Creative Open House Checklist

Here is an open house checklist that covers the best times and key steps realtors® should take to host a successful event.

An open house event works in four stages – preparation, promotion, day of open house, follow up after the open house. Below is a list that all of TALLBOX’s agent clients use when preparing for an open house including a must haves. 

Open House Checklist

Preparation for an Open House:

  • Choose a date and time. Consider traffic patterns and neighborhood lifestyle. Weekends and early evenings tend to work best.
  • Inspect and clean the home thoroughly. Make any needed repairs.
  • Stage the home. Declutter, add decor, enhance curb appeal.
  • Have the seller do a final tidy before the open house.
  • Stock up on pamphlets, business cards, guest sign-in sheets.
  • Place directional signs around the neighborhood guiding people to the home.

Open House Promotion:

  • List the open house on MLS and online real estate sites.
  • Create printable flyers and distribute in the neighborhood.
  • Promote on social media channels. Boost Facebook event.
  • Email past clients and sphere of influence to invite them.
  • Run open house ads in local newspapers and magazines.
  • Create an Open House Landing Page with RSVP form and host pre-open house with virtual tour.

Day of the Open House:

  • Arrive early to set up. Turn on all lights, open blinds, play soft music.
  • Place open house signs out front. Have balloons/flags to make it stand out.
  • Lay out refreshments, brochures, business cards in an accessible area.
  • Greet each guest warmly. Offer a property tour.
  • Collect visitor contact info via sign-in sheet.
  • Answer questions and build rapport with visitors.
  • Hand out custom giveaway item as a thank you.

Follow Up after Open House:

  • Send thank you notes and keep in touch with all visitors.
  • Review and enter sign-in sheet leads into CRM.
  • Provide feedback to seller on buyer reactions.
  • Tweak anything that needs improvement for the next open house.
Picture of George Nicola
George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

Table of Contents

If you have been doing the standard open house drill:

  • Staging the house with focal points
  • Making posts on Facebook
  • Emailing contact lists and basic lead generation
  • Telling fellow agents
  • Getting Open House Sign and Flyers
  • Sending invitations to invite neighbors via door hangers
  • Collecting signatures on the sign in sheets
  • Recitation of the same old open house script from last year
Definatelly you are missing a ton of real estate leads! 
A group of people showcasing an open house strategy in front of a house.
A group of people showcasing an open house strategy in front of a house.

The key to a successful open house is crafting a strategic plan with good open house list tailored to the specific property and current market trends. Preparing for an open house in down or upwards market is very different.

  • For luxury homes, focus on creating an elegant atmosphere with fine refreshments and tasteful decor.
  • For older properties, emphasize classic features and charm. Research the neighborhood demographics to shape events and promotions.

What to bring to an open house in a buyers market?

In a buyers market know also as down market, get creative with incentives like gift cards or complimentary services to generate excitement.

What to bring to an open house in a seller’s market?

When demand is high in a seller markets, interact personally with each guest to build relationships for future business. Pay close attention to the latest virtual staging and digital marketing innovations that align with the target buyer.

Having the right customer relationship management platform is critical for organizing contacts and tracking results.

This allows you to continually refine your approach based on data, not guesswork. The most memorable open houses come from truly understanding the property and buyers.

Do your homework, get innovative with promotions, and craft personalized tours to have sellers and buyers alike raving.

Free creative open house flyer template.
Free creative open house flyer template.

Transform Your Open Houses with Fresh Ideas and Inspiring Designs

real estate open house ideas

It does not matter if you are junior agent or veteran broker with 25 years of experience. By using these innovative strategies, you can create an experience that helps open house guests get excited about the property and imagine themselves living in it.

With these fresh approaches, you’ll be able to wow visitors while boosting interest in the home at the same time, things that no other agents does.

A top open houses event will give prospective buyers an inspiring peek into what life could look like in each property, read on!

We guarantee that by implementing at least three features from our tips, you’ll be well on your way towards hosting amazing—and truly one-of-a-kind—property showing events.

Definition Of An Open House Day

Have you ever considered creative open house ideas for your realty business?

A drawing showcasing an open house event with a group of people in a kitchen.
A drawing showcasing an open house event with a group of people in a kitchen.

An Open House Day is an event hosted by a realtor to attract buyers and generate leads.

It’s typically held on the premises of a property being sold, offering visitors a chance to walk through the home and view specific features that make it unique.

Estate agents can use this opportunity to showcase their listings in exciting ways, from professional tours to interactive activities or fun decorations.

Open houses are great opportunities for realtors to network with prospective clients and market their services.

But what are some additional benefits of hosting them?

Let’s explore the advantages of using creative open house ideas within the framework of a modern real estate agent business.

What are Open House Agents?

Implementing creative open house ideas as a showing agent to entice potential buyers.
Implementing creative open house ideas as a showing agent to entice potential buyers.

Open House Agents are estate agents who specialize in conducting open houses for prospect buyers.

These agents typically work with sellers or listing agents to host and promote home tours, as well as provide information to all attendees.

They show and provide answers to any questions during the open house altogether.

Open house realtors help facilitate the buying process and provide an opportunity for buyers to view a home they may be interested in purchasing. They can be hired by other agents, seller selling or part of the in-house team.

How much time agents spent on an open house?

For a successful open house the amount of time spent with each potential buyer depends on the buyer’s level of interest and questions.

Provide quick overviews for curious visitors while reserving quality time for sincere potential buyers.

Read their signals and adapt accordingly to make the most of the open house opportunity.

  • Give a quick 2-3 minute tour of the property to new arrivals, pointing out key features.
  • Allow 5-10 minutes for buyers to explore on their own and get acquainted with the space.
  • Check in periodically with general questions to gauge interest and see if they need anything.
  • When buyers seem engaged, spend 10-15 minutes showing them around more thoroughly.
  • Discuss details that align with their needs – schools, upgrades, storage space, etc.
  • For very interested buyers, dedicate 20-30 minutes to address all questions and build rapport.
  • If there is a lull, follow up briefly with previous buyers to further the relationship.
  • When appropriate, exchange contact information for future communication.

How long does a house showing take

A group of people gathering in a room for an open house event.
A group of people gathering in a room for an open house event.

The showing duration can vary quite a bit depending on the buyers, property type, and whether it is a first or repeat visit. Agents schedule appropriately to ensure buyers have the access and time needed.

  • 15-20 minutes – For first-time showings or walk-throughs, agents will allot around 15-20 minutes to briefly tour the property and point out key features.
  • 30-45 minutes – For serious buyers, more time is needed to view the home thoroughly, ask questions, and discuss details. Plan for 30-45 minutes to accommodate this.
  • 1 hour – It’s reasonable to block off a full hour for showings where buyers will be evaluating the property closely as a contender. This provides flexibility.
  • Follow-up visits – After the initial showing, interested buyers may request follow-up visits to re-view the home and double check things. These tend to move faster at around 20-30 minutes.
  • Occupied homes – More coordination is required for showings of occupied homes. More limited availability and restricted access to some rooms may condense the showing to 20-30 minutes.
  • Vacant homes – Without furnishings, showings of vacant homes often move faster at around 20 minutes since buyers have less to assess.
  • Luxury homes – Larger or high-end homes with extensive features may require 90 minutes or more as buyers soak in the details.

Best time for an open house

A group of people standing in front of an open house sign, discussing real estate open house ideas and strategizing.
A group of people standing in front of an open house sign, discussing real estate open house ideas and strategizing.

Consider both the day of the week and time of day to maximize convenience and accessibility for your target buyers.

