Posted in: Selling a home, Infographics

How to host a picture-perfect open house

picture perfect open house

In today’s bustling, low inventory market, sellers can expect an influx of eager buyers to attend their open house. Leverage these open house tips to prep your home for high attendance and potential offers.

 open house infographic sellers

Start by staging your home, which is the process of making your home appeal to buyers. When staging, you’ll remove personal effects and statement décor, while also making sure rooms and closets look spacious and welcoming. Staging can require you to rent or get rid of furniture, so be sure to leave plenty of time for this task. Follow our room-by-room staging tips to get the job done.

Brighten every room

Most open houses are held during daytime hours, so it’s critical that your home seem bright and airy. A few days before the open house, go through each room to play around with the best placement for window treatments and lamps, and the dimming settings on your overhead lights.

Plus, here are a few ways to brighten up a home without great light:

  • Paint walls a light, neutral color (but not white)
  • Paint ceilings a bright white
  • Place large mirrors on walls adjacent to or across from a window
  • Add metallic or other light-catching items to shelves and tables
  • Use oversized paintings and large plants for décor

Don’t fib online

Curb appeal has been (largely) replaced by web appeal, and some sellers may feel pressure to Photoshop their landscaping or other subpar home features. While these photos may draw more initial interest to an open house, the listing is unlikely to yield a high number of offers. Buyers will not only be disappointed when they pull up to an unrecognizable house, they’ll likely wonder what else the seller is hiding from them.

Leave out snacks and drinks

While it’s the most common time to sell a house, spring in the Midwest can be fickle. Check out the weather predictions the day before your open house and plan a snack that will match the temperature and mood of the day.

On a bright spring day, leave out an ice-cold pitcher of lemonade with sprigs of mint and cut up a pan of light dessert bars. On a cold or rainy day, brew regular and decaf coffee and put out a tray of fresh-from-the-oven cookies or brownies.

Alert the neighbors

Tell your neighbors about the open house so they can anticipate busier street traffic and get out of dodge if they’d like. Giving a heads-up may also prompt them to mow their lawn or do a quick pick-up of their kids’ backyard play area.

Set up outdoor dining

While dining rooms are less en vogue than they used to be, outdoor dining is more popular than ever. Set up a table and chairs with festive outdoor place settings to show that your home’s entertaining space extends outside its walls.

Share what you love

In addition to an official listing flyer, write a short note to share with open house attendees. Sum up what you love about your house, whether it be the updated kitchen, the finished basement or its proximity to nearby parks and trails. Buyers who are already drawn to the property may be more inclined to make an offer when they see it’s been well-loved by its current residents.

If you’re upgraded a few rooms or have stand-out details you want buyers to notice, you can also create small signs to display in each room. Check out what Edina Realty REALTOR® Zoe Swanson did to take her open house to the next level:


Selling your home is a big decision, but it’s also a time of excitement as you plan for the future. To get in touch with a local expert who can help you prep and price your home, call, email or chat today.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings