Food Ideas For Your Open House!
When potential buyers and other brokers walk through the door of your open house, how do you want them to feel? At home? At peace? Warm? Cozy? Impressed? Happy? Fulfilled? Like they’ve found the absolute perfect place to live their best life? All of the above? Of course, you do! So, how do you create all those feelings? Well, an essential part of it is the food you provide. Really!
Food is a huge part of the success of an open house because of the pleasure we derive and the memories recalled or made while eating. Just like having grilled cheese and tomato soup brings me back to snow days snuggled up under the blankets, watching movies. Or how I can remember who and where I was the very first time I tried sushi. Or how a delicious appetizer, shared with strangers at a party, can give us the start of a wonderful conversation.
At your open house, the yummy eats that you provide could bring happy remembrances, new impressions, and worthwhile connections. In that case, it seems well worth your time to create an atmosphere that will foster joy and happiness. Hopefully, it will convert into sales and valuable associations!
Here, Code of the West Real Estate will talk about the changes in how we eat food together in recent years, our favorite open-house treats, some tips on how to serve them, and some suggestions on local places in the Spanish Peaks area (Trinidad, La Veta, Walsenburg, et al.) to pick up something!
Changes In How We Eat
One of the things we’ve got to talk about is how communal eating has changed since the pandemic. Since the point of open-house food is to make the potential buyers comfortable, we need to ensure that they feel safe eating the delicious food you’ve set out.
Sometimes this means separating the food into individual portions. You can use little shiny, disposable cupcake cups, muffin wrappers, or decorative drink cups. Go with festive options depending on the time of year. Make them fun, classy, and recyclable or compostable! You could also wrap things individually, if that is convenient.
For platter-type foods—charcuterie, crudité, assorted fruits—have plenty of serving utensils like tongs, toothpicks, forks, and spoons. Have some hand sanitizer and soap available to clean up before and after eating. Wash or replace utensils regularly throughout the event.
Is it a morning open house? Most do start on the weekend around 11, so why not some mini quiches for a casual brunch? Make a variety, and be sure to include a veggie option and dairy-free option. Here’s an awesome recipe, and you could substitute your favorite ingredients.
Meat, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, and crackers or crisps? Something for everyone and everyone loves a charcuterie board. Don’t be stingy and have plenty of plates and serving utensils or make little individual portions on a plate or in a cup or bowl.
We loved these mini skewer ideas! Mini skewers are easy to portion into little cups and they are a quick and scrumptious couple of bites. Consider doing a meat option and a veggie option to suit everyone’s tastes. We love the the chicken teriyaki and the Caprese skewers.
It’s also an awesome idea to do a veggie or fruit skewer in a cup with a dipping sauce! Then, they’re already individually portioned, making it easier to focus on chatting with the guests.
Little tea sandwiches are the best! They are a perfect little snack or you can mix and match flavors. But for an open house they are terrific because you portion them out easily. Try several different recipes—4 or 5. It’s also a great idea to do a gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian option. Our favorites are the classic cucumber, BLT, and egg salad!
One bite meatballs
Meatballs are a solid idea because they are small, easy to portion out ahead, filling, and you can cater to both gluten-free and dairy-free folks with different recipes. However, we found this collection of meatball recipes and believe any of them would be a delightful addition to your open house! Our favorites are the sticky thai meatballs and the barbecue meatball cheesy sweet potato bites
What?! We know! Awesome idea, right? Take a cupcake cup and plop some hummus in the bottom, then top with a couple of veggies and some pita or cracker. Perfect! If you want to make your own hummus, we like this recipe.
These are terrific (as long as they aren’t hidden in some other food)! Nuts are filling, delicious and easy to put into individual cups to carry as guests tour. Or put them in little bags to-go and include your info. Especially consider if there are any local nut & dried fruit sellers.
But not just regular chips and not in a communal bowl! Give them something to remember by making your own specialty chips and portioning them out in cups with a little dipping sauce. Consider Eggplant Parm Chips, or any of these chip ideas (psst…AVOCADO!).
Fruit or veggie tray
People always love some fruit and veggies with dip. We recommend either putting together some individual cups with a little dip in the bottom (make sure to leave some plain) or do the mini-skewer idea!
We are not suggesting you bake these fresh in the house! That’s a lot of coordination and there’s no reason to add extra stress to the day. But these are delicious, tantalizing, and they make people think of home (which is what we want!). Here’s a gluten-free option because we want those with gluten sensitivities will feel included too!
Okay…yes, butterscotch & chocolate chip blondies are my favorite! However, they are also a lot less crumbly than brownies, which you will appreciate once people start wandering throughout with snacks on hand! These are easy to wrap up individually or for a to-go snack. And they’re mouth-wateringly delicious!
Mini cupcakes are amazing: They are small enough to eat in a bite or two; they’re not as messy as big cupcakes; they’re a tiny treat instead of a meal in themselves. They are also terrific because you can make a variety of flavors to please every visitor! Here are 20 mini cupcake ideas (the chocolate chip cookie dough are to die for!).
Okay, we’re not saying to make your own (unless you can…can you??), but macarons make the BEST little open house treast! They are usually gluten-free, they come in such lovely, bright colors, and they are the perfect amount of dessert—not too much, not too sugary. (Little Valley’s Sweet Shop makes some beauties!)
So, you’ve picked a few snacks now it’s time to put it all together and open the doors! But first, a few suggestions.
- Drinks! Some people will be coming directly from work. It could be cold outside. Or it could be that Sunday brunch time. Offer a few drink options. Cold, bottled water, hot coffee and tea, bubbly or fruit infused water, or a yummy lemonade or iced tea.
- Things could be sitting out for hours, so make sure you are refrigerating and refilling or that the food is able to sit unrefrigerated. The absolute last thing you want is for someone to get sick!
- Always think about gluten or dairy-free options, just to have everyone feel included. Remember, the prospective buyers need to see themselves living here. If they can’t eat the food, the vibe isn’t very home-y is it?
- Use local purveyors whenever possible. It gives the potential buyer or broker an idea of what will be available in the area when they live there!
- Trade secret: Keep marketing materials near the food!
- Remember that people will be walking and eating, don’t give them anything crumbly or you’ll be vacuuming and spot treating the carpet!
- Consider offering something to go—a bag of nuts, a couple wrapped cookies, a cup of macarons, etc.—then put your information along with it!
- Label the foods. Anybody with allergies or restrictions will be happy for the heads up and will feel more comfortable having a bite.
- Avoid nuts cooked into things!!!! They’re just toooooo dangerous! And if you do use nuts in anything (besides the nut mix of course), make sure to label it clearly!
- Keep a wastebasket and recycle bin right next to the food to cut down on mess.
Local Places With Amazing Treats!
Some of the local places our real estate agents like to get their goodies for our open houses are:
Colie’s Cakes & Pastries in Trinidad
Open the Doors!
It’s time to usher in all those potential buyers and brokers and sell them this home-y piece of real estate. And judging by the snacks you’ve laid out, this spot is going to go quick!
If you still need a real estate agent to help you sell your beautiful home, Code of the West Real Estate is the company for you! Take advantage of our extensive knowledge of Southern Colorado realty and mountain homes, and let us help you find the right buyer! Contact us today!
Find plenty of additional information about the region and real estate in our blog.