  • Weekends – Saturday and Sunday afternoons (12pm – 4pm) tend to see the highest turnout. Weekends allow both serious buyers and casual visitors to attend.
  • Early evenings – During the workweek, hold open houses later in the day so they are accessible after traditional work hours. 5pm – 8pm draws people stopping by after dinner.
  • Spring & Fall – Open house attendance is typically higher in mild weather seasons like spring and fall vs. summer and winter.
  • Holiday weekends – Capitalize on extended weekends like Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day when more people have time off for house hunting.
  • First day on market – Host an open house soon after listing a property to generate excitement right out of the gate.
  • Special events – Tie into nearby occurrences drawing crowds – festivals, sporting events, concerts, etc.
  • Avoid Mondays & Fridays – Interest is generally lower at the very start and end of the workweek.
  • Morning open houses – These cater more to serious buyers, investors, and real estate agents.

Benefits Of Open Houses For Real estate agent

Open houses are a great way for realtors to gain exposure and showcase their properties. They provide an opportunity for interested buyers to get a feel for the home and visualize themselves living in it.

Open house events can also be used as promotional tools, allowing realtors to build relationships with customers and network with other professionals in the real estate industry too.

The key to success when hosting open houses is having unique ideas that will draw people in.

Creative open house ideas for agents include holding special events such as wine tastings or art shows, providing discounts or giveaways, offering food or beverage samples, and renting out items such as tables and chairs.

When an open house is a success?

A group of people gathered outside a house for an open house event.
A group of people gathered outside a house for an open house event.

While traffic volume is important, indicators like engaged visitors, buyer broker response, and timely offers help agents qualify open houses as truly successful exposure events.

  • High turnout – A large number of visitors coming through the door is a baseline metric for success. This indicates strong local interest.
  • Engaged visitors – Buyers who ask thoughtful questions, take photos, measure rooms, etc. show genuine interest versus just casual lookers.
  • Repeat visitors – Seeing the same visitors make multiple passes through the home shows the property is intriguing.
  • Solid lead generation – Collecting contact info from visitors considering making an offer is an excellent outcome. 20+ strong leads points to a productive event.
  • Buyer broker presence – Buyer’s agents bringing multiple clients signals they see it as a promising property for their customers.
  • Positive buyer feedback – Comments about spacious rooms, great location, or family-friendly floorplan provide useful feedback.
  • Post-event follow up – Receiving calls afterwards with requests for private showings confirms the open house sparked attention.
  • Offer generation – Ultimately, receiving one or more offers very soon after the event indicates it directly supported the sales process.

Utilize Digital Marketing Tactics


Realtors should also consider using digital marketing tactics.

Creating virtual tours on a landing page of homes online as well as utilizing social media channels to spread word about upcoming events.

All these strategies can help attract more foot traffic which increases chances of generating leads from interested buyers.

Real estate agents should take advantage of every opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors by getting creative with their open house ideas!

With proper planning, research, and execution, they’ll be able to create memorable experiences that will leave buyers feeling impressed and excited about what awaits them at the next event.

Now let’s turn our attention towards pre-open hoste on a landing page with virtual open house.

Online open house landing page

A computer screen featuring a creative open house sign as part of an innovative open house strategy for real estate.
A computer screen featuring a creative open house sign as part of an innovative open house strategy for real estate.

Here are some key elements to include on an online open house landing page:

  • Property photosProfessionally shot exterior and interior photos in both slideshow and gallery formats.
  • Address and listing details – Location, square footage, beds/baths, lot size, school district, etc.
  • Description – Summary highlighting home features, recent updates, neighborhood perks.
  • Open house date/time – Prominently displayed open house details.
  • RSVP form – Allow visitors to RSVP online and receive reminders/updates.
  • Driving directions – Embed a map with routes to simplify getting to the property.
  • Virtual tour – 3D virtual tours bring the property to life digitally.
  • Video walkthrough – A video tour captures spaces and finishes in motion.
  • Agent contact – Call-to-action with buttons to contact the agent via call/text/email.
  • Social sharing – Make it easy to share the listing on social media networks.
  • Brochure download – Enable visitors to download/save a printable brochure.
  • Neighborhood facts – Details like schools, parks, restaurants, and conveniences.

The landing page should serve as an informative, visually engaging hub to generate excitement and drive attendance for the open house.

What is the procedure for online open house sign in?

Luxury open house flyer template featuring luxury open house event.
Luxury open house flyer template featuring luxury open house event.

The online sign-in process creates structure, helps provide numbers, and allows the host to capture lead information through the registration process.

Here are some common procedures for online sign-in at virtual open houses:

  • Email invitation – Attendees receive a personalized email invite with a registration link to sign up for the online open house – RSVP.
  • Registration form – The link takes attendees to an online form to enter their name, email, phone number and other details to register their attendance.
  • Confirmation email – After registering, attendees receive a confirmation email with access instructions for the virtual open house.
  • Reminder email – 1-2 days before the online event, registered guests get an email reminder about the open house.
  • Virtual platform sign-in – On the day/time of the event, attendees sign into the virtual platform (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc) using provided credentials.
  • On-screen attendance – Once in the virtual room, the host can note attendance by seeing guests on screen or via a participant list.
  • Follow up email – The host sends a thank you and follow up email after the online open house to engaged guests.
  • Lead capture – Guest registration info is added to agent’s CRM system to continue nurturing the relationship.


Online open house RSVP form

Here is an example of what an RSVP form for an open house could look like:

Open House RSVP

You’re invited to the open house!

Address: 123 Main St, Anytown USA

Date: Saturday, March 4

Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Please RSVP so we can anticipate attendance. We’ll send you a reminder as the open house approaches.

First Name*

Last Name*



Will you be bringing guests? Yes No

Additional comments:

[Submit RSVP]

By submitting this form, you agree to receive information about the property and upcoming open house. We won’t share your details without permission.

The form collects name, contact info, and asks about guests to estimate headcount. A submission confirmation can provide next steps and serve as a touchpoint to start lead nurturing. The RSVP helps create an organized, engaging open house event.

What is RSVP?

RSVP stands for “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “Please respond”.

In the context of an open house event, RSVP refers to asking potential attendees to indicate whether or not they plan to attend the event by submitting an RSVP form.

Some key points about RSVP in relation to open houses:

  • Allows the host or organizer to get an estimate of how many people will attend the event. This helps them plan accordingly.
  • Provides a means for interested attendees to formally confirm they will be going to the open house.
  • Creating an RSVP form or process allows the host to then send reminders, updates, or follow-ups to those who have RSVPed.
  • RSVPing creates more of a commitment from attendees versus just saying “I may stop by”.
  • The RSVP could be as simple as an online form, or as formal as a mailed invitation requiring a response.
  • People who RSVP’d but ultimately can’t attend often notify the host since they submitted a formal response.

RSVPing is a structured system for guests to officially declare their attendance plans for open houses or other events requiring an estimate of turnout.

Pre-Open House Preparations


A great open house begins with proper preparation. Realtors must be proactive in their marketing strategies to ensure that interested buyers are aware of the upcoming event and excited about attending.

One way to achieve this is by creating unique open house themes, as well as advertising and marketing ideas tailored specifically for your target demographic.

Open houses should include creative decorations, food and drinks, fun activities, and a welcoming atmosphere that will draw people in from the local area.

TIP: Make sure to have contingency plans if too many people turn up. Get the square footage and calculate the possible limit that the property can handle.

Make sure to check in advance and ask attendees to sign up, so you are aware of their numbers!

Always plan an extra 20% capacity.

