How to prepare for an open house

Getting the maximum exposure possible is a key part of any home sale. That’s why it pays to sell your home with the help of a Realtor through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS provides details of your home to all real estate professionals in the area and markets the property to a broad range of potential buyers.

To further maximize exposure, your Realtor may recommend you hold one or two types of open houses as soon as the property goes on the market. The regular way to do this would be to first prepare the home for an open house liking de-cluttering and tidying the home, making it look amazing for potential buyers. Then a date would be set and guests would attend the open house. Present day as we are forced to alter our methods while dealing with COVID-19, listings are either not doing open houses or they are being held virtually or live.

A live open house is not only a safety precaution but allows you to stay in your pyjamas at home! The Listing Agent generally does a live open house somewhat similar as if they would for people at the property but with some obvious modifications. Since the potential buyers or other agents cannot tour the property themselves, the agent uses their phone to live broadcast them touring the house, stopping to ask questions and focus on any details they think a buyer would like to see.

In addition to a virtual or live open house, we are also able to do private showings rather than publicly broadcasted ones where the agent will do a personal video call with a potential buyer or agent and do the walk through showing just for them and their questions. This type of showing can include walking the grounds and spending more time in specific rooms or on certain topics, where a live broadcast to Facebook should be a bit quicker pace and more general.

Since a live open house is much more convenient, this might attract unqualified buyers. But don’t worry, live open houses are just one of the many ways a Realtor and their team is working to get your home sold.

Following suit of most open houses being held on a weekend afternoon, Sea & Ski is going live when people are at home and online most. Since people are still working, we want to be mindful of peoples scheduling and be available for them when they are looking for content.

Your Realtor will likely recommend you and your family be away from the home during the open house, even a live or virtual one, as to keep out of the way and allow the viewer to request the Realtor to explore parts of the home in depth.

Your Realtor will suggest ways to prepare your home for an open house a little differently than usual as only your trusted Realtor and possibly an additional Team Member will be in the home, rather than strangers. Some of the tips may seem unnecessary since there won’t be people in your home that haven’t already been, but viewers will notice a lot of things and will ask about functionality since they can’t test it themselves. Also, don’t forget the goal is to sell your home, therefore one of the viewers could become the buyer and these tips should be done anyways.

Here are some general tips to help you prepare for the big day:

Kitchen and bathrooms (other rooms as well)

  • Clean all surfaces, including floors.
  • Organize countertops.
  • Ensure all sinks and faucets work properly.

Floor coverings (Includes carpeting, tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc.)

  • Remove all dirt and stains.
  • Repair any damaged areas.

Walls, ceilings, baseboards

  • Clean any fingerprints or stains.
  • Repair any holes, cracks, chipped paint, ripped wallpaper, water damage.
  • If necessary, repaint in neutral or complimentary colors.


  • Fix squeaks and any other problems.
  • Ensure the handles secure and work properly.
  • Clean any stains.


  • Clean and repair any cracks.
  • Ensure they open easily.


  • Check to see there is sufficient light.
  • Attend to any broken switches, exposed wiring.

Pet areas

  • These should be clean, organized and odor free (even though the online audience won’t be able to smell your home)

Outside the home

  • Ensure all gates open easily.
  • Clean all exterior surfaces, including decks, pools, walkways and driveways and make them tidy.
  • Depending on the time of year, lawns should be mowed, walkways and driveway cleared of snow, leaves removed, trees pruned, gardens weeded, hedges trimmed.

(Source: the Ontario Real Estate Association)






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