6 Essential Steps for Hosting a DIY Open House

Blog Post Image

If you have made the big decision to sell your house yourself—or go FSBO—rather than hire a real estate agent, keep in mind that preparing, marketing, and showing your home takes time and research. Many realtors question an open house's effectiveness in closing a sale and use the event to meet potential clients. For FSBOs who might not have the time or flexibility to take weekday appointments and host private tours, the open house might be the only way to get potential buyers through your doors.

Continue to read to find out the 6 essential steps to hosting your DIY open house in Palm Desert, CA.

1. Scope the Competition: If there are other open houses in your neighborhood and surrounding area, visit and see how other homes are staged and listen in to what the real estate agents say. Make note of the features they point out, as they know best what today's buyers are looking for. When walking through, listen to the buyer's reactions. Open houses are typically held on non-holiday Sundays, so we recommend finding out when nearby homes are holding open houses so you can benefit from the foot traffic.

2. Draw Up a Property Description Sheet: Real estate agents typically pass out property description sheets to everyone who attends open houses, and you should do the same. We recommend collecting the following information:

  • Property address
  • Asking price
  • Contact information
  • Description of the property
  • Exterior and interior photos
  • HOA fees
  • Real estate taxes
  • Total square footage
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Special features
  • Neighborhood amenities
  • School information

You can utilize programs like Microsoft Word to design a simple and clear flyer and remember to have copies available. The property description sheet will come in handy when creating your list online.

3. Stage Your Home: Staging is the process of preparing your home for sale via decluttering, depersonalization, and neutralizing, amongst other techniques. We recommend you always keep in mind the following:

Your home should be decluttered and clean.

  • Fix anything broken.
  • Make smart updates where needed.
  • Place furniture in a way to maximizes the space in every room.

4. Spread the Word: Top realtors tap their extensive networks to target buyers and get them into their clients' houses. Getting the word out about your open house can be a challenge. We recommend you try the following:

  • Tell your relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues your home is on the market.
  • Use all methods of communication, including your phone, email, postcards, etc.
  • Tap into your social networks, including schools, churches, and community groups—online or in-person.
  • Place a for sale sign in your front yard and a flyer holder.
  • Advertise your house online.

5. Be a Gracious Host: Buyers are turned off by a seller hanging around the open house, but when you are an FSBO, they expect to work directly with you. The key is to maintain a professional attitude and give them the freedom to see the place on their own. We recommend you take into consideration the following:

  • If you are a pet owner, leave them with a friend or a boarding house for the day.
  • Hide your valuables, medication, and other personal items.
  • Leave out a sign-up sheet for guests to fill out their name, phone number, and email address.
  • Greet your guests with a smile, hand them a property sheet, and point out the most attractive features of the home.
  • Invite guests to tour the home at their leisure and offer to answer questions.
  • Offer light refreshments.

6. Follow Up: The day after your open house, send a personalized "Thank You" email to everyone who attended the open house. Within the following week, call each person and ask if they have questions about the house and if they are considering it. If not, thank them and ask if they have suggestions on how to make the house more attractive to other prospective buyers.

Interested in doing a DIY open house for your Palm Desert home? Use this list as a guide to perfecting your DIY open house. Explore the best of Palm Desert today.