25 Open House Food Ideas That Will Help Sell Your Listing

24 Jun, 2024 | Admin | No Comments

25 Open House Food Ideas That Will Help Sell Your Listing

When it comes to selling a home, it’s not just about making it look good – it’s about helping potential buyers feel at home. Creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort is key to helping people picture themselves living there. The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home since it’s a common place for socializing and bonding. So, I’ve compiled some open house food ideas that will truly make your guests feel welcome. Let’s go the extra mile and make your open house an unforgettable experience.

Why Provide Food & Beverages at Open Houses

Picture this: it’s a crisp autumn day, and you step into a house filled with the irresistible scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. How does that make you feel? Research shows that our sense of smell can stir up nostalgic memories and emotions. It’s no wonder why real estate agents often bake cookies during open houses—it creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. But it’s not just about the smell—offering snacks and drinks adds to the feeling of togetherness and hospitality, like gathering around a kitchen table.

When people feel welcomed, they tend to relax and open up more. Regardless of whether or not the home you’re selling is the perfect fit for them, they will still enjoy getting to know you and how you presented the home. This added touch could lead to them wanting to work with you to find a home that does work for them.

Savory Foods

People tend to enjoy savory foods because they provide a sense of comfort. When you greet potential buyers arriving at the open house, guiding them to the food and drink creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. This warm welcome also helps them feel at home and relax while interacting with you. 

Someone picking up an individual serving of veggies, cheese, and meat in a cup.

Examples of Savory Foods:

  1. Charcuterie board: The possibilities are endless when it comes to putting together a charcuterie board. The classic combo of cured meats, cheeses, crackers, and fruits is always a hit, or you can customize it however you like. You can even get creative by serving everything in individual bowls.
  2. Skewers: Skewers are awesome because they’re easy to eat. You can also easily mix and match with vegetarian and meat options. 
  3. Mini nachos: Set up a fun mini nacho bar. You can lay out individual servings of tortilla chips with the option to add melted cheese, salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. This way, everyone can make their own nachos just the way they like.
  4. Sliders: If you’re looking for something a bit more filling, try sliders. Go with a standard burger slider, or opt for pulled pork or chicken. These bite-sized snacks are easy to eat and can be paired with one of our other open house food suggestions as well. 

Sweets & Baked Goods

Sweet treats have the power to bring people happiness. And there’s nothing better than seeing happy guests as they explore your listing. After the open house guests sign in, offer them a delicious treat while they get to know the home. This simple gesture creates a positive and memorable experience for them.

An assortment of cookies decorated as keys, doors, and houses, including the words welcome and home written on some of them.
Custom Home Cookies (Source: SweetSetups)

Examples of Sweet Foods:

  1. Brownies or cookies: Don’t underestimate the power of these classic treats. Who doesn’t love a delicious brownie or cookie? And if you’re feeling fancy, you can even get a baker to decorate the cookies with your own custom designs.
  2. Candy: Use mini chocolate bars and other candies to create a candy assortment. Guests can customize their own sweet goody bags, choosing their favorites to take home.
  3. Pastries: If you’re looking for an option that pairs well with coffee or tea, go the pastry route. Serving puff pastries, cannolis, or danishes makes it feel like an open house tea party.
  4. Cupcakes or muffins: Cupcakes and muffins are the perfect individual portion size, making them ideal for an open house. Whether you bake them in regular or mini sizes, the variety of flavors you can use allows for a diverse and enjoyable selection.

💡Pro Tip: Do a little cross-promotion. Swing by a local bakery for some baked goods and ask if you can leave your open house flyer there for their patrons to see. It’s a great way to promote your open house and support a local business.

Finger Foods 

Remember that presentation is everything when setting up food for an open house. Even if you’re not serving a fancy meal, you can still make it look appealing. Finger foods are a hit and easy for guests to grab, so add a reminder on your open house checklist to keep some extras in the fridge to refill the table as the event goes on.

Pinwheel sandwiches stacked on top of each other.
Pinwheel sandwiches (Source: Daily Appetite)

Examples of Finger Foods:

  1. Pinwheels or finger sandwiches: When guests come to an open house, they love to snack on easy-to-grab treats. Finger sandwiches are perfect because you can offer different flavors to cater to everyone’s tastes.
  2. Mini bagels: Mini bagels are a great choice for your open house and require little prep. Make them extra tasty by including toppings like cream cheese, peanut butter, regular butter, or jam. And if you feel like providing a more savory option, consider making mini pizza bagels.
  3. Mini quiche: If you like the idea of providing bite-sized deliciousness, mini quiches are a fantastic choice. You can load them up with your favorite veggies or simply use cheese. They’ll go wonderfully with some of our other open house food ideas, giving your guests a delightful brunch experience.

Snacky Foods 

Food and drinks are usually not top priority when attending an open house, as they mainly want to see the home and gauge how they feel. However, offering refreshments can also serve as a takeaway for open house guests to snack on between visiting different homes. This added touch could also help them remember your listing when you send your follow-up by saying something like, “It was great to meet you at my open house on Main St. I hope you enjoyed the trail mix!”

