10 Steps to a Successful Open House

Real Estate Agent with Exit Realty Optimum

Hi all......with so much knowledge and experience on this site, I surely don't intend to re-invent the wheel.

But maybe you'll find a suggestion or two that you can make your own! And of course comments are welcome! [I apologize in advance that the font is too big!]

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  1. The house should be pristine…give homeowners a list of items to check before the big day. Visitors will notice the smallest details.
  2. Several days ahead, mail out advertising flyers to other households in the neighborhood; advertise the open house notice everywhere you can….newspapers, online, bulletin boards, riders etc.
  3. On the day of, put two frames on the property and also at nearby intersections; balloons will make them more noticeable.
  4. Stage the house anytime of year with light music and apple juice/cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove.
  5. Greet visitors with enthusiasm….and qualify by asking “How long have you folks been looking for a home?”[ you’ll find out which ones are seriously interested in this home or other homes.]
  6. Serve coffee and cookies…..the aroma of freshly-made coffee and cookies [the slice ‘n’ bake type] create a pleasant ambiance as well as give you  an opportunity to chat with serious buyers. [a good time to ask if they are working with an agent.]
  7. Have packets prepared for each guest with about 10 other area listings of similar properties…and include a map, with numbers showing the locations of those listings. Naturally it should promote ‘brand [you]’.
  8. Are you ready for this one??.....consider using a gimmick….my broker uses a ceramic talking frog on the doorstep with a taped message, set off by sensors. [I’m not kidding! ] This serves two purposes…..visitors will enter the home grinning and people will remember you for your uniqueness. Don’t worry….when you get to the close, they will see that you can be serious too. Since this is a bit over the top, you have to know your neighborhood culture as well as your own comfort level! But the point is….don’t be afraid to put yourself out there……don’t be passive! Pay a visit to your local novelty shop.
  9. Never ask “what did you think”…too vague …and visitors will respond in a way that is just as vague.. Recently I asked “what do you think of the price” which is much more specific and then I was able to give my homeowners the feedback that respondents thought the property was over-priced. You’re working for free if you have an over-priced home, longterm. [BTW, the homeowners did reduce the price.]
  10. Go for the close…..have documents with you….and at the very least get contact information by explaining the advantages of working with a realtor, such as:
    1. the seller is going to pay the commission, so take the opportunity to use the services of a buyer’s agent.
    2. realtors have access to mls listings before others do, so clients will have the ‘scoop’ with such applications as ‘prospector’ et al

PS….Enjoy the process…but remember you are ‘on stage’ and will feel exhausted at the end of the Open House, which incidentally should go 15 minutes beyond,  for those late-comers. It’s a curiosity of human nature that folks are prone to do that. ;-)



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Melva Reid
Exit Realty Optimum - Halifax, NS
Exit Realty Optimum 902-403-5420

Is my face red? I thought I was being clever by typing the post in Word, then copy-pasting it! However as you can see, the best-laid plans of mice and [wo]men........

If someone could suggest how I can avoid this in future, I would be very appreciative!


Dec 09, 2008 07:55 PM #1
Andrea Palmer
Jones & Co. Realty 239-333-5556 - Cape Coral, FL
Phone 239-333-5556

I really like the frog idea!!!!!!!

Dec 09, 2008 08:08 PM #2

Thanks Andrea....it's one of those suggestions that you either love...or not! My broker is a real people person and loves the reaction it gets! ;-)

Dec 09, 2008 08:14 PM #3
Wanda Thomas
Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN - Billings, MT
Billings Montana Real Estate

Hi Andrea, I think I read somewhere that if you use the font in word and then copy and paste in Firefox, Modzilla, that it should work.  I'm just new here so don't quote me, i've read so many instructional blogs that bits and pieces are scattered about in my grey matter.  This wouldn't be such a bad thing, but I'm older now and it's harder to defragment!

I really liked the post.  I love open houses, even though sometimes I feel like a dud when I do them.  The idea of breaking the ice a bit with an inanimate object makes me smile as well.

Dec 09, 2008 08:21 PM #4

Hi Wanda.....the fact that the post made you smile made my day! I often feel like a dud too....but having taken some training recently, I feel re-energized! Hope it has the same effect on you and others!

{alas I am using Firefox, so next time I might try copy-pasting using IE!]

Dec 09, 2008 08:26 PM #5
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Melva Reid

Exit Realty Optimum 902-403-5420