If you’re selling your home, having a successful open house is essential. When done right, open houses can help sell homes. That means, if you put the work in to prepare, you’ll have lots of buyers visiting your home and (hopefully) submitting offers. Wondering how to do an open house? Read on for some open house ideas to help make yours a success.
Preparing for an Open House
There are several things you can do prior to the open house to ensure yours is a success.
Make Sure Your House Is Ready
If you put your house on the market it should be ready for inspection by prospective homebuyers. Your house has only one chance to make a great first impression. Before you hold your open house, make sure you do a thorough cleaning and make any minor home maintenance projects that will make it more aesthetically pleasing. You should also declutter your home both inside and out.
Stage Your Home
People arrange their furniture and decorations based on their family’s lifestyle and tastes, but buyers are mostly attracted to homes that appear spacious. Stage your house so it makes a good first impression and brings them back for a second look.
Create a Sign-In Sheet
Create a simple open house sign-in sheet that asks people to provide their name, phone number and e-mail address. This enables you to follow up with them after the open house.
Print Property Flyers
Print out plenty of copies of your property flyer so that prospective buyers have information on your house and your contact information.
Weekends are Best
Open houses are traditionally held on non-holiday Sundays between 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Let people know that you’re having an open house by placing directional yard signs at key intersections. You can also advertise your open house on your online property listing, which will help attract buyers looking for upcoming Open Houses.
Have an Open House When Others Are
Time your open house to take advantage of traffic drawn by other open houses. Because you’re not relying on a broker to get the word out at their own convenience, you can react quickly, through social media, Craigslist and e-mail marketing.
Tips for a Successful Open House
Once you’ve decided on a date for your open house and have finished preparing, these are the things that will help yours be memorable and positive for buyers.
One of the oldest tricks of the trade is baking cookies right before an Open House. It gives the house a pleasant aroma of baked goods and the treats give people a reason to stay and ask questions about the house, which will give you more opportunities to talk about its features. Put the cookies in the kitchen so visitors will follow their noses from the front entryway into the house.
Use Fresh Flowers Strategically
Is there a better way to complement your home’s beauty than a vase of freshly cut flowers? Buy them from a local florist so that when people inevitably remark how nice the flowers are, you can ease into a conversation about the terrific shops and restaurants located in your community and the area’s great quality of living. Place the flowers deep inside a room so that visitors will be drawn in. You can also use the flowers to draw attention to a room’s features — such as a bay window — and draw attention away from an awkward element — such as an unattractive radiator.
Keep a Professional Mindset
Visitors may make comments about what they do not like about the home. They may ask critical or pointed questions about the quality, age or brands of finishes and appliances. Remember, it’s not your house anymore. When people make comments, stay neutral and respond with factual answers.
Answer Questions About The House
You can never anticipate the wide range of questions that a prospective buyer might ask about the house and local community. But, be prepared to answer questions about property taxes and the age of the roof, heating and cooling units, and major appliances. For questions that you don’t know the answer to, tell them that you’ll call them with an answer.
Find Out If an Interested Party is Pre-Approved
Not every person who comes through your house will be interested. But for those who ask questions indicating that they might be, don’t be afraid to inquire if they are pre-approved for a mortgage. If they are not, recommend that they contact a financial lender or a mortgage broker to take the necessary steps before spending more time on a private showing.
Within a day of your open house, send a “thank you” email to everyone who took the time to visit your home. Include a link to your listing and ask if they had any questions regarding the house. A few days later, call each person who visited your open house and – in a friendly manner – ask if they are considering your house. If they are not, thank them for their time and ask if they have any feedback that might make the house attractive to other buyers. For those who are interested, offer them the opportunity to come back with their pre-qualification documents. Be prepared by getting state-specific real estate forms needed to begin the formal sales process.
For more resources to make showing your home a success, check out the answers to these open house frequently asked questions. Or, if you need more guidance, check out our packages for home sellers. We’re here to help!