Unique Ideas for Making Your Next Event Memorable


When it comes to organizing an open house, creativity is key! Selecting a theme that speaks to the property’s character can make all the difference when it comes to standing out among other properties on the market.

For example, if you’re selling a beach-front home, consider hosting an ‘Under The Sea’ themed event with tropical decor, seafood appetizers, and nautical games.

If you’re going for something more modern or sophisticated than choose contemporary art pieces and sleek furniture designs to set the tone.

Create buzz around the event


Once you have settled on a theme, use online platforms such as social media networks or website banners to advertise your open house.

Create buzz around the event – including information about any special offers or promotions associated with attendance at your open house!

No matter what kind of theme you choose for your real estate open house, it is important to create an inviting environment where prospective buyers feel comfortable exploring each room while gathering important details about the property.

With careful planning ahead of time and attention to detail during setup, realtors can ensure that their next big event runs smoothly from start to finish!

An open house sign on the beach with palm trees and seagulls.
An open house sign on the beach with palm trees and seagulls.

Open house marketing materials

Here are some of the key marketing materials real estate agents commonly use to promote open houses:

  • Open house signs – Placed outside the home, at nearby intersections, and in front of the neighborhood entrance to attract drive-by interest.
  • Directional arrows – Help guide visitors to the property with arrows marked “Open House” leading the way.
  • Balloons – Fun, eye-catching balloons tied to the sign or door also help draw people in.
  • Flyers – Printed flyers with property details, photos, and the open house date/time can be distributed door-to-door.
  • Lawn signs – Smaller lawn signage with “Open House” messaging spread awareness locally.
  • Social media graphics – Visually engaging graphics on Instagram, Facebook, etc. advertise digitally.
  • Email blasts – Mass emails to your contact list spread the word about the event.
  • Online listings – Hosting details should be advertised on real estate sites like Zillow,, etc.
  • Print ads – Local newspaper and magazine open house ads reach wider audiences.
  • Direct mail – Postcard mailers can target surrounding homes.
  • Door hangers – Hangers placed on neighborhood doorknobs notify immediate neighbors.

Using a mix of print and digital marketing materials ensures the open house is promoted through multiple effective channels.

Creating A Welcoming Atmosphere


Creating a welcoming atmosphere is essential for any real estate open house. Realtors can make their clients feel at home with some simple touches that will help draw house shoppers in and make them want to stay awhile.

Decorating the space with subtle, inviting accents like fresh flowers or strategically placed plants is an easy way to set the tone of a pleasant environment.

When decorating, it’s important to take into consideration how each room appears from different angles so prospective buyers get a full understanding of its potential.

Providing light free refreshments such as coffee, tea, and snacks can go a long way towards making people comfortable and willing to linger longer.

You can even ask the local coffee shops to help, in return they will get a free advertisement.

First Impressions Matter: How to Welcome Guests


In order to ensure that all open house guests will feel welcome, it’s best practice for realtors to greet everyone who enters the door warmly and introduce themselves by name.

It also helps if they provide information about specific features of the property on handouts when possible; this allows visitors to remember what appealed to them most after they leave the open house.

By taking these steps, realtors are able demonstrate that they truly care about creating an enjoyable experience while showcasing their properties’ unique attributes – which could ultimately lead to more successful sales!

As we move forward in our discussion on creative open house ideas for realtors, let’s now explore advertising strategies that may further boost visibility among interested buyers.

Advertising Strategies


Realtors have a unique opportunity to use creative open house marketing ideas to increase their visibility in the market.

According to The National Association of Realtors, 87% of home buyers search online for homes they are interested in purchasing.

This is why it’s important that realtors create an effective open house advertisement strategy and utilize available resources such as websites or social media platforms.

Open houses can be advertised through many channels including local newspapers, radio stations, television networks, magazines, local shops, social media ads and even on sites like Craigslist.

The Benefits of Creating a Dedicated Website


Real estate agents should consider creating a website specifically dedicated to showcasing their upcoming house viewing with relevant details about each one listed – this could also include photos and videos highlighting key features of each property.

A section on website can be fully dedicated to the event. Allow at least two options for people can sign in from the property’s Facebook event for a video walk via Facebook live stream or dedicated page for video walk through.

Dedicated websites focus strictly on one topic and eliminate distractions. Because they don’t use multiple templates or employ many forms, they are more engaging and memorable than a typical website. They also engage users because they are more personal. Research shows that dedicated sites are more likely to lead to conversions.

Another advantage is that content is reviewed and approved by a team so it’s more consistent, thorough, and up-to-date.
There are two main reasons to create a dedicated website:

Personalization – A dedicated site will provide users with a place where they can interact with you and your business. Dedicated property listing sites contain a mini-blog directly targeting Q/A style what might the buyer has as questions.
It is like a brand dedicated per listing.

Consistency – As house shoppers continue to get accustomed to online shopping, more and more of them are getting picky about where they spend money. Creating mini-website for each and every listing for your brand will not only raise awareness of the brand but also help with the sale.

Let us help with your mini-websites >

Dedicate budget for Social Media Ads

Agents may also want to take advantage of digital marketing tools such as Google AdWords , Instagram Ads and Facebook Ads. Ultimately these strategies will help capture potential buyers’ attention before they ever walk into an open house.

An effective open house advertising strategy isn’t just about getting people into your next open house; it’s about developing relationships with other professionals in the field such other agents such as buyers’ agents who you can work with directly.

Working With Buyers' Agents


Now that you’ve got your advertising strategies in place, it’s time to get creative with open house ideas for realtors.

Drawing interested buyers into the property is essential and here are a few of the best ways to keep them engaged:

  • Host a themed event or contest – Consider hosting an open house theme party such as “Welcome Home!” where guests will be greeted at the door with refreshments and other giveaways. Or create a game-like atmosphere by offering prizes or discounts if they guess the correct price of the home.
  • Offer food and drinks – Make sure you have plenty of snacks and beverages available during your open houses. This encourages people to stay longer, browse around, and get comfortable. Don’t forget to include some healthy options like veggies, fruit, nuts, etc., too!
  • Giveaways – Everyone loves free stuff! Use this opportunity to give away promotional items like pens, notepads, magnets – even gift cards can make great incentives for people who visit your open house events.
  • Create a Virtual Tour – If you want to reach more people outside of your local area, create a virtual tour on YouTube or other social media platforms where viewers can take a look inside the home from anywhere in the world!

TIP: Make sure all important seller valuables are removed, including safes.

By being strategic about how you advertise and plan out your open houses, you can draw in potential house hunters from all over and start building relationships with their agents along the way.

Showing off what makes this property unique is key when it comes to selling homes quickly and efficiently.

Showing The Property


When it comes to luxury real estate open house ideas, nothing is more important than showing the property in its best light.

Realtors must ensure that all of their open house essentials are taken care of before inviting house hunters through the door.

This includes ensuring that each room is well lit, decluttered and tastefully decorated. This work only for furnished listings where the budget allows physical staging.

Make sure to have prints or digital version of the floor plan and layout of the property. Apps like CubiCasa or Magicplan allows it in a very quick and easy way.

Consider what prospective buyers would like to see when walking into a home for the first time.

Take carefully the layout of the even, similar to example below. The concept can be applied almost to any type of space.

Furnished spacescozy focal points with furniture pieces, modern fixtures and appliances, perhaps even some art or wall hangings to add life all in a symmetrical balance with cohesive colors.

Vacant spaces – plants, floor lamps and functional seating divided in zones for group talks and private ones. Defined by a rug, the seating and floor lamps possibly with side tables and planters.

