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Open House Tips for Sellers Who Want to Host the Perfect Showing

Erica Clibborn October 6, 2023

Did you know that homes shown in open houses sell for an average of $9,000 more? This little-known fact can translate to a much quicker sale for many homeowners, often finding a buyer in a week less than the typical listing.

Facts about open houses

Delving into the world of open houses reveals intriguing patterns and behaviors of potential homebuyers. Drawing from the data provided by the American Home Shield Corporation, let's dive deep into some compelling open-house facts:

  • It's impressive to note that approximately half of all prospective homebuyers prioritize attending open houses as an integral part of their home search journey.
  • Veteran homebuyers, those with previous buying experiences, often find their subsequent homes via open houses, more so than the newcomers to the property market.
  • A curious trend emerges when observing relationship statuses. Both couples, whether tied in matrimony or not, exhibit a stronger penchant for attending open houses relative to individual buyers.
  • Geographically, the pull of open houses seems to be markedly pronounced in the Northeast and West regions, distinguishing them from the open house habits of other regions.

Facts that sellers should ponder before hosting an open house

  • Contrary to popular belief, open houses aren't often the primary avenue for selling homes.
  • Most prospective homebuyers embark on their property journey online, making virtual platforms their initial touchpoint.
  • It's worth noting that a minimal fraction of homes get sold due to visits from individuals attending open houses alone.
  • For many realtors, open houses are less about selling and more about networking opportunities, allowing them to establish new client connections and foster existing relationships.
  • There's a possibility that attendees at open houses might not have verified their purchasing capability, resulting in visits from those who might not be financially ready to commit.
  • It's not uncommon for open houses to draw in attendees with varied intentions, including inquisitive neighbors who might just be dropping in out of curiosity rather than genuine interest.
  • Agents, property owners, and the homes themselves face elevated security risks during open houses, making it an area of significant concern.
  • The open format of such events poses a challenge since there's no effective method to scrutinize attendees or oversee their activities closely.

Preparations for a successful open house

Preparing your home for visitors

Before the big day, consider what a potential buyer would like to see. A presentable house isn't just about aesthetics; it's about conveying potential, warmth, and possibility. Dust off shelves, polish the windows, and ensure each corner feels inviting. Remember, first impressions can be lasting, and you want yours to be positive.

Tidy up and organize

Clutter can obscure your home's true potential. A clean environment not only showcases the home in its best light but also indicates well-maintained premises. From neatly arranged books to decluttered countertops, small actions can have a significant impact on the overall ambiance.

Announce the event

Put out signs in your neighborhood, advertise on social media, or even use local newspapers. Spread the word to attract potential buyers. Ensure that your property's open house is well-publicized. The more attendees you have, the higher your chances of catching the interest of a potential buyer.

Trust your realtor

Your agent possesses the expertise to manage various aspects of an open house. From fielding questions to guiding potential buyers, their experience can make a marked difference. Handing them the reins can yield the best results.

Swift actions yield results

As visitors tour your home, some might have immediate questions or express interest. When potential buyers show interest, it's crucial to act promptly and address their queries or concerns. Timely responses can seal the deal.

Consider having your own agent present

Your primary realtor will handle the open house, but if you've worked with another agent during your buying or selling journey, their presence can be comforting. They can provide insights and may have a better understanding of your specific needs.

Opt for individual viewings too

Open houses offer a broad overview, but individual home viewings dive deeper. They offer potential buyers an unhurried environment to soak in details and imagine a future in the space, providing a more personalized experience to serious buyers.

Keep a record of feedback

Every visitor will have an opinion. Some might vocalize it, while others may share it on their way out. Take note of what visitors say. This feedback, whether positive or areas for improvement, can offer valuable insights for future showings.

Engage with the hosting agent

Ensure there's clear communication between you and the agent hosting the open house. Open dialogue ensures everyone is on the same page, which enhances the chances of a successful sale.

Implement a digital sign-in mechanism

A digital record is more organized than a manual log. Use a sign-in app to maintain a record of attendees. This aids in post-event follow-ups and ensures you have a clear list of potential leads.

Offer some refreshments

A warm cup of coffee, light snacks, or chilled beverages can enhance the visitor's experience. Such gestures make visitors feel welcome and create a homely ambiance that resonates long after they leave.

Distribute informative flyers

Details matter. Having handouts or brochures about the property, its features, nearby amenities, and other salient details gives potential buyers something tangible to refer back to. It ensures that your property remains top-of-mind, and they have all the necessary information at their fingertips.

About Erica Clibborn

With two decades of heartfelt dedication to Seattle's real estate market, Erica Clibborn stands as a trusted ally for growing families and professionals, seamlessly blending comforting patience with assertive negotiation skills. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any queries about the Washington real estate landscape, contact Erica Clibborn today.


Erica thrives on living local. When she lived downtown, she contributed to the transformation and expansion of its communities. Her twenty years of experience have earned invaluable connections and her peers’ respect: In 2012, she joined Forum XXII, the invitation-only network for Seattle’s leading agents, and became one of 12 Executive Directors for Windermere’s Premier Properties program.