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.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

The Value of Open Houses

REALTOR® Open House Events: Media Talking Points, (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.)

Media Hooks for REALTOR® Open Houses, (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.)

Do houses sell from an open house?, (The Balance Blog, Aug. 30, 2017)

A buyer's guide to a successful open house, (U.S. News & World Report, Mar. 15, 2017)

5 ways an open house can actually hurt your home sale, (Investopedia Blog, Jan. 29, 2017)

What is a broker's open house? A smart way to market your home, (realtor.com, Nov. 17, 2016)

How to Make the Most of Open Houses, (Inman, Aug. 24, 2016)

Overcoming Open House Objections, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2016)

5 Ways an Open House Can Actually Hurt Your Home Sale, (Investopedia Blog, Feb. 24, 2016)

3 Properties Where Open Houses Work, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2016).

Considering an Open House?

Tips for Success

Open house tips - how to hold a successful open house, (The Balance Blog, July 30, 2017)

How to stage your open house to appeal to buyers, (The Spruce Blog, Feb. 15, 2017)

3 Surefire Ways to Make Your Open House Stand Out, (YPN Blog, National Association of REALTORS®, Oct. 18, 2016).

Hosting a successful open house, (Albuquerque Journal, Aug. 7, 2016)

4 Challenging Visitors You Get at Open Houses, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 13, 2016).

3 Keys to a Successful Open House, (U.S. News & World Report, June 21, 2016)

A Seller’s Guide to a Winning Open House, (Realty Times, Apr. 27, 2016)

3 tips to crushing it at your next open house, (Inman, Dec. 7, 2015)

14 Steps to a Flawless Open House, (U.S. News & World Report, May 21, 2015)

Preparing for an Open House

How to prepare for an open house, (HGTV Blog, Mar. 7, 2018)

10 tips to prepare your home for an open house, (realtor.com, Jan. 24, 2017)

The proactive approach to preparing for an open house, (U.S. News & World Report, Mar. 15, 2017)

Preparing an open house - ultimate checklist, (Realty Times, Nov. 28, 2016)

Is an Open House a Must-Do Step When Selling Your Home?, (U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 8, 2015)

Open House Safety & Security

Open House Safety, (Chicago Association of REALTORS®, Sept. 27, 2017)

Open house safety tips, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 1, 2017)

Don't Show Fear to Shady Open House Guests, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2016)

15 cautionary tips for holding a safe open house, (Inman, Sept. 23, 2016)

eBooks & Other ​Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Home Staging Home Soft Decoration (eBook)

Home Staging That Works: Sell Your Home in Less Time for More Money (Kindle, eBook)

Staged to Sell (or Keep) (Audiobook, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Your key to open house success: Advanced strategies for real estate agents of all levels (Chaleston, SC: Jands Publishing, 2015) HF 5387 En7

Home staging: the winning way to sell your house for more money (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006) HF 5438 Sch9

Home staging: creating buyer-friendly rooms to sell your house (Arlington, MN: Center Stage Home, 2004) HF 5438 M43

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