One of the most common myths Realtors still cling to in 2022 is that open houses are a waste of time. While a poorly planned and run open house can indeed be a waste of time, a well-planned one that follows the steps in our open house checklist can help you double or even triple the number of leads you get.
To get you started, we worked with our team of real estate coaches and agents to put together our ultimate open house checklist. We also include important tips for each step, as well as links to deep-dive articles to learn more about open house apps, boosting your Facebook posts, and even scripts and icebreakers to use at your next open house.
Free Open House Checklist Download (PDF)
Our 19-step open house checklist was created by our team of real estate coaches and agents, including Beverly Ruffner (aka the Conversion Queen). Some of the steps here might seem like common sense, but there are some you may not have considered.
If you’re looking for more general tips for running an open house that actually generates leads, check out our open house ideas article below. Be sure to return here for important notes on why we included each step in our open house checklist.
27 Open House Ideas That Will Actually Get You Leads in 2023
Wednesday (or 4 Days Before Your Open House)
1. Boost Your Open House Post on Facebook
Since the vast majority of your potential open house guests are doing their house hunting online, boosting a Facebook post to announce your open house can work wonders. Just make sure to boost a post that cuts through the noise on Facebook.
If you don’t have a Facebook business page yet, you can learn how to set one up here:
How to Set Up a Real Estate Agent Facebook Page to Get More Leads
2. Decide Which Food & Drinks You Want to Serve
Believe it or not, the food and drinks you serve at your open house can have a big impact on how you are perceived as an agent. Remember, most of your guests don’t know you. That means they will be judging you on everything, food included!
You don’t have to spend a fortune on open house food, but you should make an effort. Here are some creative food and drink ideas to get you started:
17 Open House Food Ideas That Can Help Sell Your Listing (Yes, Really)
3. Send an Email Blast or Newsletter Reminder
You worked hard to build your email list and now is the time to use it. You can include your open house announcement in your weekly newsletter, or better yet, send out a dedicated email blast if you think the house is a good deal or it offers something curious neighbors might want to see.
29 Proven Real Estate Newsletter Ideas (+ Tips, Templates & Tools)
4. Post Your Open House on Zillow & Realtor.com
Of course, not all your potential guests will be on your email list, but they will all be scrolling Zillow and Realtor.com. Zillow has a dedicated setting to schedule open houses. You need to make sure to schedule it early, but not too early. Four days or so before your open house should do the trick.
5. Text Buyers You’re Already Working With
If you’re working with other buyers, send them a quick text to announce the open house. It might not be the perfect home for them, but will show them you’re working hard for your seller.
My 6-Day New Lead Text Messaging Campaign + Agent Texting Scripts
6. Text Seller a Checklist to Prepare the Home
You also need to give your seller time to prepare for the open house. They might need to clean a bit, hide valuables, or make arrangements for pets. If you really want to go the extra mile, offer to send them a house cleaner to do the work for them. They will likely refuse, but it’s the thought that counts!
Friday (or Two Days Before Your Open House)
7. Post an Instagram Reel Announcement (With Home Preview)
Since your Facebook announcement is already boosted, take a few minutes to put together a quick Reel to announce the open house to your Instagram followers. It doesn’t have to be Hollywood quality, but it should tell them the date, time, and address, and maybe include a sneak peek of the home. You can shoot this in advance and post two days before the open house.
10 Agents & Coaches Crushing It on Instagram Reels
8. Review Your Open House Scripts & Icebreakers
If you’re a new agent or haven’t held an open house in a while, freshen up on your open house scripts and icebreakers so you don’t stumble on the big day. You want to be loose and spontaneous, but having some snappy phrases in your arsenal can’t hurt!
9 Open House Scripts & Ice Breakers That Actually Get Phone Numbers
9. Add Your Open House Sign Rider
If you have a sign rider, installing it a bit early might alert the neighbors that they can finally come see the home without an appointment.
Real Estate Yard Signs: 12 Design Trends & Insights
10. Prepare or Order Food & Drinks for Your Open House
If you’re ordering food for your open house, make sure you give the restaurant or caterer enough time to prepare it. Two days before the open house should be enough lead time in most cases, but call ahead to make sure. If you’re making refreshments on your own, shopping and preparing a few days before couldn’t hurt.
11. Print Out Your Sign-in Sheets if You’re Not Using an App Like Curb Hero
It also helps to print out your sign-in sheets a few days before your open house. The last thing you want is to have a printer malfunction or discover you’re low on ink the morning of your open house. Ask me how I know!
Sunday Morning (or the Morning of Your Open House)
12. Install Open House Directional Signs (if the HOA Allows It)
Since many locations only allow directional signs for the day of your open house, waking up early to install them is a good idea.
13. Put Balloons on Your For Sale Sign
While some Realtors will say that balloons are tacky, they are a surefire way to keep your guests from getting lost, and some say they are just fun. If you have balloons, attaching them to a few of the signs in busy locations might help draw curious neighbors.
14. Put Out Welcome Sign, Flyers & Disclosures
Once you have your directional signs and balloons up, it’s time to prepare the house to show. Set up a small table at the entrance with your welcome sign, sign-in sheet, flyers, and disclosures so they’re the first thing your guests see.
You can even put a small bowl of candy (or cold drinks on a hot day) near your sign-in sheet to make it more attractive for guests.
Tuesday (or 2 Days After Your Open House)
15. Text Buyers Agents for Feedback
If you know any of the agents who brought buyers to your open house, text them and ask for feedback. You can also include them in your follow-up emails, but texting will likely get you a faster—and hopefully more honest—response.
16. Add Sign-ins to Your CRM
If you’re using an app like Curb Hero that integrates with your customer relationship manager (CRM), this step should be fast and easy. If you’re working with paper sign-in sheets, you’re going to have to enter them manually, or can the list and send it to your virtual assistant.
The Best Real Estate CRM for 2023: In-depth Reviews & Pricing
17. Text Hot Sign-in Leads for Feedback
If you had good conversations with any of your guests, texting them is a much better way to follow up than emailing them. Just make sure you have something to offer, even if it’s an invitation for coffee to talk more about their wants and needs.
18. Email Cold Sign-in Leads
Finally, you need to take all of the people who gave you their contact information and put them on a drip campaign. You can start with a request for feedback email, then follow up with hot new listings. Just make sure to actually ask for their business in some of your emails.
The 9 Best Open House Follow-up Email Templates (+ Writing Tips)
19. Share All Feedback & Performance Data With the Homeowner
Now that you’ve received feedback about the home, put it all together and send it to your homeowner client. Apps like Spacio will give you a form to send them with the data, but you can always just write it in an email or text message with your analysis.
Over to You
What kind of open house checklist do you use? Anything we missed here? Let us know in the comments.