowners and decide on the date & time of the open house
  • Out of the box thinkers (like me) love to have a theme or fun focus (e.g., ice cream social, pet photo contest, beach party)
  • Order (or bring) the open house directional signs (have at least 5 signs)
  • Advertise the open house in the MRIS,, zillow, trulia, craigslist, social media websites (Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, etc..)
  • Knock on the doors of neighbors that live near the open house and/or leave invitational flyers about the open house but also leave something (e.g., plant seeds with your contact information)
  • Call people who live within a 10 mile radius (your broker can provide you with a list)
  • Inspect the property prior to the open house to be sure that it is clean and clutter-free, organized, and ready for show.
  • Print out information about the subject property (officially from the MRIS)
  • Purchase one or two balloons per directional and yard sign
  • Bring a sign-in sheet to collect the telephone number, email address,
  • Bring your tool bag to the open house for possible quick repairs
  • Bring small décor items such as flowers, fireplace mantel or table center pieces and air fresheners
  • Bring a display table (if the home is vacant) for the information, your business cards and snacks.
  • Bring light refreshments (e.g., cookies, sodas, chips, fruit) to make the guest feel welcome
  • Bring take-a-way thank you gifts (e.g., goodie bag w/mints, gum, promotional item with your contact information, your business card)
  • Converse, be cordial and open to offer information but also give people space to explore when they come visit
  • Ask for feedback before they walk through and after- then record what they mention
  • Although success means different things for different people, celebrate the visit of one or many. Word of mouth from one person can reach many
  • Send thank you notes (the next day) with 2 your business cards included and a request for them to refer a friend; if they mentioned that they have to sell their home, during the open house, offer to give them a no obligation CMA in the note.

Above all, remember that no advertisement is ever a waste. Even if no one shows up to the open house, you have still accomplished the goal of getting the home exposed and working hard to generate more leads and/or referrals.

Until next time, enjoy life’s journey!

Real Estate D.I.V.A.
Distinguished. Indispensable. Valiant. Authoritative.

By the way, feel free to visit any of my websites and provide feedback, likes, or comments.

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About Real Estate Diva Brenda Douglas

Brenda Douglas aka Real Estate Diva Brenda is a luxury/probate agent, blogger/vlogger, seminar leader, Diva Home & Lifestyle Podcaster & Co-Author. The DMV is one of the most desirable places to live, work, and visit! And I can help you live here. Whether you want to buy, sell or invest in a DMV (DC, MD, VA) property, I can help! Contact me to get started today at YouTube Channel: KWPP Mobile App:
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