If done right, an successful open house will result in a bidding war between buyers. If executed poorly, your house may not come across in the best way possible extending the time it sits on the market.
The biggest piece of advice is to make the property you are selling feel like a home to potential buyers. Create an atmosphere that allows them to envision themselves living there and having it be their dream home. Some ideas are ri bake cookies or other goods to fill the house with an inviting scent. If you do not want to use the appliances, buy some pastries or baked goods so when people enter it makes them smile and appreciate the gesture. Play some soft music in the background so they have some ambiance when they walk through the rooms. If you are selling during the holidays, think about adding some holiday decorations (but do not go overboard). And finally, turn on all the lights. Even if it is daytime, side lights always make a house a home and add a layer of warmth to your property.
In the end, you want your property to be memorable to the buyer and a place where they can envision themselves living!
No matter how great you think your home is or how quickly you may want to sell it, be conscious of the people touring the house and read their body language. Some people may be talkative by nature and do not mind the extra information while some are more reserved and do not appreciate the attention. Approach your guest initially and then read their body language and their response. You are selling this house, but no one likes a pushy salesman. If the house is listed and you are selling through a real estate agent, let them do their job and stay out during the open houses. You chose them and hired them for a reason. If you need tips on finding the right real estate agent, read here.
You want potential buyers to view the entire home and get the full scope of what they are buying, so do not leave any rooms closed off or unable to view. Locking rooms will send a message to homebuyers that there is something you may be hiding. Guests should be able to roam freely and look into any nook and inspect every corner that they see fit.
Ideally, you will want the property to be showcased in the best light possible. If it is your home, this means, getting rid of the clutter and having a deep clean. If you are an investor, this means you stage the house but do not over stage with your personal taste. Keep it neutral, simple and current. While you want to keep all doors open and accessible to buyers, this means that you want to organize behind those unlocked doors.
Before the open house, make sure to not only clean, but to organize. Buyers want to visualize themselves living in their house, but do not want to strain to do so. Extensive clutter and dirt is not only a turn off, it prohibits people from envisioning themselves in that home. Messy homes send a bigger negative message to potential buyers than seller think.