How to Do an Open House [Tips & Tricks to Use in 2024]


If you’re new to real estate and find yourself wondering how to do an open house, remember that there are a few trusted tips and techniques that will help you appear more professional as a beginner, as well as help, improve your Return on Investment (ROI) even as a veteran.

In this article, we’ll be answering some questions such as:

How does someone host an open house?

What should new real estate agents do when hosting their first open house?

We also include many pieces of advice, such as the best day to host an open house, ways of marketing and promoting an open house, how to effectively use flyers and brochures, and how posting listings on social media works best with quality pictures and virtual tours.

In addition, we’ll be looking at how to get the most out of leads by being correctly prepared for each open house, as well as some extra general ideas for an open house and how to improve yours. 

Let’s dive into the world of open houses and make sure that you’re fully equipped to prepare the best possible showings to help encourage and enable your real-estate businesses’ growth.

What Is an Open House?

DID YOU KNOW that 93% of homeowners and clients use websites for initial property searches?

Before answering the question of how to do an open house, let’s make sure everyone is clear on what an ‘open house’ is.

An open house is a viewing of any property that a potential client might be interested in; these tours can be done for any type of property listing, whether a rental, sale, purchase, or other.

Anyone can host an open house, so long as they are in touch with the homeowners or hold the keys to the property as the key agent. Hosting an open house for another agent is also a good (and legal) idea if possible to gain experience.

In most cases, though, it will be your job as the real estate agent to acquire the keys from the owner to set up and host the open house yourself.

How Do Open Houses Work? 

DID YOU KNOW that 52% of people buy their houses online?

When considering how to host an open house, note that you are essentially meeting all your leads for the first time, as well as hoping to generate more.

An open house is all about increasing a home’s exposure to help generate more attention—and hopefully find the right tenant or buyers for the property.

So what is an open house? It’s really a meet and greets between you, the neighbors, prospective clients, and (possibly) the owner.

Most people want to see what they’re buying when they’re spending as much as they do on a property. By allowing potential buyers to get a look and feel for the house, you’re:

  • Helping to build trust between both parties as to the agent
  • Giving the sellers better peace of mind by finding good matches for them
  • Allowing prospective buyers or tenants a better idea of what they’re getting for their money
  • Possibly garnering more leads, as clients might be interested in other listings you may have in the area

It’s best to view an open house as a mini networking event: You’re able to market yourself, your business, and various properties you’re looking to sell to improve your business.

They’re also really useful with real estate lead generation ideas, which is where you’ll spend a lot of your time in the real estate world.

Ultimately, connecting people with homes is what you do, so the more connections and properties you have to manage, the more likely you are to get a successful sale.

Keep reading and we’ll show you useful open house tips that will help improve your ROI and lead generation abilities as a realtor.

Ideas for Open Houses

DID YOU KNOW that decluttering and cleaning a house is imperative before showing it? Be sure to hire good cleaning services before an open house and leave your home in good condition

While hosting an open house may seem simple, there are a few things you should consider before diving into them; if your current open houses don’t seem to be working, read on as well.

Remember, there are certain forms of open house etiquette that realtors should know before embarking on any adventures. Below is a list of some important steps to take when hosting an open house.

Be There Early

Remember, you’re the real estate agent hosting the open house, so you want to ensure that you’re there before everybody else. It’s considered very rude if the agent is there later than anyone else.

Be sure you can host an open day when your schedule has time for you to be there for the whole event, rather than running around trying to balance other things.

Prepare Copies of Documentation

This is an important step for any real estate agent; In most cases, new homeowners (or potential homeowners) are going to feel more engaged with the area if you can validate things about the property quickly and concisely. Prospective clients want to see things like:

  • A prepared list of features
  • Any inspection documents
  • The price
  • Your contact details
  • Any contracts or documents which were discussed before your meeting

Host a Live Stream

Social media has become such a large part of real estate these days that you can’t get away from it. Why would you, anyway, when it’s the biggest source of leads and free-to-use marketing techniques?

Running a live stream of your open house on sites like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram can be a good way to generate additional leads, as well as give any clients who cannot attend the open house a chance to view the property.

(It also means you don’t have to worry about things like open house hours that much).

Invite Neighbors

Inviting neighbors over is always a good idea, both to help generate leads for your listing and to help acquaint them with any prospective buyers or tenants. This is considered courteous and friendly and just makes sense from a business perspective.

Market, Market, Market!

Getting the word out about your private showing is the only way you’re going to get people to come by. Be sure to use every available means, including:

  • Social media (consider how to get real estate leads from Craigslist as well)
  • Traditional marketing techniques such as brochures, flyers,  and newspaper ads
  • Word of mouth
  • Placing signs up in front of the house you’re marketing
  • Advertise in your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Be Sure to Follow Up

Marketing only really works when you’re able to follow up and communicate with leads.

By checking up on clients, you can find out whether they’re still interested in your property and if you can market any additional listings to them if necessary.