Since typical open houses last for 2 to 3 hours, it is important for the attendees to feel comfortable.

Doing so will help build interest in the property and create a positive atmosphere as they explore further.

Staging your property correctly means creating a personal brand and lifestyle experience within the walls – one that resonates with potential buyers and makes them feel at home.

Vacant properties are the easiest to and cheapest to stage. Turn the unsellable vacant homes to sell.

Home and Virtual Staging


When attempting to appeal to potential buyers, staging a property is key. Homeowners must be sure to make the most of their space by highlighting its best features and creating an inviting atmosphere for guests.

For example, here are some tips on how to stage your home for a summer open house:

  • Declutter & Clean – This can help bring out the beauty of each room while making it appear larger than it really is.
  • Invest in Furniture – Utilizing furniture that’s stylish and comfortable will give your home viewing package a boost.
  • Add Some Color – Accent walls, rugs, pillows, and artwork can all add life to any real estate property showing ideas you have planned. All to match the season vibe, location and colors.
  • Focus On First Impressions – Your front door should provide a warm welcome for guests as soon as they arrive!
  • Stage Your Open House – a checklist for all well prepared zones is a must! Create an environment where prospective buyers feel like they’ve already stepped foot in their future home.
  • Virtually stage – in case of a very low budget, time constraints or other, virtually staging property will perform as good as if you staged it physically. Print out the staged photos and place them on easels in each room. Even benefiting your marketing budget.

With these simple steps, you can ensure that no detail gets overlooked when it comes time to host your next open house event.

As long as everything looks great on the inside and out, utilizing technology such as virtual tours or a live stream on streaming services could further enhance prospects’ experience with your listings.

Utilizing Technology


Realtors are increasingly turning to technology to help promote open houses and draw in potential buyers.


According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of homebuyers between 23 and 56 years old, do search online for their next property before they even consider visiting an open house.

This means that real estate agents should be utilizing digital marketing strategies such as social media posts, email campaigns and blog articles when advertising upcoming events. Here are a few tips on how to successfully market your open house using technology:

  • Create engaging content via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with eye-catching visuals and informative captions about the event
  • Utilize advanced email outreach by sending out personalized emails targeting future buyers who fit the demographics you’re looking for
  • Share blog posts related to the open house that include unique details about why it’s special or noteworthy, make it as “big time news”.
  • Launch paid ads on search engines to drive more traffic towards your website

By leveraging these methods, realtors can reach a larger audience while also promoting creativity in their approach to organizing an open house.

With this kind of visibility comes improved engagement from prospective clients which will ultimately result in higher interest levels for any given property.

So don’t forget about incorporating technology into your plans when hosting an open house – it could mean the difference between success and failure!

As we move on from here, let’s look at some ways realtors can supply refreshments & amenities during an open house visit.

Best music for open house


Picking music that complements the property and market is fairly straightforward with some research and planning. Music services and wireless speakers are affordable expenses that enhance open houses. Finding the right audio backdrop takes some creative thinking, but has a big impact.

The music at an open house should match the property and market conditions to create an inviting atmosphere. 

Do your research to find the perfect audio backdrop that enhances the showing experience.

  • For a luxury or modern home, opt for upbeat contemporary playlists with popular artists. This creates an exciting vibe.
  • For older historic homes, classical or jazz instrumental music sets a refined mood.
  • Research the local area to pick genres and tempos that fit the neighborhood’s personality.
  • In a slow market, energizing music like pop or soul can perk up buyers.
  • When demand is high, go for soothing background music so buyers can concentrate.
  • For condos, pick acoustically mild music so sound doesn’t carry between units.
  • Tailor music volume and selection for the time of day – mellow in the morning, lively in the afternoon.
  • Provide a wireless speaker in each room for a seamless musical experience throughout the home.
  • Schedule music changes every 45 mins to 1 hour so it stays fresh.
  • Keep a variety of queued playlists on hand to adapt in the moment

Best smells for open house

Start with light, universally-enjoyed scents like fresh flowers or coffee. Layer in seasonal accents like cinnamon sticks in the fall.

For open houses in warmer months, maximize fresh air flow.

Limit costs by relying more on natural scents from baked goods or fruit. With the right complementary scents, you can create an inviting mood that helps buyers envision the property as their future hom


Finding pleasing scents for an open house is fairly simple with some intentional choices. Most scent options can be implemented at little to no cost.

Blending scents in a subtle, nuanced way involves some creative thinking.

Picking the right scents to appeal to buyers requires considering the home’s atmosphere and target demographic. 

Here are some recommendations for pleasant scents to have at an open house showing:

  • Fresh baked goods – The smell of cookies, cinnamon rolls, or bread baking creates a welcoming impression.
  • Coffee – The rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee says “make yourself at home.”
  • Vanilla – This warm, soothing scent conjures feelings of comfort.
  • Citrus – Uplifting scents like orange, lemon or grapefruit come across as clean and refreshing.
  • Flowers – A vase of fresh-cut flowers adds not only visual appeal but sweet fragrance too.
  • Seasonal smells – In fall, a bowl of cinnamon sticks or pinecones. In winter, a simmering potpourri mix.
  • Fresh air – On nice weather days, open windows to let fresh outdoor air circulate.
  • Neutral smells – Make sure the home smells clean but not heavily perfumed.
  • Absence of odors – Ensure any pet, smoke or food odors are eliminated.

It’s best to keep scents subtle rather than overpowering. Let the home’s natural light and airflow complement the aroma strategy.

What food to bring to an open house?

Open house food ideas

We’ve prepare an open house food and snack checklist with more than 40 types of food, beverages and dishes that use can use to host regular and luxury open house events.


Realtors know the importance of making a great first impression, and supplying refreshments & amenities is an essential part of creating a successful open house.

Having tasty snacks, appealing drinks and fun giveaways can attract future buyers to your event.

Consider having some open house giveaway ideas like custom branded items or gift cards that you can use to thank guests for attending.

When it comes to food and beverages, choose options that are quick and easy but also delicious – think cookies, cupcakes, fruit cups, hot cocoa or coffee!

When it comes to food and beverages, choose options that are quick and easy but also delicious – think cookies, cupcakes, fruit cups, hot cocoa or coffee!

If you can spend more of your budget and really want to make the event special, below are two lists of special dishes.

  1. Mini crab cakes with aioli sauce
  2. Lobster bisque soup with garlic bread
  3. Filet mignon skewers with chimichurri sauce
  4. Shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce
  5. Goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon
  6. Beef Wellington bites
  7. Miniature quiches with various fillings (spinach, mushroom, bacon)
  8. Salmon tartare on crostini
  9. Grilled vegetable skewers with balsamic glaze
  10. Baked brie with honey and pistachios
  1. Meatball sliders with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella
  2. Mini chicken or beef fajitas
  3. Pulled pork sliders with coleslaw
  4. Veggie spring rolls with sweet chili sauce
  5. Mini tacos with ground beef or chicken and various toppings
  6. Assorted sushi rolls
  7. Caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella
  8. Spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips
  9. Mini pizza bites with various toppings (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, etc.)
  10. Buffalo chicken dip with celery sticks and tortilla chips.

Easy, cheap and delicious options:

  1. Mini quiches: Whip up a batch of mini quiches using pre-made pastry shells and a variety of fillings like cheese, spinach, and bacon.

  2. Skewers: Thread cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves onto skewers for a colorful and refreshing appetizer.

