9 Must-Do’s Before Your Next Open House



Hosting a truly memorable and effective open house requires more than slapping up some signs and throwing open the front door. According to coach Darryl Davis, it starts well before the open house when you set your intentions and prepare the home.

September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.

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We love a good open house. So much so that we think every agent working hard to generate listings and buyer leads who are not quite where they want to be production-wise should do them every weekend. We’re not kidding. Or maybe even throw in a weeknight while you’re at it. It’s been that much of a tree-shaker for agents this year.

Here’s how I want you to think about your open houses. They are your auditions. When you host an open house, think about all the people that are watching what you do. Buyers, sellers, neighbors and even fellow agents use the open house opportunity to assess your skills, trustability and efficiency. Show them what you’ve got!  

Savvy agents don’t “wing” their open house events; they put specific strategies in place to help ensure they are successful.

With that being said, we have some smart pre-open house strategies that you should consider.

1. Have sellers hire professional cleaners

Now’s the time to bring the “beauty pageant” sparkle to the home you want to show. It’s extraordinary what a difference a professional cleaner can make to the bottom-line sales price of a home. It also saves you and the seller stress and energy — which are no small things in this market! 

2. Arrange for sellers and pets to be absent

Buyers really do need to have uninterrupted time to view the property and speak to their agent, if they have one, without feeling the lingering eyes or unsolicited comments from sellers or having to navigate pets.  

3. Arrange for the keys

Don’t leave this step until the last minute! 

4. Enlist mortgage company to help create mortgage sheet

Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. If you have a preferred lender who can give you mortgage sheets for buyers to use, that would be a terrific tool to have on hand during your open house.

5. Stage the house when possible

When not possible, you can display virtual staging options (using tools like BoxBrownie) on a form board and easel.

6. Have backup houses

Have other “shiny penny” homes available so that you can schedule tours post-open house.

7. Have a buyer agency packet to capture buyers

Be prepared to have buyer agency conversations with buyers who are not represented. If not right then, during your open house hours, arrange for a time where you can meet in the office and give them all the tools they need to find the right house in this market and protect their interests. 

8. Have a nice flyer that lists the home details, and perhaps have a buyer’s guide available

We have a fun tool that our members use called Loanopoly, and it’s a great family-friendly “game” — that walks buyers through the process of purchasing a home. 

9. Find agents who sold houses in the past 12 months in the same price range

And let them know when your open house will be to arrange special times for them to bring their buyers to the home. 

We believe there are 4 P’s to a successful open house — preparation, promotion, presentation, and post-open house follow-up.

Once you’ve prepared for that open house, keep some of our favorite tips in mind to make sure you get the most out of it.


Lastly, I want you to have some fun with it. Be really present and attentive with your open house guests. This is an opportunity to build rapport, spotlight your communication skills and create new connections. Make your audition ovation worthy!

Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at his website or connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.


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