12 Tips to Make an Open House Count

We’ve pulled together our top agent-tested, agent-approved techniques to ensure that your efforts translate into leads.

10 minute read

Tips & Tricks

An open house is a heavy lift: it requires time, planning, and effort to pull one off successfully. So it’s critical to create an experience that yields the best potential for success. We’ve pulled together our top agent-tested, agent-approved techniques to ensure that your efforts translate into leads.

Get the space ready to showcase its finest points.

Like any well-planned event, a lot of the hard work happens before the guests arrive. The same rule applies to an open house. With some concentrated prep work, you can make sure that your property is ready to showcase its best self.

1. Declutter (and then declutter some more).

Minimize the personal decorative touches on the interior, so guests can have the opportunity to envision how they would make the space feel like home.

2. Invest in a detailed clean.

Once the carpets are cleaned and the bathroom fixtures scrubbed, it’s a good idea to think about the details that are easily overlooked. Dust shelves and door ledges, remove spider webs from the ceiling, and wipe down fan blades.

3. Make that first impression count.

Guests might come to your open house to check out the master bedroom or the property… but it’s the entryway that can really define their experience. Make sure that the front door is freshly painted and the stairs swept. Inside, minimize clutter to make the space easy to navigate.

4. Let guests use their imagination.

It’s difficult for guests to imagine a life in their new home if family photos from the current owners adorn the walls. Remove photos and other personal effects from the home so guests can let their imagination take over.  

5. Lean on natural light.

Even the most ambient interior lighting can’t compete with sunshine. Draw back the curtains and let natural light showcase every room.

6. “Hungry” never helps.

A guest with an empty stomach is a whole lot less likely to go into your open house with a positive outlook. Keep everyone happy — and open-minded — by serving light snacks and refreshments. It’s also an excuse for guests to explore the kitchen and dining area! Need some snacking inspiration? Here are a few crowd-pleasers to serve up.

7. Be scent-sensitive.

People are really sensitive to smell. It’s the most powerful memory and emotional trigger, and it has the potential to make or break an experience. Make an effort to remove any scents from the home before you invite guests through the front door. If you choose to light candles, select an unscented variety that will appeal to everyone.

Then, get people through the front door (and excited to be there).  

You’ve prepped the home and it is open house-ready. But now comes the second heavy lift of the process: getting people through the front door. And once you’ve got their attention, you want to build the relationship. By considering how you can attract guests and sustain a lasting connection with them, you’re increasing your opportunity to land a sale — and potentially land future sales down the road.

8. Timing is everything.

Think about your target audience when you schedule your open house: when will they have time to visit the property? In general, Sunday afternoons have a high attendance rate — but make sure your date and time don’t conflict with a holiday or widely-attended local event.

9. Get creative about advertising.

People digest information in different ways. Go for a blend of old-school techniques (think signage and neighborhood listings) and tech-forward methods (like Twitter and Facebook posts) to spread the word.

10. Use technology to connect with buyers.

Offer buyers an opportunity to access off-market and upcoming listings! The Raven Platform is the largest source of off-market properties. Capture more buyers by obtaining their information and setting them up in your Raven network. This way, they will be the first to know about off-market listings and upcoming properties for sale.

The right buyer is out there – and technology can help you find them. Raven is a mobile-first solution designed for agents by agents. The easy-to-use platform enables agents to connect with each other and find potential matches for their leads through a nationwide network. So even if that open house doesn’t translate into any leads, you have a backup plan and a roadmap to success.

11. Give guests something to bring home.

Invest in high-quality print collateral that guests can bring home with them. Include bright photos, compelling language, and a list of “at a glance” qualities that make the property special.

12. Stay in touch.

Keep a book or tablet by the front door so you can record guest’s information before they leave. Even if this isn’t the house they want to buy, this step is a great way to build a relationship and learn more about their needs in a property. This is a great time to invest in a resource to help you manage your contacts and ensure you are doing everything you can to nurture those potential leads. Raven’s lead management and CRM platform does just that.


With the right combination of time-tested tactics, careful planning, and forward-thinking technology, you can use an open house as a great way to turn that “for sale” sign into one that reads “sold!”

Dylan Ryan Raven

Hey there, I'm Dylan! I live for building products that customers love. You'll probably see my face everywhere. Ask me hard questions!

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