  3. Hummus and veggie cups: Fill small cups with hummus and top with sliced veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

  4. Meatballs: Make a big batch of meatballs using ground beef or turkey and serve them with a variety of dipping sauces.

  5. Bruschetta: Top slices of crusty bread with diced tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a classic and easy appetizer.

  6. Fruit skewers: Thread chunks of fresh fruit, like strawberries, pineapple, and kiwi, onto skewers for a sweet and refreshing treat.

  7. Slider sandwiches: Make mini slider sandwiches using small dinner rolls and a variety of fillings like roast beef, turkey, and cheese.

  8. Deviled eggs: Make a big batch of deviled eggs with a variety of fillings like bacon, chives, and hot sauce.

  9. Nacho bar: Set up a nacho bar with tortilla chips, cheese, salsa, guacamole, and other toppings for a fun and interactive snack.

  10. Baked potatoes: Set out a big tray of baked potatoes and a variety of toppings like cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon bits for a filling and customizable snack.

  1. Roasted vegetable skewers – Skewer some colorful vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and zucchini and roast them in the oven for a delicious and healthy side.

  2. Guacamole and vegetable crudites – Serve a bowl of fresh guacamole with a variety of sliced vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and celery for dipping.

  3. Hummus and pita chips – Offer a selection of hummus flavors like classic, roasted garlic, and roasted red pepper with lightly toasted pita chips.

  4. Caprese salad skewers – Skewer cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegan mozzarella for a colorful and tasty side.

  5. Vegan spring rolls – Roll up a variety of fresh veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and avocado in rice paper wrappers for a light and refreshing side.

  6. Roasted chickpeas – Toss chickpeas with your favorite seasoning and roast them in the oven for a crunchy and protein-packed snack.

  7. Sweet potato fries – Cut sweet potatoes into thin strips and bake them in the oven for a healthier take on classic french fries.

  8. Vegan spinach and artichoke dip – Combine vegan cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, and seasonings for a creamy and flavorful dip.

  9. Vegan stuffed mushrooms – Stuff mushrooms with a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs, vegan cream cheese, and chopped veggies for a hearty and satisfying side.

  10. Vegan bruschetta – Top slices of toasted baguette with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar for a fresh and flavorful side dish.

Open House Food Recipes

We’ve compiled this tasty collection of crowd-pleasing appetizers perfect for hosting a memorable open house, based on a poll of 113 real estate teams across USA, UK, Canada and Australia.

Start off on the right foot by greeting guests with elegant passed appetizers like the salmon tartare crostini, herb goat cheese stuffed dates, or tender filet mignon skewers. Mini crab cakes, shrimp cocktail shots, and bacon-wrapped scallops are sure to impress.

For easy finger foods, try the mini tacos, sushi rolls, or mini quiches and pizza bites with assorted savory fillings. The spinach artichoke dip, served warm with crispy tortilla chips, is always a hit.

Fun bite-sized appetizers like the beef wellingtons, buffalo chicken bites, and lobster deviled eggs will have your guests raving. Satisfy sweet cravings with chocolate covered strawberries or baklava.

With this mouthwatering array of recipes, your open house is guaranteed to stand out. The appetizers can mostly be made ahead, leaving you time to focus on hosting. 

Vietnamese spring rolls on a wooden cutting board served with refreshment is another great idea for open house
Vietnamese spring rolls on a wooden cutting board served with refreshment is another great idea for open house

Here is a recipe for veggie spring rolls with sweet chili sauce that would be great for an open house event:

Veggie Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce

Makes 24-30 rolls


  • 1 package (12 ounces) rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped basil
  • Sweet Chili Sauce (recipe follows)

For the Sweet Chili Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1⁄4 cup sweet chili sauce


  1. Prepare the vegetables – shred, slice and chop them and set aside in separate bowls.
  2. Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the water for 1 second to soften. Lay wrapper flat on a work surface. In a row across the center, place 2-3 carrot shreds, a cabbage shred, sprout, cucumber slice, bell pepper slice, cilantro and basil. Fold sides inward then tightly roll up the wrapper, pressing to seal. Place seam side down on a platter. Cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  3. Make the sweet chili sauce – In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, water, sugar, chili pepper, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sweet chili sauce.
  4. Transfer spring rolls to a serving platter. Serve immediately with the sweet chili sauce for dipping.


  • Prep the vegetables ahead of time for easy assembly.
  • Don’t overfill the wrappers or they will be difficult to roll up.
  • Dip your fingers in water if the wrapper is sticking while rolling.
  • Cut the rolls in half on a diagonal to make them easier to pick up.
  • The sauce can be made up to a week ahead. Store in the refrigerator.
A bowl of spinach dip with tortilla chips and sour cream, perfect for creative and healthy open house food idea.
A bowl of spinach dip with tortilla chips and sour cream, perfect for creative and healthy open house food idea.

Here is a recipe for spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips that would be perfect for an open house event:

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Makes 3-4 cups


  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the spinach, artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, Parmesan, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using).
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  4. Serve immediately with tortilla chips for dipping.


  • Use regular or reduced-fat mayonnaise and sour cream.
  • Adjust the garlic to taste, adding more or less depending on preference.
  • Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley if desired.
  • This dip can be assembled 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake. Add 5-10 extra minutes to the baking time if starting with a cold dip.
  • It’s best served warm, so keep it in a slow cooker or oven on low to keep it heated during the open house.
A plate of shrimp and crackers, a perfect food idea for an luxury open house.
A plate of shrimp and crackers, a perfect food idea for an luxury open house.

Shrimp Cocktail

Serves 8-10


  • 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup cocktail sauce (recipe follows)
  • Lettuce leaves or celery sticks, for serving

For the Cocktail Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1⁄4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1⁄4 tsp hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp and lemon juice and cook for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are pink. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  2. Make the cocktail sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper until well combined.
  3. To serve, arrange the chilled shrimp on a serving platter lined with lettuce leaves or celery sticks. Provide small bowls for the cocktail sauce.


  • Cook the shrimp up to 1 day ahead and store covered in the fridge.
  • The cocktail sauce can also be prepared 1 day in advance. Store covered in the fridge.
  • Set shrimp on ice to keep chilled before serving if desired.
  • Garnish platter with lemon wedges.
A tray of delicious mini quiches with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, and mushrooms as a snack for an long open house party.
A tray of delicious mini quiches with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, and mushrooms as a snack for an long open house party.

Here is a recipe for easy miniature quiches with assorted savory fillings that would be perfect for an open house event:

Miniature Quiches

Makes 24 mini quiches


For the crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2-3 tablespoons ice water

For the fillings:

Spinach and Feta:

  • 5 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom and Swiss:

  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bacon and Cheddar:

  • 4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Make the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough just comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out 24 rounds using a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Gently press the rounds into the prepared tin.
  4. Make the fillings: In a bowl, combine the filling ingredients for each quiche. Divide filling evenly among the mini crusts.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until set. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from tin. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These mini quiches are easy to make ahead. Assemble unbaked quiches up to a day in advance and store covered in the fridge. Add a few extra minutes to the baking time if baking straight from the refrigerator. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving if desired.

Mexican mini tacos on a wooden cutting board, with ground beef or chicken and various toppings - one of the great examples for open house snacks
Mexican mini tacos on a wooden cutting board, with ground beef or chicken and various toppings – one of the great examples for open house snacks

Mini Tacos

Makes 30-40 tacos


  • 1 lb ground beef or ground chicken
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 30-40 mini taco shells
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole


  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef or chicken until browned and crumbled. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Assemble the mini tacos by spooning a tablespoon of the taco meat into each shell.
  4. Arrange desired toppings in small bowls for guests to customize their tacos. Toppings can include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.


