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Free Real Estate Open House Checklist (25 Tips)

Free Real Estate Open House Checklist (25 Tips)

free real estate open house checklist plus 25 tips

To have a successful open house there are a number of important things to add to your open house checklist. 

As the listing agent, it’s your job to make sure the open house event goes smoothly so the result is offers and future leads.

Whether it’s prepping the homeowners before the open house, promoting the open house to get more foot traffic, taking care of final touches on the day of the event or following up after – this open house checklist will cover everything you need to do to have a successful open house.

Download the essential real estate open house checklist below:

25 Things To Add To Your Open House Checklist

deep cleaning

To-Do’s Before The Open House

Leading up to the open house there are a number of things that need to be taken care of – both for the homeowners and the selling agent.

It is imperative that the home makes a positive impression on open house day.

This means the home looks fresh and decluttered and all personalization from family members is gone (family photos, personal papers, etc).

The most important thing in this section of the open house checklist is to ensure the house is sparkling and ready for center stage.

1. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

This doesn’t necessarily need to be done around the entire home but encourage your sellers to at least focus on the trim, baseboards and the front door. This makes the home look fresh and taken care of.

Of course, if the house has scary colors, see if the sellers can repaint using some neutral colors that more buyers will be interested in.  This will help more people feel at home and be able to visualize themselves there.

2. Make Sure The House Is Clutter-Free

Ensure the home is fully decluttered.

Here’s what to focus on:

  • Remove family photos
  • Put away papers – piles of magazines., unopened mail, kid’s crafts stuck to the fridge
  • Make sure storage areas are not overflowing (remember: good storage space in a home is highly sought after)  
  • Personal items put away and out of sight – use a storage unit if required
  • Remove excess furniture
  • Put trinkets in storage

3. Deep Clean The Home

Deep cleaning of the home from top to bottom is crucial. 

A tidy home sends a message that the home was loved and well cared for – even if it doesn’t have the latest renovations or styles. You also want the open house guest to focus on the features of the home, not negative things such as an unswept floor.

Here’s what to focus on:

  • Get the carpet professionally cleaned or use a deep cleaning vacuum that uses water and solution to remove stains
  • For hardwood floors – clean and buff (which will greatly improve the condition of the floor)
  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Consider power washing the outside of your home + patios, decks, pathways
  • Ensure the kitchen and bathrooms are exceptionally clean

4. Have Good Curb Appeal

It’s critical to make a good first impression of the home and this starts with curb appeal. 

You want your front entrance to be inviting, tidy, and approachable. An unkept, messy front yard just won’t do.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Make sure the lawn is cut
  • Water existing flowers leading up to the open house
  • Purchase a new colorful plant or two for the front of the house
  • Add a new welcome mat
  • Use simple, good-quality seasonal decorations, for example, in the fall add a pumpkin and Chrysanthemums or a nice wreath to the front door

5. Consider Using a Staging Company

We recommend using a staging company in these circumstances…

The house is empty

Most people have trouble visualizing what a home will look and feel like with furniture in it. This is where the power of some staging comes in.

The house is completely out of date

This is where some serious decluttering and putting items away in storage comes in. Do this first to completely edit the house. Then it’s time to do a little light staging.

Add fresh cushions, a new area rug, vases with fresh flowers, a new shower curtain and towels, and fresh duet covers.

This can make a huge difference even to a house that needs a lot of renovations.

6. Share This Open House Checklist With the Sellers

Some people just don’t know how to prepare for an open house so share this checklist as soon as you sign a new client contract.

This way they’ll know what’s needed before the first open house.

7. Post To Social Media

Begin to raise awareness of the upcoming open house by posting to your social media accounts. 

Other than sharing the main details of the listing – open house dates, location, house specs, and price, you can also share the following:

  • The fresh treats you’ll be sharing
  • Key features of the neighborhood (local attractions, etc)
  • Unique aspects of the home with beautiful photos
  • Include a welcome note to stop by and say hello

8. List Open House Dates in MLS

Potential buyers are regularly looking on real estate apps for local open houses, so make sure to list the open house dates on MLS.

This will also syndicate to Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, and others to help notify the public.

Open House Day To-Do’s

open house agent and potential buyers

Open house day is all about the performance and you want to give a good one. 

For this section of our open house checklist think final touches, getting all of your marketing materials in order, and making it easy for people to find the open house.

9. Share Open House On Social Media

Begin posting to social media midweek to generate some awareness for the upcoming open house. 

