Many homebuyers use the internet to locate potential homes and often go through a neighborhood’s day of open houses before they contact their real estate agent. This makes the open house all the more important in the marketing process. Hosting an open house? Here are 3 ways to be successful in [market-city].
Research and Market
A successful open house starts long before the open house. Understand the market comparable properties in the area and price the home in a way that is attractive. Being an average home in the neighborhood but priced as the most expensive might prevent serious buyers from attending. Pricing a home competitively can yield multiple offers above asking price and generate a sale faster than other neighborhood homes for sale.
Once the right price is set, marketing efforts begin. Put “open house” notices on all digital and print marketing. Notify real estate agents of the open house and even offer an agent-only preview open house. The day of the open house requires ample signage as people enter a community. Starting signage near main thoroughfares or community hubs like shopping centers helps get the most traffic to an open house the day of the event.
Preparing the House
The home needs to be as “show ready” as possible for the open house. Agents and homeowners need to work together to make sure they have a clear picture of how the home will best show. Declutter and stage the home. Windows need to be clean and open, allowing as much natural light as possible. Kitchens and bathrooms should sparkle. Clean up landscaping and remove and put away any tools or toys from around the yard.
The day of the open house, take out all trash. Make sure bathrooms have ample toilet paper and clean towels. Put away personal items such as toothbrushes or razors. Clean all dishes and run the dishwasher. Wipe down counters and give toilets a quick scrub. Run a mop and vacuum carpet before the open house begins. Shoot down all exterior walkways, clearing them of leaves, dirt and other debris. Water the grass and plants, helping enhance the first impression from the curb.
Being a Good Host
During the open house, welcome anyone who walks in. Invite them to sign in, explaining to each guest that they want to let the homeowner know how successful the open house was. Sign-in sheets should allow guests to leave contact information. Have high-gloss color information sheets on the property for guests to take.
Light candles during an open house and play neutral music or a sporting event on television. This helps create a homey atmosphere. Offer cookies or bagels with water for guests. Ask attendees what they are looking for and what they thought of the house. If there are disclosures, provide that when people walk in. If there is a home highlight, show it off so people don’t overlook it.
Thank people for attending and follow up with those who provided contact information or their agent. Following up helps gauge how the public really felt about the house and its pricing. Most markets have a two to three-week window before listings become stale so the more feedback the better.