  • The meat can be cooked 1 day in advance and refrigerated until ready to assemble tacos.
  • Set up a taco bar with an array of fun toppings for guests to get creative.
  • Bake the taco shells for 5 minutes at 350F to crisp them up before assembling.
  • These handheld tacos are easy for guests to eat while mingling at the open house.
Mini pizza bites with various toppings (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom on a wooden board, perfect snack for an open house
Mini pizza bites with various toppings (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom on a wooden board, perfect snack for an open house

Here is a recipe for easy and tasty mini pizza bites with assorted topping options that would be perfect for an open house event:

Mini Pizza Bites

Makes 30-40 bites


For the mini crusts:

  • 1 lb refrigerated pizza dough
  • Flour for dusting
  • Olive oil for brushing

For the toppings:


  • 15-20 slices of pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  • 1/2 lb cooked crumbled sausage
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out rounds using a 1-1.5 inch biscuit cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Add desired toppings to the rounds. For pepperoni, top with 1-2 slices per round along with sauce and cheese. For sausage or mushrooms, top with 2-3 teaspoons of each topping and the sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crusts are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm.

Make ahead tip: Unbaked mini pizzas can be assembled, covered and refrigerated up to a day before baking. Add 1-2 minutes to the bake time.

Creative snack idea for an open house is Mini crab cakes with aioli sauce on a wooden plate.
Creative snack idea for an open house is Mini crab cakes with aioli sauce on a wooden plate.

Here is a recipe for tasty mini crab cakes that would make a great appetizer for an open house event. The aioli sauce adds a tangy, creamy complement.

Mini Crab Cakes with Aioli

Makes 24 mini crab cakes


For the crab cakes:

  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the aioli:

  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Dash of hot sauce


  1. In a bowl, gently mix together the crabmeat, mayonnaise, egg, parsley, mustard, old bay and 1⁄4 cup of the panko breadcrumbs. Form into 24 small cakes, about 1 inch wide and 1⁄2 inch thick.
  2. In a shallow dish, place remaining 1⁄4 cup panko. Dredge the crab cakes lightly in the breadcrumbs to coat both sides.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Cook the crab cakes in batches about 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the aioli ingredients.
  5. Serve the warm mini crab cakes with the aioli sauce for dipping. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Make ahead tip: The formed crab cakes can be refrigerated overnight before frying. The aioli sauce can also be made 1 day ahead.

Lobster bisque soup with garlic bread on a table is great open house treat idea
Lobster bisque soup with garlic bread on a table is great open house treat idea

Here is a rich and impressive recipe for lobster bisque soup and garlic bread that would be perfect for an open house:

Lobster Bisque

Makes 6-8 servings


  • 2 live lobsters (about 1.5 lbs each) or 2 lbs cooked lobster meat
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄4 cup sherry
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the garlic bread:

  • 1 baguette, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the lobsters for 8 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. When cool enough to handle, twist off the claws and crack them to extract meat. Separate tail meat and chop into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and bay leaf and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Whisk in tomato paste and flour and cook 2 minutes. Pour in wine and let reduce by half. Then whisk in seafood stock.
  4. Add lobster meat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Return soup to pot and stir in heavy cream and sherry. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
  6. Make garlic bread: Mix soft butter with garlic, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread mixture onto baguette slices. Broil 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve bisque hot in bowls with cheesy garlic bread on the side. Garnish with parsley if desired.

This impressive soup can be made 1-2 days in advance. The garlic bread is best made fresh right before serving.

Goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with feta cheese and sprigs of rosemary, a delicious food idea for open house is exactly what to serve at an open house.
Goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with feta cheese and sprigs of rosemary, a delicious food idea for open house is exactly what to serve at an open house.

Here is a recipe for an easy yet elegant appetizer of goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon – perfect for impressing guests at an open house:

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

Makes 24 stuffed dates


  • 12 slices bacon, cut in half
  • 24 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Fresh thyme leaves for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut each date lengthwise and open it up slightly. Place 1 teaspoon of goat cheese in the center of each date. Pinch the date closed over the filling.
  3. Wrap each stuffed date with a half strip of bacon and place on the prepared baking sheet, seam side down.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bacon is crisp. Transfer to a serving platter.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped pecans and honey. Drizzle the honey pecan mixture over the bacon wrapped dates.
  6. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve warm.

Make-ahead tip: Assemble the stuffed dates up to a day ahead and store in the fridge until ready to cook and serve.

These goat cheese stuffed dates are sure to impress.

Creative open house idea: Serve Filet mignon skewers with chimichurri sauce with pesto sauce on a black plate is a perfect real estate open house snack idea
Creative open house idea: Serve Filet mignon skewers with chimichurri sauce with pesto sauce on a black plate is a perfect real estate open house snack idea

Here is an elegant appetizer recipe for filet mignon skewers drizzled with a bright chimichurri sauce, perfect for an open house:

Filet Mignon Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 8


  • 1 1⁄2 lbs filet mignon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 mins

For the chimichurri sauce:

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
  • 1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, toss the filet mignon cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt/pepper. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the chimichurri sauce: In a food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallot, olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Thread marinated filet mignon onto the soaked skewers.
  4. Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Working in batches if needed, cook skewers 1-2 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness.
  5. Transfer skewers to a serving platter and drizzle with the chimichurri sauce. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve immediately.

Make ahead tip: Marinate the meat up to 8 hours ahead. Chimichurri sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance.

Delicious buffalo chicken dip served with celery and crackers, perfect open house food idea
Delicious buffalo chicken dip served with celery and crackers, perfect open house food idea

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Serves 8-10


  • 2 (10 oz) cans chunk chicken, drained
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium oven-safe bowl, combine the chicken, cream cheese, buffalo sauce, cheddar cheese, blue cheese and ranch dressing. Mix until well blended.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  4. Serve immediately with celery sticks and tortilla chips for dipping.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • The dip can be assembled up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake.
  • Cut celery sticks a day ahead and store in water in the fridge.
  • Bake tortilla chips for 5 minutes at 400°F to crisp them up once guests arrive.

This spicy and creamy chicken dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

A plate of Beef Wellington bites with a sauce on it, perfect for a food idea at an open house.
A plate of Beef Wellington bites with a sauce on it, perfect for a food idea at an open house.

Here is an elegant appetizer recipe for bite-sized Beef Wellingtons perfect for impressing guests at an open house:

Mini Beef Wellingtons

Makes 24 appetizers


  • 1 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 24 cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from skillet and let cool.
  2. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic to the skillet. Sauté 5 minutes until softened. Deglaze skillet with brandy and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out 24 squares about 2 inches each.
  5. Place a beef cube in the center of each pastry square. Top with a teaspoon of mushroom mixture. Brush edges with egg wash.
  6. Fold up the corners of the pastry to enclose the filling and press with a fork to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Brush tops with egg wash. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Make-ahead tips: Prepare beef cubes and mushroom mixture up to 2 days ahead. Assemble Wellingtons up to 4 hours before baking.

Assorted sushi rolls on a black tray with chopsticks – open house food ideas.
Assorted sushi rolls on a black tray with chopsticks – open house food ideas.

