According to:  A Brief History of Opening Our Homes to Total Strangers (aka the Open House),  | Apr 21, 2015 on Realtor.com

  • 1910 was the year of the first recorded “Open for Inspection.”  A realtor would be on-site from 9am until 9pm until the house sold.
  • In 1925, a broker in Indiana had a “brand new sales” idea to show homes that were furnished—the first staged houses.
  • During the 1950’s, Terminology changed from “open to inspection” to “Open House,” and Sunday became the standard open-house day. It is speculated that because “blue laws” prohibited business transactions on Sundays, people felt no pressure to come out and take a look.
  • In 1952, a Dallas realtor began using incentives to sell a model home in a new subdivision.  He offered free soft drinks to visitors and a Cadillac to the lucky buyer.  30,000 people visited.
  • Present Day: According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyer & Sellers, only 9% of buyers purchased a home that they first saw at an open house, while 5% met their agent at an Open House. However, 44% of buyers used open houses as a source of information during the home search process.
Open House Tips
  1.  Bathrooms and Kitchens need to be pristine. No odors, no dirty sponges or towels, no toiletries on counters, toilet seats down, no fingerprints on appliances.  If in doubt, use a professional cleaner, then ask a trusted person for their honest opinion.

2.  Curb appeal!  Trim bushes and trees, add some flowers, if in season, or keep the snow and ice off the walkway if in winter.

3.  Remove your pets during showings or an Open House.  The pets will scare the people and the people will scare the pets.

4.  Store anything valuable such as prescription drugs, money, high-end jewelry, and priceless collections.  Realtors cannot possibly be in every room at every moment.  Buyers will indeed open built-in cabinets, closets doors, and appliances. They should not be opening personal furniture items. However, sometimes that cute ornate jewelry box may be tempting, especially to children.

A successful Open House

Sometimes the realtor will hold all showings until a specific date to give everyone the same opportunity.  It’s similar to waiting until the store opens on the day after Thanksgiving–a “mad rush.” If your house is priced right and looks right, people are more likely to offer an amount over-asking.

Call Premiere Home Stagers at 608-345-9396 to help you get ready for your Open House.

Condo sold 3 weeks after staging.  (Was on the market 6 months before staging.)