Choosing the best music for open house events

by Corben Grant on 25 Nov 2021

If you are trying to sell a home, you have probably thought a lot about what the space looks like. Increasing visual appeal is one of the major selling tactics in real estate. If you are planning an open house, you especially want everything to look and feel just right. But have you thought about what the house sounds like?

No, I don't mean in the sense of creaky doors or the mysterious sounds that go bump in the night. Rather, I mean the choice of music you might decide to play at an open house.

Consider retail stores or restaurants. Many such businesses use music to generate a certain atmosphere and help ease the customer into a buying state of mind. In fact, for some businesses, a lot of careful thought goes into choosing the perfect tunes. Overly loud or out-of-place music might be off-putting but with the perfect selections, you may not even notice it’s there at all because of how well it fits.

You should think of your open house in the same way. With a clever choice of playlist, you can improve the mood of your open house, create interest, make your property more memorable, and help the home sell.

Is background music really necessary?

Maybe you have experience selling homes successfully and have never played music at your open houses. That's fine! Ultimately, a potential buyer is shopping for a property, not a playlist. The lack of music won't greatly affect your ability to sell the home.

In fact, there may be times when music is a poor choice. For example, homes with hard surfaces and large open spaces may reflect sound in an undesirable way and make music distracting. Also, consider how music can pose an accessibility concern for those who are hard of hearing or have other sensory difficulties, so you naturally want your open house to be as comfortable as possible for everyone. If you are in a situation like this, feel free to turn the music off.

However, music can have very positive effects on people’s perceptions. Not only does it improve their mood and set them at ease, but it also makes your property more memorable and allows them to make an emotional connection with the space, which ultimately helps them imagine the property as their new house.

If you do decide that music is right for your open house, you now have a whole other set of decisions to make about what to play and when.

Tips for choosing music for open houses

Consider the demographic of potential buyers

When choosing music, you need to keep in mind that not everyone will feel the same about certain songs. In fact, if you play the wrong music it can elicit the wrong kind of emotional response and leave a bad impression on visitors.

For example, if your buyers are older and you choose music more fitting to a younger audience, they will not feel very comfortable. The opposite is true for younger buyers.

Also, consider the local market in which your property is listed. If you are showing real estate in a very trendy city neighbourhood, playing folk music may be an odd choice just like playing experimental indie music may not fit in a more conservative area.

Stick to lower tempos and set the tone

Your potential buyers are expecting to come to an open house, not a dance party. Overly upbeat music can be uncomfortable when the mood doesn't match. It can also be tiring over a long event and make a potential buyer feel more rushed to see the home and get out.

Also, consider the tone of the music. An overly sappy love song? Angry metal music? These aren't really going to fit thematically with your showing. It's too bad there aren't more songs about real estate!

Finally, consider the season. Try to go for wintery music in the winter and sunny music in the summer.

Turn down the volume

When it comes to background music, don’t forget the background part. That means your visitors still need to be able to hear you and hear each other. Overly loud music will make it hard for a buyer to pay attention and will be extra tiring over a long period of time.

Curate your playlist

There are thousands of pre-made playlists online that you can easily throw on in a pinch, but we would recommend actually curating your own playlist. You never know what someone else had in mind when they made their playlist and you don't want any surprises on the big night. Plus, if you are always fidgeting with your music and changing songs you won't look very professional. If you must go for a playlist someone else put together, be sure to at least check through the included songs.

When creating a playlist consider the length. If you know your event is going to be three hours long, try to make a playlist that is the same length. You don't want people hearing the same song over and over as this can be distracting. This also gives you the opportunity to tie the music into the schedule of your event. You can put on more active music as people are set to arrive, then switch the playlist to more ambient music during the middle, and finally, to very calming music as you want people to leave.

When in doubt, go for the safe choices

No matter how much of a fan you may be, some genres such as country or metal will be polarizing to a lot of buyers. Instead, there are some general choices that are going to sit better with most people. Safe music choices include calming classical music, light jazz, or other easy-listening genres. These can verge on sounding overly snooty or ironic if done wrong, but when in doubt, they are good go-tos.

Bring the speakers

If you plan to play music at open houses often, a set of wireless speakers will be a great investment. These days, there is no shortage of speakers that are high quality and portable. Some speakers will even sync together to play music throughout the house, making the background music present wherever visitors go. Or, you can set up different music around different parts of the house to evoke different moods.


If done right, music can be the perfect finishing touch to a successful open house. It will help your home be memorable, and help you stand out as a tasteful real estate agent and impress your clients and buyers. Follow these tips and you're sure to nail your next open house!

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