Here’s a fun appetizer idea that would be perfect for an open house – an assortment of fresh sushi rolls:

Assorted Sushi Rolls

Makes 32-40 pieces


  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Nori sheets
  • Suggested Fillings:

Shrimp tempura rolls

  • Shrimp tempura
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

California rolls

  • Crab sticks
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

Spicy tuna rolls

  • Spicy tuna mix (tuna, sriracha, mayo)
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot

Vegetable rolls

  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado


  1. Cook sushi rice per package instructions. Gently mix in rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Allow to cool.
  2. Lay nori sheets shiny side down on bamboo rolling mats. Evenly spread rice, leaving 1⁄2 inch uncovered at top. Layer desired fillings across the center.
  3. Roll up each sushi roll tightly in the mat, pressing to seal. Slice into 6-8 pieces using a sharp knife.
  4. Arrange sliced sushi rolls on a platter with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger on the side for dipping.

Make-ahead tip: Prepare sushi rice a day ahead and store covered in the fridge. Assemble rolls up to 4 hours before serving.

Fresh sushi rolls make for a creative and tasty appetizer.

Delicious food ideas for an open house include smoked salmon on toasted bread paired with a glass of wine.
Delicious food ideas for an open house include smoked salmon on toasted bread paired with a glass of wine.

Here is an elegant appetizer recipe for salmon tartare served on crispy crostini that would be perfect for an open house:

Salmon Tartare on Crostini

Serves 8-10


  • 1 lb fresh wild salmon, diced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, halved


  1. In a bowl, gently mix together the diced salmon, shallot, capers, dill, olive oil, lemon juice and salt/pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.
  2. Brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Toast under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden brown, turning once. Rub one side of each crostini with the cut garlic clove.
  3. To serve, spoon a tablespoon of the salmon tartare onto each garlic crostini. Garnish with extra dill.

Make-ahead tips:

  • Prepare the salmon tartare up to a day in advance and store covered in the fridge.
  • Toast the baguette slices up to 4 hours ahead. Store at room temperature.

The salmon tartare makes for an elegant appetizer.

Things to have at an open house should include tasteful decorations as well; use flowers or greenery around your home to spruce up the atmosphere.

To finish off the look, make sure there’s music playing in the background – something cheerful and upbeat will keep people engaged throughout their visit.

Make sure you greet every guest with a smile so they feel welcomed from the start.

Don’t forget about providing them with informational brochures too – this way they can take away helpful information about what you have available for sale.

Refreshment ideas for open house

  • Infused water – Slice up fruits and herbs like lemons, limes, cucumbers, mint, strawberries, or watermelon to add flavor to water. Serve in a glass beverage dispenser.
  • Iced tea – Brew up a batch of fresh iced tea. Offer plain or flavored with fruits like peach, raspberry, or blueberry.
  • Lemonade – A classic refreshed, serve homemade or store-bought lemonade. Set up a lemonade stand for fun.
  • Arnold Palmers – Half lemonade, half iced tea is refreshing. Garnish with lemon wheels.
  • Fruit punch – For kids or adults, make a fun bowl of fruit punch with juices, ginger ale, frozen fruit.
  • Milkshakes – Blend up chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry milkshakes and serve in to-go cups.
  • Coffee bar – Offer a self-serve coffee and espresso bar with creamers, sugars, and toppings.
  • Hot chocolate bar – For chilly weather, serve hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream, spices.
  • Spa water – Infuse water with fruits and herbs plus add bubbly seltzer water. Serve in wine glasses.
  • Mocktails – Create non-alcoholic cocktails like mint limeade, strawberry basil smashes, or fruit spritzers.

Creating A Follow-Up Plan


Realtors have to think outside the box to create an effective open house that stands out from the open house leads their competition.

Broker event ideas and creative open house strategies are key for success. After the exclusive open house is complete, it’s important to make sure you don’t forget about your guests.

Creating a follow-up plan ensures you keep in touch with everyone who attended, as well as those interested but didn’t show up.

This will help strengthen relationships and maximize potential business opportunities. All of the above can be automated too!

When creating a follow-up plan, be sure to consider how often you should contact prospects, what type of content you’ll need based on what was discussed during the open house, and whether or not automation tools can be used.

The goal is to build trust by providing prospective customers with useful information throughout their real estate journey – without overdoing it and annoying them!

Being proactive with your follow-ups can pay off big time when it comes to converting leads into loyal clients. With this in mind, let’s move onto protecting yourself & your clients.

Protecting Yourself & Your Clients


When it comes to open houses, safety should be your number one concern. Realtors must consider the regulations and rules that protect themselves as well as their clients.

If you’re hosting an open house for a neighborhood or community, there are certain measures you can take to ensure everyone feels secure.

For instance, advertise in advance so those attending know what kind of open house hours they will experience. It is even more impactful if you can video this.

Make sure all entry points are locked before people arrive and check ID’s if necessary.

  • You may also want to have someone stationed outside during the event to greet visitors and make sure only invited guests enter the property.
  • Provide security personnel with contact information in case of any suspicious behavior or emergencies.

By taking these proactive steps, you can create an atmosphere where everyone feels safe while enjoying the creative real estate ideas presented at your open house!

Regulations To Consider

From the moment of planning a real estate open house, regulations come into play.

Regulations can provide limitations—but also may be used to create opportunity.

It’s best for any realtor or broker to consider local laws and other governing bodies when hosting an open house event. This helps ensure that all parties involved in the process are on board with the creative ideas being implemented.

A successful open house requires creativity and innovation from both the realtor and their guests.

When looking for the best property viewing ideas, remember to go beyond traditional methods; think outside of the box while still adhering to rules set by local law.

Remain compliant with legal regulations


Think about how you can make your event unique and memorable – try adding fun activities like interactive games or even food trucks!

By taking advantage of these opportunities, you will have a better chance at making your open house stand out among other real estate brokers’ events.

Ultimately, it is important to remain compliant with legal regulations while creating an environment that encourages engagement between listing agents and those attending your event.

With proper planning and adherence to protocols, any realtor or broker can host a successful open house that makes a lasting impression on potential buyers.

The next step is handling open house protocols correctly so that everyone feels comfortable participating in this exciting experience!

Handling Open House Protocols


Now that you know the regulations for hosting an property showing for real estate business, let’s get creative!

With all the rules of thumb in mind, even as a junior real estate agent you have plenty of room to plan and execute a successful event.

From theme choices to decorations and activities, there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating memorable experiences at your next open house.

A great way to start is by exploring the best open houses trends online or asking other professionals what they’ve done in their open house visitors the past.

Consider coordinating with local vendors such as caterers and florists who can bring even more life into your event.

Spruce Up Your Next Event With Local Vendors & Suppliers


One of the best ways to spruce up your next open house event is to involve local vendors and suppliers.

It is done by inviting local vendors to the event to showcase their products and services, giving the open house a more lively atmosphere.

Local vendors and suppliers can also attract potential buyers to the open house event. The vendors can provide potential buyers with information about the local area and its amenities and show off their merchandise.

This can be a great way to give potential buyers an idea of what the site offers and can also help increase interest in the property.
Just try to avoid turning the event into a Sunday market with no heavy advertisement or promotion.

Whether you opt for traditional methods or try something more inventive, these creative property showcase ideas for realtors provide options that can help increase engagement at any gathering.

Assessing Results & Making Adjustments

A survey of 150 realtor teams done by the TALLBOX revealed that 78% believe a creative open house can be the difference between success and failure.

With this in mind, it’s important to assess the results of your open house attendees and houses, so you can make adjustments if needed.

One way to do this is by using brokers’ home tour ideas as well as making remarks on MLS listings about the successful turnout.

Consider Apartment Showings

Events for houses and apartments have some differences.

For apartments, sometimes events are held in leasing office or module unit, in case the building it’s not fully ready. Other times depending on the amount of units being for sale, the event can be spread into multiple units as a tour.

