An A+ Open House

Signs in car

Open house day starts by leaving the home office anywhere between 6 and 7:30 in the morning, depending on how far away the neighborhood is. With directional signs loaded, my handy “sign engineer” and I head for the nearest Keller Williams Realty office to blow up helium balloons.

balloon mechanic

Soooooooo much faster with two people working on this project. Really does take half as long as one person working alone.

ceiling balloons

pretty sight! Now, to corral them into contractors’ plastic bags and put them in the minivan.

highway directionals

want those signs out as early as possible for maximum exposure for the afternoon open house. These signs would only be so much undifferentiated visual clutter without the bobbing balloons. It is very challenging to pound the signs into the rocky caliche soil while tying the balloons in wind.

After a shower and clothes-change, and maybe a client appointment or two, it is time to load up the car for the open house.  You can see my supplies list here.

directional sign

Some homes need extra directional signs for clarity.


Rule #1: Turn on ALL lights, even in closets!


Vanilla candle for atmosphere.

SnacksI serve iced water and sparkling white grape juice (no stains!!!) and crumb-free snacks for easier cleanup later. I never leave a mess in the home.


Information about the home, as well as sign-in sheets (you want to know who has been in your house, right?) and comment sheets (you really want to know what visitors thought about your home, right?)

Open House Hostess

Aaaaaand the hostess is ready- let’s DO THIS!

A 20-item procedure checklist for getting the home ready to show and a 15-item procedure checklist for closing down the open house insures that I don’t forget something. One time I had a homeowner arrive and start conversing with me while I was in the middle of my closing-down procedure, and I forgot a trash basket that I had to fetch later. Checklists are my friends.

Last Saturday’s open house in a new build found me still conversing with several interested buyers an hour after the official closing. Good thing my “sign engineer” was available for picking up signs and stowing them sans balloons and strings, which takes about an hour. I was back at home and in comfy clothes by 6 pm.

It was a satisfying day.

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