Is an open house required when trying to sell a house?
Tracking dirt inside the house, getting fingerprints on the furniture, and risking resources to plan doesn’t sound like it’s worth it. Actually, 48% of top realtors say they don’t recommend an open house. Regular old showings, instead, will do just the trick.
But, if an open house does go good, you may find the perfect buyer for a great price, or even just get some potential future clients. So how do you plan the “perfect” open house?
First off, you should assess if you actually should do an open house. Is the property unique, standing out from the rest of the neighborhood? Is it in a busy and high-demanded area? If yes to both, you have a high likely chance that you will attract a lot of people to your open house, meaning more competition. You especially want to promote open houses when you know it is going to be a “hot house”. Also, if you simply don’t think you have the time during the week to host multiple private tours and take appointments, an open house does seem to be the better option as well.
Next, if you have decided to host an open house, the next question is when should you do it? Most importantly, you want to make sure you pick a day and time that is more convenient and available for the demographic the property is going to most likely attract. 75% of realtors chose Sundays as the best day of the week to have an open house, with Saturday being the second most popular day of the week. The timing of the open house is also essential. Monitor when there is the most traffic and base the time off of that.
Now that you’ve chosen the day and time, it’s time to promote the open house event while it’s in the works. Marketing your open house is so important, and in this digital world, the internet is our best friend. Make sure to add the property event to your website, The Multiple Listing Service, and even create a Facebook Event Page. The should be posted two to three weeks prior to the open house. There’s so many other different sites you can post it to like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.
Remember, wherever you’re posting the open houses, make sure you have high quality images uploaded. You should hire a professional photographer to take those pictures. Make sure your home is photo-shoot ready prior, by using a lot of natural light to make your home shine. Make sure you are showing off the focal points and home essentials while moving the furniture to optimize the space.
Looking at the more traditional advertising, it doesn’t hurt to put an ad in the paper or put out signage for the open house in the neighboring town. In fact, 10-15 signs for an open house seems to be very successful. If the home is in a popular area, you want to make sure you have enough signs out to attract traffic from all the main roads and intersections. As for the design and messaging of the signs, make sure it is simple and to the point. Using colors that will pop and good sizing in comparison to the location it is in will help.
Once the open house date arrives, make sure you still have signage up, strategically mapped throughout the town, showing the way to the house, with arrows, and even balloons, to capture a driver’s attention, safely of course. Upon guests arrival, make sure there are no cars in the driveway or too many cars on the streets from the neighbors. As they enter the shouse, you can have light music playing, as well as serving refreshments and snacks, like fresh baked cookies.
Similar to the home photoshoot, make sure all the windows are open to let in the light and turn on all the lamps and overhead fixtures. It’s also important to remember to not use air fresheners as many people are actually allergic to the synthetic odors. Some other things to remember include removing any personal items, getting any pet odor out of the house, and having a sign-in sheet for guests.
Besides making sure you have the ambience set for the house, you will also want to put out some paperwork. Say you’re doing an open house in the Winter, you might want to put out some photos of the property in the Summer. This should especially be done if the house has a nice garden in the Spring and Summer season. Other resources that can be put out to view include a finance brochure, inspection report, and blueprint of the property. It’s also a good idea to hand out property cheat sheets to visitors in case they have any other questions.
Some information to put on this sheet includes the property address, asking price, taxes information, and school information.
When interacting with the visitors, make sure to be upbeat and cheerful. As they walk in, you should greet them. As the time goes by, try and see what they are looking for in their dream house. With what you gathered, try to show them why this is the perfect house fit for them. Lastly, before they leave, don’t forget to ask for any feedback on the house and/or event. You may get some useful info about the impression the property is making and can make some quick fixes.
If it comes to the end of the open house and you get an offer, that is great! If not, don’t worry. Some people may just need a couple days to think it over and put an offer later on. With the sign-in sheet you had, you can send guests a “Thank You”, with a link to your website. If you want, you can also reach out and call each person, asking if they have any follow up questions. You can also ask them again if they have any feedback to make the house more attractive to other buyers.
With following these simple steps, we hope you will be able to find the perfect buyers for your home!
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