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What Are the Top 5 Foods to Serve at an Open House?

By RealtyBiz News | January 12, 2023

Did you know that homes shown in open houses spend less time on the market and sell for about $9,000 more? If this sounds good to you, you'll want to start planning your open house now.

There are a lot of things involved in planning an open house. As a home seller, you'll need to clean and stage the home. You'll also have to get the word out so that guests will come to visit.

When guests do arrive, they are going to expect hospitality. This means you'll need to give them a warm welcome and provide them with snacks.

What are the top foods to serve at an open house? Keep reading to learn five of them.

1. Cookies

Cookies are an open house staple because they smell great and taste great. Baking a variety of cookies and leaving them on a platter for your guests will welcome them in.

You can also purchase plastic packages of cookies and put your information on them. When prospective buyers leave, offer them a few extra cookies. This will help you develop relationships and help your guests remember you.

There are benefits to baking your own cookies and buying packages of cookies in the real estate world. You might have the most luck finding a home buyer if you can do both.

Baking chocolate chip cookies in the home you are trying to sell will make the house smell amazing by the time guests arrive. Many real estate agents use this tactic to make clients think about living in the home and even baking in it.

2. Charcuterie

Offering charcuterie at an open house is a great way to feed guests. This is another classic, but some people may be hesitant about grabbing food from one large shared plate, especially since other guests are strangers to them.

You can keep your open house charcuterie board safe by following a few tips.

First, you'll want to select meats that don't need refrigeration because your board will be out for hours at a time. Packaged cured meats are a good choice.

Typically, you can safely leave out charcuterie boards for up to four hours as long as you throw the leftovers away after. If you are ever unsure, pay close attention to the food packaging instructions.

To ensure safe food handling, you can place hand sanitizer next to your snack area. Use different utensils for each type of food on the charcuterie board. Encourage clients to use utensils instead of their hands as well.

If guests want more than one plate of food, tell them to use a clean plate and clean utensils when going back for seconds or thirds. Have enough plates and utensils ready to ensure guests can have as much as they want.

If you want to skip the hassle of worrying about food safety altogether, place meats and cheeses in separate little cups. Although charcuterie is known for fancy presentations, your clients might prefer to have their own serving size.

With cups, you can still make your meats and cheeses look presentable. Consider adding fresh fruit on the side as well in case some clients have dietary restrictions that don't allow them to eat meats or cheeses.

3. Finger Sandwiches and Pinwheels

A home seller can easily make finger sandwiches and pinwheels to serve as a snack during an open house.

Finger sandwiches require little effort and they encourage guests to wander around and look at the house even if they are eating. Finger foods come without the mess too.

Finger sandwiches might go fast, so keep extra trays in the fridge just in case you need more. As the open house continues, bring the extra finger sandwiches out in batches.

Pinwheels are another great appetizer and finger food for an open house. They're incredibly easy to make and you can find different recipes to cater to different tastebuds.

Generally, pinwheels are filled with meat, cream cheese, and other ingredients. If you don't want to go through the work of making pinwheels, you might be able to find them premade at your local grocery store.

Like finger sandwiches, keep additional trays of pinwheels in the fridge and bring them out as needed. If you don't end up using them all, you'll have some to snack on later for yourself.

If you prefer more variety at your open house, you can offer both finger sandwiches and pinwheels.

4. Popcorn and Pretzels

Some guests looking to buy a home might not want something as heavy as sandwiches and pinwheels. They may appreciate a simple snack like popcorn or pretzels.

Roasted nuts are another possible option because they can make your home smell very good, but you'll have to be wary of guests with nut allergies.

It's best to pick a snack that can cater to all dietary restrictions, or at least have a variety of foods.

Popcorn is a great snack that can be taken on the go as guests walk through their potential new home. Bag your own popcorn in small bags and add your contact information to them if guests decide to take the bags with them.

Popcorn is versatile because you can lay out different flavors. Plus, if you are selling your home during a specific season, you can get festive and creative with your popcorn flavors.

Soft pretzels and hard pretzels are also great snacks. While hard pretzels are going to be the easier of the two to set out, soft pretzels are unique and may help home buyers remember your house better.

If you choose to go the soft pretzels route, set out little cups of dipping sauces to give the snack area a real finish.

5. Brownies and Puff Pastries

You can customize brownies for your open house much like you can with cookies. A variety of brownies with chocolate, caramel, and even butterscotch might just be the sweetness you need to sell your home.

Remember, you can add nuts to your brownies, but be very careful with this. If you decide to add nuts to some of the brownies, make sure they are labeled in a way that everyone will see.

You can bake your own brownies and individually wrap them so that they last a longer amount of time. You can send guests off with a sweet treat to remember you by. Extras are always a great gift for guests looking to buy a home.

If you don't want to bake or buy brownies, or if you want more variety, puff pastries are another sweet dessert perfect for an open house.

You can customize puff pastries by adding different fillings and flavors. This is something you'll definitely want to serve with a plate unless you want to be cleaning up pastry flakes once the guests leave the home.

Baking is not everyone's thing. If you live near a nice bakery, consider purchasing your snacks there for the open house.

This is a great way to serve guests while getting them excited about the possibility of moving to the neighborhood. Who doesn't like living close to a delicious bakery?

What Makes the Best Open House Food Ideas?

There are food items that scream open house and others that don't. While you might prepare a whole barbeque meal for a graduation party, you don't want to do this for the open house.

The best open house food ideas will have a certain level of variety. This doesn't always translate to different foods. You can have the same type of food with different flavors or recipes.

You'll want whatever snack you choose to be as shelf-stable as possible. This is why the most popular foods are cookies, brownies, pastries, etc. If you want to offer charcuterie, use cured meats and follow food safety tips.

The golden rule of open house foods is to make sure they are finger foods. Guests need to be able to easily grab their snacks and walk around the house with them.

Finger foods are also not as messy as other foods. Never go with something like deviled eggs or seasoned chips if you don't want to be cleaning up crumbs all day.

Prepare for Your Open House!

Knowing how to sell your house involves learning how to make it feel like home to guests that are interested. When you utilize the open house strategy, you'll need to offer the right food to keep guests happy.

If you want to leave guests with a good taste in their mouths (literally), try offering these snacks at your open house. While it might be more personal to make these items yourself, it's not always necessary.

If you want more tips on selling a house, we've got you covered. Browse our blog for the latest tips and updates on the real estate market.

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