Once you’ve listed your home online and posted your yard sign, an open house can be a great way to add marketing exposure to your sale. During their home search, two out of every five buyers attend open houses at some point. In addition to advertising, an open house can help you manage showings and might even lead to a bidding war. Here’s what you need to know to attract more buyers to your showing.
1. Do The Research
Before you stage your home and create your advertising campaign, take a look at homes for sale in your area. Tour open houses if you can, paying attention to the staging and features. How do the real estate agents talk about the home, and how do buyers react? Use this information to help you prepare.
2. Stage For Success
If you haven’t cleaned, decluttered and depersonalized already, then now is the time. Be thoughtful about how you want your home to appear and what it will take to get it there. Start big by evaluating any major upgrades or repairs you’ll need to make and then work your way to cleaning and arranging furniture.
Just before the open house, consider taking your pets to a friend’s house for the day and hiding your valuables, medication and other personal items. Some sellers even set out refreshments for a cozy touch.
3. Set A Date
Open houses are typically held on weekend mornings. As you research other homes for sale in your area, find out when they’re holding open houses. Schedule yours for the same day so you can benefit from the foot traffic.
4. Advertise Your Home
There are a few ways to advertise your open house, and it starts with posting signs in your front yard and around the neighborhood. You can also advertise in your local newspaper, on public bulletin boards and even at apartment complexes. Then, move to your online advertising:
- Advertise online: As much as 90% of buyers use the internet to find a home, so your online ads will be critical. You can create a home listing at free websites such as Craigslist, Yahoo! Classifieds, and Google Merchant Center. Remember to include your home description, photos and the date and time of your open house.
- Use social media: Many buyers find their next home through word of mouth, so social media should be your go-to platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok can put your advertisement in front of thousands of potential buyers – and best of all, it’s free. A few weeks before the open house, post your home description and photos on the social media accounts you typically use. Include the date and time of the open house, and make the post shareable so your friends can help spread the word. Your social media sales kit can also give you some direction here.
5. Invite Your Friends, Neighbors And Co-workers
You can do this both online and in person. First create an open house event on Facebook and invite your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to help you spread the word. If you’re not connected through social media, then invite them in person or via email. You might even hold a special preview for them to help you prepare and give honest feedback.
6. Create A Property Summary
Make a property flyer – also called a property summary – and leave it at the entry of your home. Make sure it highlights all of the features that make your house unique and helps buyers imagine what it would be like to live in your neighborhood. Here are some ideas of what to include:
- Property address and at least one photo of the exterior
- Asking price
- Your name and email address
- A brief description of the home
- Recent upgrades and special features
- Property taxes
- Square footage and number of beds/baths
- Neighborhood amenities and school information
7. Think Outside The Box
Getting attention takes creativity, even in a seller’s market. Setting a theme that matches the style of your home’s architecture can set your open house apart from the others. Some agents have seen success renting drones to advertise for open houses. See if a local store will give you permission to set up shop with your drone and hand out listing flyers to onlookers.
8. Be Professional
Homebuyers know they’ll work directly with you as a FSBO seller, so make yourself available at the open house. But it’s important to emotionally disconnect from the home and treat it as an asset you’re selling. Make your visitors feel comfortable by allowing them to explore the house, ask questions and provide feedback at their leisure.
9. Follow Up
Create a sign-in sheet that visitors will fill out when they arrive. Ask them to leave their name, email address and phone number. Not everyone will leave their information – but those who do are more interested in buying. Follow up with your visitors a few days after the open house, and offer to answer any questions they have.
What tips would you share with other home sellers to make their open house a success?