Open houses can be a great way for potential buyers to see your property at its best. But if you don’t prepare for an open house properly, you risk making a bad first impression. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts for your next open house.

  • Don’t attend your own open house. This is one of the reasons you hired a Realtor®. Your Realtor® knows how to host an open house and will give you a recap of how it went.
  • Do plan ahead. Don’t wait a day before your open house to tidy up. You’re probably already in showing mode if your house is on the market, but you may need a few weeks to make small repairs or enhance your curb appeal.
  • Don’t leave your pets. Even animal lovers will be distracted by your pets. And the most people-friendly pets may get frightened with all the guests visiting your open house.
  • Don’t try to hide anything. Avoid trying to mask odors with stronger odors, or sounds like traffic noise with louder sounds. 
  • Do turn on the lights. And open window coverings to let in natural light.
  • Don’t block access. If you’ve planned ahead with your Realtor®, you’ve probably heard that staging your home doesn’t mean hiding all your stuff in the closets. Prospective buyers want to be able to open closets and go into garages to see the whole home. Locking off access to certain areas means you’re not giving prospects an accurate impression of your property.
  • Don’t leave a note. You might think it’s a good idea to leave notes pointing out features of your home, but this is another task you should leave to your Realtor®. Your Realtor® knows how to highlight what you want buyers to see, so make sure you have a conversation about what you want pointed out prior to your open house.

Remember, your Realtor® knows how your property will appeal to buyers. Listen to his or her advice about open houses and other matters regarding your home’s sale.