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Field Guide to Open Houses

(Updated June 2014)

Holding listed properties “open for inspection” has been a key feature in the real estate professional’s marketing toolkit for decades. In Salesmen’s Success Stories, a collection of marketing ideas published by the National Association in 1963, a REALTOR® from Ohio offered his insights about the value of open houses:

“Holding houses open consistently, Sunday after Sunday, can be very rewarding and profitable. You can attract more prospects by investing several hours in this manner than you can in perhaps three or four weeks by the conventional appointment method. Additional benefits are the exposure it gives a salesman to buyers and owners of real estate and the opportunity you have to discuss other properties with them. Last but not least it will sell the property in question.”

The overall goals of an open house haven’t changed much over the years, but the methods for making the property look its best and attracting potential clients are constantly evolving. This Field Guide offers resources to make open house events worthwhile, innovative, and safe for REALTORS®, home sellers, and potential buyers. (F. Heller, Manager, Library & Archives)


Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.


Who Uses an Open House?

The Value of Open Houses

The great open house debate, (Realty Times, Jan. 3, 2014).

Investigating the sales value of open houses, (Origination News, May 2013). Q

Open house buyers tend to be home owners already, (McClatchy-Tribune Business News, Apr. 21, 2013). Q

Why do REALTORS® love open houses so much?, (realtor.com®, Apr. 16, 2013).

Survey: Open houses still have their place, (Inman News, Apr. 27, 2012).

Generate loyalty through open houses; You can use open houses to promote properties and yourself. Here's how, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2011).


Tips for Success

6 ways to turn off buyers at open houses, (REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News, June 11, 2014).

How to have an effective open house, (Realty Times, May 29, 2014).

How to market your open house, (realtor.com®, Mar. 17, 2014).

Making the most of your open house (downtime), (YPN Lounge, Jan 2, 2014).

Host an open house the right way, (Chicago Agent Magazine, Aug. 13, 2012).

Survey: Open houses still have their place, (Inman News, Apr. 27, 2012).

Converting a looker into a buyer, (YPN Lounge, Sept. 27, 2011).

Open houses that work: Is an open house worth your time? These practitioners say yes, and here's how they do it, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2010).

6 ways to capture clients at open houses, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2009).


Preparing for an Open House

Homebuyer’s perspective: How to approach an open house, (realtor.com®, Mar. 18, 2014).

How to declutter before an open house, (realtor.com®, Mar. 17, 2014).

Repair and update your home before an open house, (realtor.com®, Mar. 17, 2014).

Open house: Easy steps to go above and beyond, (realtor.com®, Mar. 17, 2014).

How to prepare for an open house, (HGTV, 2014).

Start preparing your property early for an open house, (McClatchy-Tribune Business News, Apr. 22, 2012).


Open House Safety & Security

Safety at open houses, (REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit).

Securing prescription drugs during open houses, (The Member’s Edge, May 12, 2014).

10 tips for holding a safe open house, (REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit, May 2012).

10 steps to a safe open house, (Inman News, June 23, 2011).


Field Guides & More

These Field Guides in the Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale

Field Guide to REALTOR® Safety

Field Guide to Buying & Selling During the Holidays

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