Real Estate: Notes from the Trenches – Think Open House

Whether you are a prospective home buyer or seller, an open house is a valuable tool. As a Realtor in Raleigh, North Carolina, I have held hundreds of open houses over the years. My experience has shown there are no hard and fast rules for an open house to be successful, although there are some helpful guide lines.

Setting the Stage

A home should look lived in, but always a little less lived in for the few hours it is on display. Untidy rooms, especially the kitchen and bath rooms, can be a major distraction. Families with children are used to seeing kids toys, so you needn’t go overboard trying to make a home look perfect. The key is to imagine yourself as the prospective buyer, and take it from there with the help of Dallas real estate agents.

What Convinced You?

Think about the main reasons that convinced you to buy your house in the first place. Your Realtor can use this information in a presentation to prospective buyers. Everyone enjoys hearing good things about why you like living in your neighborhood, and these positive experiences can influence a decision maker.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Placing neighborhood directional signs and bright balloons where there’s traffic will help to guide prospective buyers to your home. Don’t get discouraged if the weather isn’t cooperating. Remember, someone out looking in the rain tends to be a serious prospect. Little things, like offering visitors chilled bottled water and cookies work wonders. Keeping things simple can help prospective buyers remember the outstanding features they liked most about your home. A professional looking, informative printed handout describing the features of your home with relevent mortgage information is a priority. It never hurts to ask if the visitor would like to schedule a convenient time to learn more about the home and the neighborhood in greater detail.

The Competition

During the hours when your Realtor is holding your open house, use your time to visit other open houses to get ideas. Your Realtor will suggest multiple dates to hold your house open during the time it is on the market, and buyers’ feedback will increase the possibility of receiving an offer. Visitors can be requested to write their names and phone numbers in a guest book, and a follow-up call is appropriate to ask them their opinion of your open house as compared to any others they may have visited that day.


Surprisingly so, it isn’t unusual to discover after your open house that a visitor who thought he had seen everything on the market, may turn out to be the best prospective buyer. For just a few hours of time invested in holding an open house, the pay-off can be substantial.