An open house can be a very useful tool in selling your house, but not for the reasons that you may think. It’s less about finding a buyer that day and more about advertising.

While it’s true that you may find a buyer on the spot at an open house, many overlook the potential for other avenues of success. Your goal instead is to advertise.

Expect and encourage your neighbors to attend and never dissuade anyone from taking a look, even if they’re not on the market for a home. You’ll be generating valuable word of mouth advertising, which is sometimes more effective than more traditional print methods.

John and Jane Doe next door may just be nosy, but if you impress them you can bet they’ll tell their friends and family who are on the market for a new home.


When should you hold one? Well, most listings receive the bulk of their traffic within the first two weeks of hitting the market. So in order to make a big impression try to take advantage of this spike in visitors. While holding an open house later on in the listing phase won’t hurt your chances you’ll notice more of an effect if you hold one early on.

The best time to hold an open house is during the early afternoon over a weekend. This allows your visitors to sleep in a little on their day off. They will be more likely to attend if they don’t have to go out of their normal routine too much.


Keep everything tidy and clean. Consider purchasing a bouquet of flowers or two to help with the atmosphere, or play some soft music in the background.


The weather is unpredictable, but try your best to schedule your open house during good weather. Rain and snow will deter visitors and wet feet will make a mess of your floors.

Stay Out of the Way

Try to be absent during the process. Let your real estate agent answer any questions that visitors may have. Your guests may feel pressured and rushed if they’re followed around. Strive to make their experience as laid back as possible.


A good real estate agent will network with other local agents to help promote your open house, they’ll also likely provide open house signs to help visitors find their way to your doorstep.

The Set Up

Consider providing some local map with community information that visitors may find useful; such as schools, shopping districts, movie theaters and other attractions.