Summertime is housing’s peak season, seeing a major crest in activity that sellers can hope will translate into an offer on their home before Labor Day. No matter how dedicated buyers may be, though, summer also produces plenty of competition for their attention, from barbecues and beaches to campgrounds, festivals and more. Here are four useful tips for cutting through the distractions and creating open houses that convert summer’s promise into results.

1. Use Outdoor Spaces Creatively

An inviting, livable and comfortable space doesn’t have to start at a home’s exterior walls. It can extend right to the edge of the sidewalk to provide an up-front welcome and invitation. Stage outdoor areas in ways that will make buyers think about fun things they could do with the space. Put towels beside an outdoor pool or gloves and tongs with a barbecue area. Dress up a yard or balcony with an attractive sitting area or a dining table with place settings. Creativity and presentation can lead to eye-catching results that hook the prospective buyer from the first moment.

2. Make It Green, Flowery and Enticing

A further development of Tip 1 above is to coordinate efforts with the seller to keep outdoor spaces well-maintained and vibrant. Summer heat can brown a front yard quickly, so ensure that grass and shrubs get plenty of water. Pots or beds of flowers create a bright, enticing visual environment, even if they’re just one simple color; white flowers are a popular choice for creating a clean, elegant look.

3. Make It an Event

Summer is the definitive party season, after all. Your open house can be a part of that atmosphere instead of standing separate from it:

  • Cool refreshments can provide a welcome sense of relief and hospitality for buyers feeling the summer heat.
  • Summery appetizers and grilled delights like sliders can impart a more social and less sales-pitch feel to the event.
  • Putting on your open house in the late afternoon can make for a pleasant break from midday heat and provide access to “rush hour” customers who might not be around for weekend showings.

You can advertise the event as a party rather than an open house, or get the local community involved by making it a block party complete with live music and even food trucks. Stage this kind of event at the front of the property for maximum visibility and openness and it can become an occasion for people to celebrate the neighborhood and its lifestyle as interested parties view the house.

4. Advertise Frequently, Early and in Different Venues

The hectic nature of the summer housing season makes proactive and inventive advertising a must. Early advertisements online are one key, but off-line advertisements like road signs, posters and balloons can provide an added boost. Since touring a home is a relatively small time investment, there’s a real chance of getting walk-in traffic from interested passersby.

Following these four tips is a great way to create amazing open house events that will help you make the most of the sales opportunities of summer.