How to Plan & Organize an Open House

By Solomon Poretsky, eHow Contributor



Holding an open house is a time-honored part of selling a residence in many parts of the country. Making it successful starts with careful planning and preparation. Your house should be conducive to being shown to large groups of people who won’t have an agent with them to help them interpret what they see. With this in mind, before even considering an open house, spruce up and stage the home. Once the home is ready to show, it’s time to plan your open house. Have a question? Get an answer from a Personal Finance Professional now!



Choose a date and time by researching when other open houses are held. Each area has its own custom, and it’s in your interest to hold your open house at the same time as others in your area. That way, people who attend other open houses can stop in and see yours. Consider making your open house last a little longer than everyone else’s — such as being open from 12:45 to 3:15 when everyone else is open from 1 to 3 — so that you can capture both the early birds and the stragglers.


Order or create signs. You’ll need an open house sign for your lawn as well as signs with arrows to post around your neighborhood to direct people and encourage them to stop in while they’re in the area visiting other homes.


Advertise your open house online. Online classified ad sites are good places, as are real estate websites that will let you post for-sale-by-owner ads. Use your social networking connections to publicize your open house. You should start advertising your open house at least one week in advance.


Design flyers and information sheets for your home that you can make available on the day of the open house. Since you’ll be busy right before the event, it’s wise to do this in advance.


Declutter, clean and deodorize your home the evening before the open house. Your house should be as neat and clean as possible on the day of the event, so cleaning at the last second ensures that it stays that way. Ask a friend or neighbor who isn’t in your home often to come in and check it out; he may notice an odor in your home that you have grown accustomed to. Bear in mind that deodorizing a home can take extra time.


Put out open house signs on the morning of the event. One good strategy is to place them on major streets, nearby corners and wherever you see a sign for another open house in your area.


Open doors to closets or features that you want your open house attendees to see, and turn on as many lights as possible. This makes your home seem larger and more inviting, while insuring that your home’s hidden highlights don’t get missed.


Send your pets and children out of the house during your open house.


Make your home feel extra inviting by turning on quiet music like soft jazz or mellow classical. Offering refreshments can help guests feel welcome and, while it’s generally wise to avoid cooking odorous food the day before an open house, serving fresh-baked cookies can help your house to feel particularly homey.

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