Professional Pathways

Do’s and Don’ts When Preparing For An Open House

Posted on January 12, 2024
Real estate manager showing open house to young couple outside


  1. Clean and Declutter:
  • Do thoroughly clean the entire house, including windows, floors, and surfaces.
  • Do declutter rooms to make the space feel more open and inviting.


  1. Curb Appeal:
  • Do enhance the curb appeal by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and adding potted plants.
  • Do ensure that the exterior, including the front door, is in good condition.


  1. Neutralize and Depersonalize:
  • Do use neutral colors for walls and décor to appeal to a broader range of buyers.
  • Do remove personal items and family photos to allow potential buyers to envision themselves in the space.


4. Highlight Key Features:

  • Do emphasize the unique and desirable features of the home, such as built-in storage, architectural details, or a beautiful view.
  • Do ensure that all essential systems (heating, cooling, plumbing) are in good working order.


  1. Good Lighting:
  • Do maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds.
  • Do ensure that all light fixtures are working, and consider adding extra lighting in darker areas.


  1. A Pleasant Smell:
  • Do create a pleasant scent using subtle air fresheners or by baking cookies before the open house.
  • Do eliminate any odors, especially pet odors, by thoroughly cleaning and deodorizing.


  1. Set the Right Temperature:
  • Do ensure the home is at a comfortable temperature for visitors.
  • Do consider adjusting the thermostat slightly higher in colder months and lower in warmer months to create a comfortable atmosphere.


  1. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere:
  • Do set the dining table, add fresh flowers, and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Do consider playing soft, neutral background music to enhance the ambiance.


  1. Furniture Arrangement:
  • Do arrange furniture to showcase the flow of each room, making it easy for visitors to navigate.
  • Do consider creating cozy conversation areas to help buyers envision how they might use the space.


  1. Staging:
  • Do consider professional staging if possible, as it can significantly enhance the visual appeal of the home.
  • Do use tasteful and modern furnishings to highlight the home’s potential.


  1. Informational Materials:
  • Do provide informational materials about the home, neighborhood, and local amenities.
  • Do consider having a fact sheet or brochure available for potential buyers to take with them.


  1. Open House Signage:
  • Do strategically place open house signs in the neighborhood to guide potential buyers to the property.
  • Do ensure that the signage is clear, well-designed, and provides essential information.


  1. Security Measures:
  • Do take necessary security measures during the open house, such as locking away valuables.
  • Do consider having a sign-in sheet to keep track of visitors for security purposes.


  1. Flexibility with Viewing Times:
  • Do be flexible with the timing of the open house to accommodate a broader range of potential buyers.
  • Do consider hosting the open house during peak hours when foot traffic is higher.


  1. Social Media Promotion:
  • Do leverage social media platforms to promote the open house.
  • Do create engaging posts with attractive visuals and essential details about the property.


  1. Technology Integration:
  • Do consider incorporating smart home technology to showcase modern features.
  • Do highlight any energy-efficient upgrades or smart home systems that may be attractive to buyers.


  1. Interactive Floor Plans:
  • Do provide interactive floor plans or virtual tours to help potential buyers visualize the layout.
  • Do make these materials easily accessible online before the open house.


  1. Testimonials and Reviews:
  • Do showcase positive testimonials or reviews from previous clients.
  • Do consider creating a display or booklet featuring success stories from satisfied buyers.


  1. Refreshments:
  • Do offer refreshments such as water, coffee, or light snacks to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Do consider catering to dietary preferences and allergies if providing snacks.


  1. Feedback Collection:
  • Do encourage visitors to provide feedback on the property.
  • Do consider using feedback forms or online surveys to gather insights from potential buyers.


  1. Follow-Up Strategy:
  • Do have a follow-up strategy in place to stay connected with interested buyers.
  • Do collect contact information and send a thank-you email with additional details about the property.



  1. Personal Clutter:
  • Don’t leave personal items like toothbrushes, laundry, or excessive family photos visible.
  • Don’t overwhelm the space with too much furniture or personal décor.


  1. Unpleasant Odors:
  • Don’t use strong or overpowering scents, as they may be off-putting to some visitors.
  • Don’t try to mask odors with air fresheners; instead, address the source of the smell.


  1. Unfinished Repairs:
  • Don’t leave noticeable repairs unfinished; fix any minor issues like leaky faucets or loose cabinet handles.
  • Don’t assume potential buyers won’t notice small details – they often do.


  1. Dark and Dim Spaces:
  • Don’t keep curtains or blinds closed, making rooms appear dark and unwelcoming.
  • Don’t rely solely on overhead lighting; use a combination of natural and artificial light to brighten spaces.


  1. Pet Presence:
  • Don’t leave pets at home during the open house, if possible.
  • Don’t forget to clean up pet-related items and odors.


  1. Over-personalization:
  • Don’t showcase highly specific or niche decorations that may not appeal to a broad audience.
  • Don’t make the home too personalized to your taste; aim for a neutral and universally appealing look.


  1. Unattended Valuables:
  • Don’t leave valuable items like jewelry, electronics, or personal documents in plain sight.
  • Don’t assume all visitors have good intentions; take precautions to secure valuables.


  1. Intrusive Presence:
  • Don’t hover over visitors during the open house; give them space to explore.
  • Don’t overshare personal information; maintain a professional demeanor.


  1. Incomplete Landscaping:
  • Don’t neglect the outdoor areas; ensure that the yard is well-maintained and inviting.
  • Don’t forget to remove any dead plants or debris from the garden.


  1. Inaccurate or Misleading Information:
  • Don’t provide inaccurate information about the property or its history.
  • Don’t exaggerate features or potential benefits that may mislead potential buyers.


  1. Unpleasant Surprises:
  • Don’t surprise visitors with unexpected issues, such as non-functioning appliances or faulty fixtures.
  • Don’t hide major flaws; be transparent about any known issues with the property.


  1. Overly Personalized Artwork:
  • Don’t display highly personalized or controversial artwork that may distract or turn off potential buyers.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of art on shaping the overall impression of the home.


  1. Intrusive Photography:
  • Don’t include personal photos of the current residents in promotional materials or during the open house.
  • Don’t inadvertently capture personal items in listing photos.


  1. Lingering Personal Items:
  • Don’t overlook personal items like toiletries in bathrooms or excessive clothing in closets.
  • Don’t forget to depersonalize all areas of the home, including storage spaces.


  1. Unfinished Outdoor Spaces:
  • Don’t ignore outdoor spaces; ensure that patios, decks, and landscaping are well-maintained.
  • Don’t leave outdoor furniture in disrepair; fix or remove items that may be worn or broken.


  1. Overpricing Discussions:
  • Don’t engage in discussions about overpricing during the open house.
  • Don’t make potential buyers feel uncomfortable by discussing negotiations openly.


  1. Intrusive Marketing:
  • Don’t overwhelm visitors with aggressive marketing materials or pushy sales tactics.
  • Don’t forget that a balance between promotion and allowing visitors to explore is essential.


  1. Neglecting Security Measures:
  • Don’t neglect security during the open house, especially when dealing with a large number of visitors.
  • Don’t compromise the safety of the property and its occupants.


  1. Over-personalization in Scents:
  • Don’t use overly strong or artificial scents, as they may be overwhelming to some visitors.
  • Don’t distract from the home’s natural aroma with excessive use of air fresheners.