Remember that For Sale By Owner (FSBO) leads tend to be some of the best in the business, and cold-calling prospective leads can help entice them to follow through with successful deals.

Tips for Having an Open House

DID YOU KNOW that most open houses tend to be more successful with catering?

When learning how to host an open house, be sure to remember that there are a few tried and trusted techniques and tips that will always go a long way towards a deal.

While having a good location and high-quality pictures are essential, there are a lot of other steps in the process that can often make the difference between a successful or failed open house.

Here we discuss some of those tricks and ideas.

Promote Listings Online

Online marketing is here to stay when it comes to being a real estate agent. Whether you’re using Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, or even Craigslist, knowing how to get commercial real estate leads from social media is a big plus in the modern digital age—posting listings on social media is where it all starts. Be sure to:

Pick the Right Time to Do an Open House

Knowing the best time for an open house depends on a few variables. You’ll generally want to ensure that the client has enough time to view the property without either of you feeling rushed, as that might put the client off.

Generally, you’ll want to focus on hosting:

  • On the weekends (Saturday or Sunday)
  • At a time most people will be able to attend
  • Outside any buyer’s working hours on a weekday

Make the House Presentable

If the property you’re trying to sell is dirty or messy, it will bring down the value of your property, or at least diminish prospective clients’ interest in it.

Remember, first impressions count!

When learning how to do an open house, keep in mind that even if your company puts up the cost for cleaning services, you’re likely to make that money back as a result of the improved look. Make sure you spend time decluttering and keep the property in good condition.

Emphasize the Top Three Features

In general, people don’t read long lists of details; They like short summaries of any necessary information they’ll need. When marketing your listing, be sure to list only the top three interesting features of the home so viewers get a better understanding of the property’s values.

This rule applies to all forms of online and traditional marketing techniques—The sooner people can see things like:

  • 4 Bedroom, 3 bathroom house in a quiet neighborhood
  • Central heating, swimming pool, and amenities room included
  • Double garage

They’ll have a better understanding of the property listing, which will help them make an informed decision about the place quickly. This is essential for learning how to prepare for an open house!

Know the Market Area

Take the time to research the area the property you’re selling is in. It can help entice prospective clients by providing them with some of the benefits the area may have. It also helps people get a better idea of what they’re looking for, as well as knowing what they want.

For instance, a young married couple with a baby on the way would probably prefer to stay in a quiet neighborhood, while a young bachelor might be looking for something different.

Try Staging the Home if It’s Empty

While you might not always want to take on fully furnishing an empty home just to rent or sell it, finding a few key pieces of furniture to place inside can have a wonderful effect on your open houses, especially virtual tours.

Be a Gracious Host

At an open house, remember that you are marketing yourself; be a kind and gracious host to everyone who shows up, even if they aren’t that interested in the property.

You never know when buyers might show interest in another property you have or do more business with you based on how you treated them—after all, personality is what people will remember about you. Dress neatly, speak clearly, and be sure to keep your tone warm and friendly!

Consider Using Lead Generation Companies

While marketing yourself, your business and your listings are important, it’s equally necessary to find the right clients for certain property listings.

In many ways, lead generation companies can help with this. They not only generate leads for open houses, but they can often hone in on a certain demographic when trying to sell or rent a listing.

Lead generation real estate companies tend to ask you for things such as:

  • Your ideal customer profile
  • Where your listings are
  • Who you’d like to be marketing to

So be sure to have that info on hand when using them.


When researching what to do for an open house, you can find a lot of tips for your business in real estate—after all, open houses are an essential and crucial part of the job.

Even in the digital age when people make many decisions online, being able to convince buyers face to face or with a handshake will always carry a positive impact.

At some point in the evaluation process, clients are going to want to meet with you and view your property. Knowing how to get the most out of that process is imperative to your success as a realtor.


How do you prepare for an open house?

Preparing for an open house includes:

  • Marketing the event
  • Preparing the home
  • Putting up signs
  • Following up on leads
What do you do at an open house?

You are there to address the various needs and questions of your clientele during the event. Remember to be polite and courteous, a gracious host, and always engaged in the needs of the guests. You’ll want to focus on promoting the house, its benefits, and any other listings you may have nearby.

What is the best day for an open house?

In most cases, the best time for an open house is over the weekend. On a Saturday or Sunday, both you and the clientele will have enough time to view the property without having to worry about time. If you do have to host a viewing during the week, be sure to schedule it in a time that is after work hours.

Does having an open house help sell?

In most cases, yes, an open house will help sell the property, although an open house is an eventual step in the process that will have to happen eventually. People won’t buy or rent a property without taking a look at it first, so at some point, you’ll have to have an open house or viewing.

What should you put away when showing a house?

When understanding how to do an open house, it’s important to ensure all pets are locked away, or at least out of the way as much as possible, when showing a house—they can get annoyed or overwhelmed with new people around. You’ll also want to focus on clearing up any clutter and mess in the house.


Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

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