Two individual servings of popcorn in bags with a thank you label on it including a real estate agent's contact information.
Open House Popcorn Bags (Source: PreppingParties)

Examples of Open House Snack Ideas:

  1. Popcorn: Popcorn is a versatile snack that you can easily customize to match the theme of your choice. Create individual servings and place your logo on the bag or cup. With a wide variety of flavors to choose from, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
  2. Pretzels: You’ve got a lot of options to choose from – soft or hard pretzels in various flavors. You can also enhance the experience by offering delicious dipping sauces like cheese or chocolate. It’s an easy yet impressive way to elevate your hosting game with minimal effort.
  3. Chips: When it comes to easy, no-cook snacks, chips are a great choice. Grab a variety pack with different flavors and even pair them with your favorite dips if you’d like. For a homemade option, make your own in an air-fryer!
  4. Trail mix/Mixed nuts: Mixed nuts are another easy open house snack. These can be pecans, cashews, almonds, and more. You can even take it up a notch by adding raisins or chocolate chips to create a trail mix. Just divide it up into individual servings, and you’re all set.

Themed Foods 

The beauty of providing snacks for open houses is that they really can be anything you want. So when compiling open house food ideas, we couldn’t leave themed options out. Have some fun with the refreshments you provide and make a lasting impression on the attendees.

Fourth of July Desert Board
Fourth of July Dessert Board (Source: Ralphs)

Examples of Themed Foods:

  1. Holidays: If you’re hosting an open house around a holiday, make it even more fun by incorporating holiday-themed snacks. For instance, you can add a festive touch with Reese’s eggs or trees. Or, you can create a patriotic atmosphere by offering snacks with a red, white, and blue theme for the Fourth of July celebration.
  2. Seasonal: As you plan your open house, consider offering apple cider in the Fall or hot cocoa in winter. You could even host a lively football-themed open house during football season, with a game on the TV and all! Offering refreshments with a seasonal theme is a fun and creative way to spice up your open house.
  3. House specific: If the house or town has an interesting feature, tailor your refreshments to reflect that. For example, consider providing deviled eggs or pigs in a blanket if the home is a farmhouse.

Don’t Forget The Drinks…

It’s not just about the food. Quench the thirst of your attendees with some of these open house refreshment ideas. I’ve hosted many open houses, and I’ve come to realize that people are much more likely to grab a drink. I believe the easier it is to “grab and go,” the better and more popular it will be among potential buyers.

Two flower vases behind a water bottle with the label extended out, showing an example of a custom real estate open house label.
Custom open house water bottle labels (Source: LoveeDesignsCo)

Examples of Drinks:

  1. Water: Try custom water bottle labels with your logo and contact information.
  2. Soda: There are a wide variety of soda options, most of which come in mini sizes. Choose some popular flavors, as it’s a safer bet that people will enjoy them.
  3. Juice: The best thing about soda, water, and juice is that you can usually find mini bottles rather than full-size bottles. You might even consider juice boxes for the kids who attend with their parents.
  4. Coffee: Try a local coffee shop that provides a carafe of coffee to make it easy and simple.
  5. Tea: Since you can snag a variety of individual tea bags, this option requires only hot water, cups, and maybe some honey!
  6. Hot chocolate: In the cooler months or around the holidays, providing hot chocolate is a great choice.
  7. Alcohol: Proceed with caution when providing alcohol, as you’ll want to monitor the amount served. However, a workaround to overserving would be to offer a mini champagne bottle with a mini orange juice bottle for a single-serve mimosa.

💡Pro Tip: Have a plan for the leftovers. If you still have quite a bit after your open house and don’t want to get stuck with it, take it to a nearby shelter. Remember, not everyone is comfortable eating food provided at an open house. So don’t take it personally if people pass up on the refreshments. 

Tips for Serving Refreshments

When serving food to guests in someone else’s home, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure everyone’s safety and respect the space. By keeping these tips in mind, you can provide refreshments in a way that is enjoyable and considerate to the homeowner.

Tip 1: Stick with individual or pre-packaged items. 

Providing individual servings helps keep everything more sanitary and may encourage attendees to indulge. Look around the home for any wrappers or packaging left behind by guests. 

Tip 2: Present refreshments in a grab-and-go style setup.

Open house guests may not initially want to take any refreshments you’re offering. However, after they’ve walked through the home, they may change their mind on the way out. A grab-and-go setup allows for easy access; anyone coming or going can take what they’d like. 

Tip 3: Keep it simple with items that aren’t messy or hard to eat. 

It’s best to choose refreshments that won’t cause a mess you must clean at the end or that the sellers find later. Also, remember to have trash cans available to keep the space clean when guests are done with their food or drink.

Tip 4: Display allergen and alcohol disclaimers next to the food.

It’s impossible to know the dietary restrictions of those attending your open house, so if you’re providing foods that are common allergens or there is alcohol in a beverage being offered, be sure to have a sign or label making guests aware. 

Tip 5: Make sure to leave the home tidy. 

Since you’re providing the refreshments, make sure to take everything with you and clean up at the end. The goal is to leave the home in the same or better condition than when you arrived.

Tip 6: Customize refreshments to match your branding with water bottle labels, stickers, or tags that can be hung on baggies. 

Branding your refreshments can help you stand out among the other homes guests may be seeing that day. If they take a water bottle with your contact info on it, for instance, they may be more likely to remember your listing or reach out to you with questions. 


Bringing It All Together

Hosting an open house is a chance for you to really bring the home to life. Have fun with it, and don’t forget to inform the homeowner what refreshments you’ll provide. What do you usually serve at an open house? Let us know in the comments.

The post 25 Open House Food Ideas That Will Help Sell Your Listing appeared first on The Close.

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