While many real estate agents will help you design open house invitations for your event, at some point you’ll need to create your own. People selling their homes often make the mistake of treating open house invitations like any other event invite, by choosing designs that are flashy and festive.
But you should always keep in mind that open house invitations are a key part of the marketing package for your home, which means they should be simple, professional and informative.
Here are some guidelines to help you design stylish open house invitations that draw buyers in.
The Basics Of Great Open House Invitations
First and foremost, you’re going to need professional photos for your invitations. Hiring a photographer (or working with one provided by your real estate agent) is best practice, but here are some basic photo guidelines to keep in mind as well. Photos should highlight the best features of your home and prominently display rooms that are tidy, staged, and well-lit.
Include Flattering Photos of Your Home
Nicolas Jonville, a top San Marcos seller’s agent (who ranks #1 for homes sold in the area) has a few ideas on what photos you should include on your invites. Says Jonville, “Have a small amount of professional pictures of the house— teaser pictures the best pictures. [Feature] the front, the back, the kitchen, the living room, and the master bedroom and bath if they look good. Put the nicest pictures in and be truthful. Pick up some aerial pictures if it’s a good location and look good from that angle.”
Obviously you can’t include every single angle or room of your house on the invitations, so work with your real estate agent to determine which rooms photograph the best and how many photos will reasonably fit onto invites. Jonville cautions sellers saying that, “People have a tendency to put too much stuff, invitations should be simple and clean.”
Keep It Simple With Must-Have Information
Think for a minute of the last party invite you received. What was on it? Probably the date, time, location, and a big banner that said “You’re Invited!”. The same rules apply to creating open house invites, but you’ll also want to be sure that you choose a design and style that’s classic rather than overdone. Fonts should be legible and invitations should be in color, and you should use a focused color scheme rather than skipping all over the rainbow.
Says writer Wendy Finn of Bright Hub, “First and foremost, make sure your design stands out and catches the eye as much as possible. That doesn’t mean that you need to be gaudy, though. Simply use fonts that are easily readable.”
Other basic information to include would be your contact information (or your agent’s), the lot size, the home’s square footage, and your exact address. Keep in mind that some recipients of the invite might contact you or your Realtor to schedule a different time to visit if they aren’t able to make the open house.
Jonville even recommends including the price. Why? The price helps narrow down the buyer pool to eligible buyers only. If people know ahead of time they can’t afford your property, it saves everyone a bit of back and forth and ultimately helps you close on a deal sooner.
How To Design Your Open House Invitations
Designing your invitations will be the hardest part, but now that you know what to include on your them, here are some guidelines for throwing them together.
Design Colors and Styles To Use
Open house invitations should always be in color. People are inundated with mail— don’t design something in black and white that’s going to be immediately thrown out.
The exact colors you choose matter less than the fact that they’re cohesive (no Trix cereal color schemes here). Choose a theme and stick to it. Several great platforms allow you to input your information into one of their existing themes. We recommend Canva and Evite for free templates (that don’t look free), but you can also work with your real estate agent to see what software they use.
Invitation Paper Size & Quality
Invitations should be created in a style that matches your home’s other marketing materials and printed on sturdy paper. When’s the last time you received an invitation on flimsy printer paper? Exactly.
Writer Amelia Jenkins of Chron says, “In general you should choose a simple, professional looking design that matches your style of open house. For example, a real estate agent could print open house invitations on white or light colored paper, using a simple, elegant font.”
Says Yonville, “[Invites] should be in color, and they need to be a full page on a harder stock. People can go to local print company.” Don’t send them something small and flimsy that’s easy to ignore.
Another alternative to a full page is post-cards. Says Finn, “Another fantastic option is to create your own postcards and send them out. Not only are these eye-catching, they’re small, sturdy, and don’t require envelopes to send – making them cheaper to send than traditional mail.” If you choose to go the postcard route, just be sure all of the important info fits. Don’t sacrifice sharing intriguing photos of your home just to save a few cents in shipping.
Don’t Forget the E-Invites
Sending e-invites is 100% free, so don’t miss out on sending a few to inboxes instead of mailboxes. The previously mentioned online platform Canva allows you to send customizable e-invites just by plugging in your information in the very same way you did for the printable invites. Easy peasy.
Timing Your Invitations
You’ve made the invitations and now it’s just a question of when to send them off. Two weeks seems to be the minimum to send invites, and if you send them any later don’t be surprised at a low turnout.
Says Jenkins, “People have busy lives, and often schedule themselves weeks in advance. To get the best attendance to your open house, make sure you mail the invitations at least two weeks in advance.”
Your Open House Invitation Checklist
Thanks to the number of online platforms and resources, you can design your open house invitations without spending a full day fighting the computer. Selling a home is stressful enough, follow our checklist for a task you can get done without breaking a sweat.
- Choose flattering photos and plan on printing in color
- Type out a draft of all the information you want to include, and spell-check for errors
- Use a pre-existing designs from free platform like Canva and Evite
- Pick color themes and fonts that are simple and legible
- Print your invites on cardstock paper, and (if possible) make them a full page
- Don’t forget to send e-invites!
- Send all invitations at least two weeks in advance for max turnout