Also, post to social the day before and the morning of to remind interested parties to pop by.

10. Put Up Open House Signs In The Neighborhood

Put up real estate signs in the neighborhood promoting the open house. 

Don’t forget to set the open house signs up on main streets to get more food traffic.

11. Open Curtains and Blinds

Lighting is key in making a home feel fresh and welcoming. So let the natural light flood in by making sure all curtains and blinds are open.

12. Do A Quick Tidy Up

Do a once-over of the house to make sure everything is in order

  • Ensure trash cans are empty
  • Put away any pet items – toys, bowls, leashes, etc
  • Make sure the kitchen table is clear and dusted
  • Put shoes in the closet or out of sight

13. Make Sure The House Smells Good

Use scents that make the house feel cozy.

You can…

  • Light some refreshing candles
  • Bake some cookies or bread in the oven (then offer them as snacks after)
  • Spray some air freshener – ideally something natural using essential oils
  • Add fresh flowers to a vase

Just be careful not to use overpowering scents that could turn some people off.

14. Set up the dining room table with attractive plates and dishes

Set the table to look like someone is coming over for dinner. 

This is a great way to add more of that cozy, welcoming feeling to the home. This helps potential home buyers visualize what it will feel like to live in the home.

15. Have Snacks On Hand

Good food always makes people feel happy and welcome, so this is a must if you want to impress people at an open house. 

So, have some snacks and treats on hand to welcome people. This can include cookies, coffee, chocolates, brownies, fresh berries, etc. 

You can pick these up at a local market, bakery or coffee shop, or if you have the time, bake some simple cookies in the oven to fill the house with that sweet, delicious scent.

16. Include An Open House Sign-In Sheet

Collecting information about the open house attendees is a fantastic way to grab some potential leads that can turn into future clients.

When people arrive at the open house the first thing you’ll do is ask them to sign-in.

17. Include a Home Improvements List

If there have been recent updates, repairs, improvements, or money spent make sure to include a home improvements list.

This will show the house has been taken care of and is in good condition.

18. Display Marketing Materials

Display an informational package that includes the listing details, information on the neighborhood, plus your contact information.

Make sure to also include important information about yourself and make it personal.

  • Share what you love about the neighborhood
  • Tell them about charities you support
  • Show your personality
  • Ask them to signup for your email list or follow you on social media
  • And don’t forget your business cards

Many people come to open houses without an agent and this could be the perfect opportunity to generate some leads.

19. Have a Draw Or Raffle To Win A Gift Card

Some people are hesitant to add their full details to the open house sign-in sheet, so including a draw is another great idea to capture potential clients’ contact information.

You can offer a gift card to a local restaurant or business in the neighborhood. This is great to give people an idea of what the area is like if they are not already local.

20. Bring Your A Game

Prepare yourself to be upbeat and helpful. 

With all of these items to prepare for an open house, it’s also important that people feel comfortable around you. This means striking a balance between friendliness and not being too friendly. 

More specifically:

Read Your Audience

You’ll notice some people want to chat and others don’t. So, talk to those who are interested and let quieter people just view the house. 

Engage With All Open House Attendees

Speak with everyone who walks in through the door. We have agents on our team all the time who get buyer clients from hosting their (or other agents’) open houses! 

After The Open House

This section of your open house checklist is all about following up – following up with your clients, potential buyers, and agents.

real estate agent calling leads

21. Capture New Leads

Add new leads to your CRM (customer relationship management) tool.

22. Contact Buyer Agents For Feedback

Get in touch with any real estate agents who brought potential home buyers to the open house. 

Get their feedback on what the buyers thought. You can also use this as an opportunity to tell them about other similar listings you have in the area.

23. Call Warm or Hot Leads (From the Sign-In Sheet)

Reach out to people who had a strong interest in the property. If they don’t have an agent invite them to have a coffee to discuss their current and future real estate needs. 

24. Email Cold Leads

Add these individuals to your email list so they can get to know you, your services and can be updated on future listings in the area.

25. Provide Feedback To Sellers

Provide feedback & next steps to sellers – leads, number of walk-ins, prospective buyers, etc.

You can also provide constructive feedback on what they can do to prepare for the next open house if required.

Next Steps

The real estate market is a tough one and competition is fierce so use this open house checklist as your go-to resource for your future open houses. 

As a reminder, forward this open house list to your sellers so they can get ready for the big day.

Here’s to much success and financial wins in your real estate business this year.

Related Open House Resources:

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