It’s easy to see the value of an open house—a designated time for real estate agents and prospective buyers to scope out your home while on a Sunday spree of house tours.

But if you’re worried about getting lost among the competition, creative open house ideas are a must if you want to make a sale.

There are some special strategies you can implement to set your home apart. REALTORs® and homeowners who think outside the box can increase the number of prospective buyers who see the home. And by using a bit of imagination to showcase the property’s best features, a home with unusual features has time to shine.

Creative Open House Ideas

Match your open house plan with the characteristics of your home. Here are a few ideas to spark creative thinking.

Address all five senses

While prospective buyers naturally use their eyes to look at your home, remember they can use their other senses to react to your residence.

Some may bake chocolate chip cookies to entice buyers’ sense of taste and smell, but you should also consider playing some background music to set a mood and enhance the feel of your home. If you live in a modern home and your buyers are likely to be young, play something contemporary; if you live in a historic home, play something a little more classical.

To address the sense of touch, provide buyers with a stress-relieving squeeze ball, and they’ll always remember your home.

Turn your home into an art gallery

If your home is vacant or has a lot of blank wall space, you can work with your agent to identify a local art gallery to host an exhibition. Artists receive additional recognition, and you may attract some visitors that wouldn’t normally attend an open house.

The art can also enhance your home while it’s on the market.

Let your home showcase local interior designers

A vacant home is a great backdrop for interior designers to show off their skills. Whether you turn your home over to one designer or several, their work can be the focal point for an interesting series of open house events to bring more visitors to your home.

Have a party instead of an open house

While you don’t want to spend too much on caterers and wine, an evening reception at your home can bring in a different crowd of prospective buyers who aren’t always available during the day.

This works particularly well if your property has elegant entertaining spaces or excellent exterior lighting.

Host a workshop or charity event

If your home is likely to appeal to first-time home buyers, ask your agent and lender host a how-to seminar in your living room.

If your home offers the space and sophistication to attract donors to a local charity, consider hosting a fundraiser and make sure your sales brochure is prominently displayed.

Hold a fishing contest

If your home sits on a river or lake and is likely to appeal to buyers who want to live on the water, set up a water-based event to bring attention to your property.

These six ideas offer a starting point: now it’s time for you and your selling agent to brainstorm about the types of open house events that work best with your home.

By: Michele Lerner