Getting a buyer walking through the door to look at your house is a good sign for any home sellers. But you can still ruin your chance at finding a willing buyer while mortgage rates remain low or landing the price you want if you mess up your open house.

Here are 5 open house mistakes to avoid:

Open House Don’t #1: Over-do, or Over-Compensate in the Smell Department
You might have a beloved dog or cat that you want to hide the odors of during your open house, but don’t over do it. Smell is the strongest memory-recall senses, and over doing it with odors can be a deal killer. Instead of over doing it trying to create a nice scent (or mask an unpleasant one), neutralize odors with Febreze or just-brewed coffee.

Open House Don’t #2: Leave Important Things Lying Around
Open houses are a great marketing tool, but nobody needs to see your personal documents or frilly undergarments. Also, you don’t want anything important to go missing. Tuck all your important documents and personal items away before an open house.

Open House Don’t #3: Limit Potential Buyers to Certain Areas of the Home
Similar to our other suggestions, the buyer must be able to imagine living in the home. Homeowners aren’t barred from certain rooms in their own home, don’t let potential homeowners feel this way either. Make sure it does not seem as if there is something to hide in the home. Keeping valuables in a storage unit or at a friend’s house is helpful if there are items the homeowner does not want the public having access to.

Open House Don’t #4: Sweep Things Under the Rug (or into the Closets!)
Potential home buyers visiting an open house are likely to check through closets and store rooms, so don’t “tidy up” the house by sweeping your mess into your closet or storeroom until it bulges at the seams. Even your storage areas need to look tidy, because an overstuffed store room will give the appearance that you home doesn’t have enough storage—even if it does!

Open House Don’t #5: Have Unfinished Renovation Jobs
People aren’t a big fan of DIY renovations in the house they buy because they can never be sure that the job wasn’t completed shoddily. An unfinished renovation project either means it was an overzealous, and over-their-head DIY project, or you used a shoddy contractor. Either way, ensure that the project is finished before showing your house.


Holding an open house can be a great way to get your home for sale noticed. Making your property stand out among all the available homes in an area can be a challenge in most markets. The best way to go about creating a compelling open house experience is by working with a Palm Springs real estate agent who can help you organize an effective open house and sell your house for top dollar.