Open House Tips for Real Estate Agents

Great room prepared for an open house

An open house can make or break a home sale for you and your seller. So, we’d like to do our part to help ensure your next client’s open house is a successful one.

Following are some do’s and don’ts for a smooth home showing. We hope these open house tips for real estate agents increase the likelihood of an offer (or multiple offers!) on your client’s residence.

Open House Tips


Post a sign advertising the open house in the neighborhood for at least one week before the event.

It’s helpful to give buyers enough notice to plan to attend an open house. A week is a good amount of time for locals to see the sign and add the event to their calendar. Attaching an open house sign to the for-sale sign is advantageous for buyers on foot or those hoping to see that specific home. Be sure to also mark the listing as an open house in the MLS. You can set the listing as having an open house on a specific date.

Invite the neighbors.

Make an open house a neighborhood event. While having too many neighbors and not enough buyers would not be helpful, having neighbors spread the word can be highly beneficial. They want great neighbors, so it is in their best interest to help promote the open house. Neighbors can also relay what they love about the neighborhood, which can give you talking points to share with other walk-ins.

Woman opening curtains

Make a great first impression with these simple touches that make a big difference:

  1. Fresh flowers: A simple arrangement(s) can make the space seem cheerful and fragrant.
  2. Light: Natural light or added lamps can create a sense of warmth and openness in the home.
  3. Refreshments: Visitors remember the home with just-brewed coffee, ice-cold bottled water or a fresh fruit tray.


Encourage your client to make their home look less like…theirs. Although family photos carry great meaning for them, it can make it difficult for a prospective buyer to picture their own family living in the home. Clearing out the personal clutter is one of the most important open house tips you can share with your clients!

Regulate the temperature.

No one wants to remember the open house as that one home that was too hot or too cold. While a specific temperature can’t please every buyer, having a comfortable environment in the home can make a huge difference in deciding whether or not to move forward in the process. Temperature is a significant element of creating a welcoming space.

Be aware of your personal safety.

Being in charge of a house full of strangers can carry risk. There are steps you can take to create a safe open house.


Leave valuables in the home.

Ideally, an open house will be well-attended and many buyers will be wandering through the home. Encourage the seller to remove any valuables from their home in order to avoid potentially uncomfortable situations or losses.

Let your seller attend.

Selling a home is an emotional process, and it may be difficult for a seller to watch buyers evaluating their home. Having your seller present for the open house can also make buyers feel pressured or uncomfortable asking certain questions. Gently explain to your client that it is in their best interest to skip the event and set up a time shortly afterward to discuss how it went.

Leave Fluffy (or his toys) in the home.

Just like family photos, buyers don’t want to picture a dog running around their dream home if pets aren’t their thing. Even buyers who love pets may get a negative first impression if there are food bowls and pet toys spread throughout the residence. Also be sure to rid the home of any stray pet fur so it won’t deter any prospects with pet allergies.

Limit potential buyers to certain areas of the home.

Remember, the goal is for prospective homebuyers to envision themselves living in the home, which can be difficult to do if certain areas are off limits. Closing off parts of the home may also make it seem like sellers have something to hide. If there are items that they don’t want the public to access, recommend keeping them in a bank vault, storage unit or at a friend’s house.

An open house is a great chance to share a home with the community and create interest. Following these open house tips can make the experience enjoyable for the Realtor®, seller and buyers alike!

Help clients show off their homes!

Our free Real Estate Photography Guide has tips for taking listing photos that will generate lots of buzz.

Get it now

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Some additional resources that may interest you:

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