Blog / The Ultimate Open House Checklist for Sellers, Realtors, and Buyers


The Ultimate Open House Checklist for Sellers, Realtors, and Buyers

It’s no secret: potential home buyers LOVE open houses. Open houses allow potential buyers the chance to check out a house at their own pace and leisure, and it also takes some of the perceived pressure off of them. And sellers and real estate professionals love open houses, as well, since an open house means more eyes on their listing -- and, at least most of the time, more eyes on the home leads to a faster sale.

And, knowing how crucial and impactful the open house can be in the home sale process, it is important that you do all that you can to prepare for an open house.

What does that mean? As a seller or a Realtor, this means that you need to properly market and promote your open house, and then you need to come prepared. Bring snacks and refreshments from a local cafe or bakery, and have plenty of information on the neighborhood, including schools and parks or playgrounds, on hand.

As a buyer, this means doing your research ahead of time. Know what type of home you are looking for and what would work best for you and your family. For instance, are you a young professional, possibly a first time home buyer? Then perhaps you should consider a low maintenance condo or townhome. Have a growing family -- with plans to add more? Then a traditional single family home with room to grow may be more your speed.

Also, do your research ahead of time and explore different neighborhoods. You will be surprised to find just how different individual neighborhoods can feel.

The Open House Checklist

With this in mind, we have put together the ultimate open house checklist for sellers, Realtors, and buyers. Let’s look a little closer.

Materials Needed for the Event

  • A sufficient number of buyers packets
  • Estimated expense sheet for potential buyers
  • Agency disclosure forms
  • Buyer and broker agreement forms or contracts
  • Measuring tape
  • Signage (balloons, banners, flags, etc) for directing traffic to the open house
  • Refreshments for guests
  • Personal portfolio
  • Flyers
  • Lender referral sheets
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Emergency tool kit (duct tape, string, paper towels, markers, etc)
  • MLS printout of recent comparable sales in the area
  • Appointment book or PDA for setting future appointments

Before the Open House

  • Make sure there is an agreement in place between the buyer and the seller to include the open house as part of the overall marketing plan
  • Check local laws and limitations on signage, to make sure all of the rules are being met and followed
  • Make sure seller is up to speed on how to prepare the house for the open house, paying attention to curb appeal and making the house as appealing as possible to the largest number of potential buyers
  • Prepare special invitations ahead of time for the neighborhood, and schedule them to arrive the Friday before the open house
  • Take quality digital photos of the house and property (at least 5 or 6) and prepare an engaging flyer

The Day of the Event

  • Pick up balloons and refreshments
  • Place signs and balloons throughout high traffic areas in the neighborhood to increase foot traffic
  • Park away from the house, to allow ample parking for potential home buyers
  • Play soft music in the background
  • Light scented candles in out of the way areas (pro tip: stick with a fairly neutral scent, such as cotton or vanilla)
  • Arrange refreshments and check levels of supplies throughout the open house
  • Gather cards from all attending real estate agents
  • Interact with any potential buyers who attend without an agent, and answer any questions they may have
  • Get contact information from everyone in attendance and follow up in a timely matter

Getting Started on

Whether you are a buyer, a seller, or an agent, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you are personally prepared for a successful open house. And when the open house goes well, it will often lead to a faster home sale, and a potentially higher sale price.

One of the biggest challenges to ensuring a successful open house is marketing the event. How do you best connect potential home buyers with homes for sale in their dream neighborhoods? This is where we come in.

We are, and we specialize in connecting home buyers and sellers through our unique database of open houses in the Southern California marketRegistration is quick and simple, and then you’re ready to get started. Questions? We are here to help. Connect with us today - we are looking forward to hearing from you.