Getting visitors to your open house can sometimes prove a real challenge. And once the day finally arrives, how do you guarantee everything will go according to plan?

Don’t worry; we’ve got some tips that’ll help you get all those potential home-buyers to your open house, as well as make sure the house is looking it’s best once they arrive.

Advertise online AND local papers (even very small ones)

Many agents are beginning to switch to exclusively online advertising. After all, they want to get the best bang for their buck and studies show the majority of people today search for homes to buy or rent online.

In fact, I recommend that you advertise your site everywhere you can online, including sites like Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In addition to that, though, don’t forget print advertising. Large magazines such as Homes & Land are great to get the word of your available properties out to a large audience, but don’t underestimate the local newspapers. This is particularly true in small towns.

With these strategically placed ads in both online and print locations, people are sure to know about your open house.

Make sure you have great pictures

This partially fits with the advertising tip, but it’s so important it needs its own section.

If you post the open house on Facebook (or any other site), it’s absolutely necessary to include pictures with the post. Your ad will get much more engagement with pictures and help draw people to the house.

Consider hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of every room of the house, the outside, and any property that is included. Depending on the house, you should also look into getting a video filmed by a drone of the home and the surrounding area.

Don’t underestimate the potential for great photos and videos to help your home get shared around social media and bring many more people out to the open house.

Offer free food

Honestly, who can say no to free food? You’re pretty much guaranteed to get a larger number of guests at an open house that advertises free food than one that doesn’t.

While it’s true that some of these people might just be stopping in to check out the free snacks, the majority are genuinely interested drawn out by the extra incentive of free food.

Of course, you don’t need to buy a 5 star, eight-course meal, but some finger foods picked up at your local grocery store will go a long way in getting guests to your open house.

Strategically place signs in advance

While knocking on the neighbors’ doors could be seen as intrusive (and even against the rules of certain neighborhoods), you have to let them know about the open house somehow.

Chances are, neighbors aren’t actively searching for available homes around them on the internet or in the newspaper, but they often know of friends or family members who are very interested in the neighborhood.

Because of this, it’s very important that these neighbors know about the open house. Rather than being a nuisance, place a sign in the yard detailing the date and time of the open house, as well as several pointer signs with “Open House” written on them.

With this, you’ll certainly catch the attention of those who are living nearby the home who could suggest your potential future buyer.

Always follow up

Keep track of everyone that enters with a sign-in sheet that includes their name, email, and phone number. Then, input this information into whatever you use to keep track of leads, whether this is an application or a simple Excel sheet.

Afterwards, make sure to follow up with every person that came to your open house. Even if they weren’t interested in that particular house, you can help them search for one that fits their needs better.

The art of following up is important for almost every aspect of real estate, open houses included.

Depersonalize the home

This one should be done not only during an open house but anytime potential buyers are viewing the house.

Make sure you put away all pictures of the family that is currently living in the house and any odd design features. This includes anything religious in nature, awards or other items with the owners’ names on them, and anything else particular to the owners.

Buyers like to envision themselves in the house and this is much more difficult if there are pictures or specific details of the current owners throughout it. However, don’t go through too much trouble getting this done, as there’s no actual data that proves it leads to more sales.

Last minute checklist (temperature, valuables, cleanliness, pets, lights on, etc)

Print yourself out a last-minute checklist and take it with you while you’re setting up for the event. Is the temperature set to a comfortable degree? Check. Are all the loose valuables put away? Check. Is the house clean, particularly the small details that buyers tend to notice such as clean windows and organized closets? Check.

Another thing to put on your to-do list is to make sure all the lights are on to make the home look more open and welcoming.

Also, all pets should be put away, preferably outside if possible. This helps you avoid trouble with guests who could have allergies or simply don’t like pets, as well as the off-chance that the pet could have an accident inside during the open house.

Having this checklist will help you feel much more comfortable knowing that you aren’t forgetting anything important so you can focus your attention on the open house guests.

Michele Karl is the Owner/Broker of Priority Real Estate. She can be reached at her website, her email at or give her a call at her office at 865-577-6600.




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