In case you need to deal with multi-unit tour, make sure the tour ends in the best possible unit. Offering free food or drinks, with an expert in-house consultant, having fun activities like raffles or trivia games.

These types of events help create an inviting atmosphere that encourages potential buyers to stay longer and take their time looking around.

They also show that you care about their experience and want them to have a positive one while visiting your property.

Houses on the other hand often do place emphasis on the property’s outdoor spaces if such are available and the weather allows it.

While the condo units focus more on the building’s amenities, as pool, fitness, garages and other.

By assessing how these different strategies work during each event and making any necessary changes, realtors will ensure they’re creating engaging experiences for everyone who attends their next open house.

This helps build relationships with potential clients, which could eventually lead to more sales opportunities down the line.


As a realtor, house viewing is one of the most effective ways to get your property in front of future buyers.

Creating an inviting atmosphere that appeals to their senses and shows off the best features of the home can be challenging but totally worth it.

With some thoughtful planning and creative ideas, you can make sure your open house stands out from the competition!

How do you ensure your next open house stands apart?

Take time to think through all aspects of your open house:

  • sign preparation
  • advertising strategies
  • protecting yourself and clients
  • regulations to consider
  • handling protocols
  • assessing results

Make sure to keep track of what works well for future open houses. Keep the script (recipe) for reference so you know how to tweak things as needed.

Finally, ask yourself: What unique element could I add to this experience to make my open house memorable?

Whether it’s a special giveaway or something more interactive like virtual staging or 3D floor plans — taking advantage of today’s technology will help draw people in and keep them engaged.

A little bit of effort can go a long way into making this event successful!

Do buyers need their buyer agent to go to an open house?

While not required, bringing their real estate agent allows buyers to receive informed guidance during the open house and after when making big purchasing decisions.

  • Buyers do not legally need to bring their own agent to an open house. They are welcome to attend on their own.
  • However, it is highly recommended for buyers to bring their agent. Their agent can advocate for their interests.
  • The listing agent hosting the open house represents the seller, not the buyer.
  • Buyer’s agents are familiar with their clients’ needs and can ask the right questions on their behalf.
  • Buyer’s agents can advise clients on pricing, competition, and negotiating strategy for the property.
  • Buyer’s agents help guide their client through the offer process if they want to make an offer after the open house.
  • First-time homebuyers especially benefit from having their experienced agent accompany them.

How to host an open house for another agent

Successful preparation for hosting an open house on behalf of a fellow listing agent requires preparation, enthusiasm, and communication to ensure the home shines and sells.

  • Meet with the listing agent to get all the details about the property and their expectations. Ask about the desired atmosphere, themes, or activities to showcase the home.
  • Ensure you have access to the lockbox, alarm system, and any other necessities well in advance.
  • Study the listing thoroughly so you can speak knowledgeably about the home’s features, recent upgrades, neighborhood, etc.
  • Arrive early to have ample time to prepare signage, refreshments, music, lighting, and staging elements. Make sure the home is guest-ready.
  • Greet visitors warmly and track attendance via sign-in sheets. Provide your contact info as the hosting agent.
  • Give engaging tours that highlight the property’s selling points tailored to each guest.
  • Collect feedback and stories from visitors to share with the listing agent after.
  • Represent the home and your fellow agent in a positive, professional manner. Extend networking opportunities.
  • Follow up promptly with the listing agent to exchange buyer leads, discuss results, and evaluate strategy.

Here are some potential benefits and drawbacks of hosting an open house on behalf of another agent:

Benefits of hosting open house for another agent:

  • Provides networking opportunities to connect with other agents and their client base
  • Gain exposure for yourself and build your reputation as an engaged, helpful agent
  • Chance to gain experience hosting open houses and representing properties
  • Opportunity to earn goodwill and referrals from the listing agent
  • Allows the listing agent to attend to other duties during the open house
  • Increased foot traffic by having a fresh face draw in visitors

Drawbacks of hosting open house for another agent:

  • Requires significant preparation time getting to know the property
  • Risk of misrepresenting features or answering questions incorrectly
  • Follow-up process can be more difficult without direct buyer relationships
  • Less control over atmosphere, staging, and event details
  • splits commision if a visiting agent’s client purchases the property
  • Homeowner may be uncomfortable having an unfamiliar agent host
  • If issues arise, the listing agent may hold you responsible

What buyers are expected to do at an open house?

Here are some things buyers are typically expected to do during an open house showing:

  • Sign in – Buyers should sign their name, contact info, and agent info (if they have one) on the sign-in sheet when arriving.
  • Take a brochure – Realtors usually have listing brochures available with details about the property that buyers can take.
  • Ask questions – Buyers should feel free to ask the agent any questions about the home, neighborhood, price, etc.
  • View the property – Buyers will walk through the home to get a feel for the layout, features, condition, and flow.
  • Introduce companions – Any spouse, family member or friend looking at the property too should also introduce themselves.
  • Respect the home – Buyers should be courteous about not overly disturbing furnishings or belongings.
  • Stay with the group – It’s easier for the agent if buyers view the home together rather than scattered.
  • Limit children and pets – Well-behaved children are generally allowed, but pets should be avoided.
  • Notify if leaving – Let the agent know if you are stepping out before the open house ends.
  • Ask for a follow up – Interested buyers can request a private showing later on for a second look.
  • Provide feedback – Realtors appreciate any genuine thoughts buyers have about the positives or negatives of the home.

Following these open house etiquette guidelines creates a smooth experience for all.

What type of agent does open houses

While listing and showing agents are the most prominent, open house hosting duties are often shared across different real estate specialists depending on their niche, experience level, and client base.

  • Listing / Showing AgentsThe showing agent representing the sellers will typically host open houses as part of marketing the home for sale.
  • Buyer’s Agents – Agents working with buyers may hold “broker open houses” specifically to bring their buyer clients to view the property.
  • Newer Agents – Open houses are good networking opportunities, so newer agents trying to gain experience will often host them.
  • Investor Agents – Real estate investors often attend open houses looking for properties, so their agents may host them.
  • Relocation Agents – Agents specializing in relocating employees may hold open houses for transferees moving to the area.
  • Rental Agents – Landlords, property managers, and rental agents utilize open houses to find tenants.
  • Senior Agents – Retirees or semi-retired agents who no longer work full-time schedules but still want to dabble in real estate often cover open houses.
  • Team Members – Licensed assistants, administrative staff, and junior members of real estate teams can host open houses under the team brokerage.

Real estate agent supplies list

Being prepared with a versatile set of supplies helps real estate agents handle a wide range of scenarios on the job flexibility and professionally.

Here is a list of useful supplies for real estate agents to have on hand during open houses:

  • Business cards – To hand out to prospects and contacts
  • Notepads – For taking notes at open houses, meetings, showings etc.
  • Pens/highlighters – Have plenty available to lend and for buyers to use
  • Lockbox key – To access listed properties for showings
  • Tablet – To access listing details, contracts, take photos etc. on the go
  • Tape measure – For measuring room dimensions during showings
  • Reusable water bottle – Stay hydrated running around to showings
  • Portable phone charger – Charge devices in the car between appointments
  • Breath mints – Freshen breath when meeting clients
  • Flashlight – Inspect dimly lit areas of properties
  • Umbrella – For showings on rainy days
  • Band-Aids – Minor first aid for small cuts
  • Hand sanitizer – Clean hands when unable to wash
  • Snacks/protein bars – Refuel during long days
  • Coupon book – Incentives to give clients to local businesses
  • Extra masks – If client forgets theirs for a showing