According to most real estate experts, roughly 20%, or about one in five homes, are sold as a direct result of having an open house. If your home is priced properly and looks presentable, then you’re already well on your way to having a successful open house showing. Still, attention to detail is everything. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following list of 7 must-know open house tips.
Know the Best Time to Hold an Open House
Traditionally, open houses are held on Sunday afternoons. This is because most people have Sundays off from work and are usually looking for something to do in the afternoon.
It’s best to hold your open house for no less than two hours. The longer it is held open, the higher your chances will be of finding a buyer. With that said, most real estate agents recommend having the house open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Also, don’t forget to check your local weather forecasts and avoid scheduling your open house during holidays, special events, or community celebrations. Nobody wants to go out when the weather is bad, and, if there’s some sort of major event happening, people aren’t likely going to attend the showing.
Know When Not to Have an Open House
While they can be an excellent way to get a lot of people to view your home in a short period of time, some properties just aren’t right for an open house.
For example, if all the homes in the area are identical, or if the property is a fixer-upper, it might not be a good idea to draw in a crowd of people. In other cases, the property might just be too far from a populated area for people to casually visit during the day.
Prepare the Property
You’ve likely already cleaned and made sure to declutter the rooms of your home to prepare it for the market. But there are still a few more special preparations you can make before having an open house.
For starters, it’s a good idea to remove any vehicles from the driveway. You can even go one step further by asking your neighbors to avoid parking in front of your home until after the open house is finished.
Secondly, take advantage of your home’s natural and artificial lighting. Proper lighting can make a room look much larger and more inviting. Be sure to turn on all the lights and open all the blinds and curtains to let the sun’s natural light in. Lastly, we recommend that you never use artificial fragrant is to turn away a potential buyer simply because of the way your home smells. Instead, it’s best to open the windows and air out the house naturally.
Advertise and Market the Open House
For a successful open house, you need to let people know what’s going on. With that said, we recommend that you post advertisements wherever you can, both on and offline.
Try to write colorful, highly-descriptive ads and post them on classified websites, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as real estate directories about one week before the actual showing.
And don’t forget about advertising by using the old-fashion methods as well. Although community newspapers aren’t as popular as they once were, they are still excellent for spreading the word about your open house in your community.
You might even want to consider posting on bulletin boards at local coffee shops or restaurants.
Finally, on the day of the showing, it’s a good idea to set up mapped signs around your area, placing them strategically on major streets every few blocks near your home.
Talk to Your Visitors
During the open house, it’s important to talk with your guests and to be as upbeat and cheery as possible. By talking to them, you can learn about what they’re looking for in a home, and if possible, you can explain to them how your home fits their requirements.
Another benefit of talking with your guests is that you can get their feedback about what they think of your home. You might even be able to learn about a few minor issues that you may have overlooked, and which could easily be fixed.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that just because you didn’t receive an offer during or after the open house, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success.
After all, potential buyers could simply be waiting for a pre-approval letter from their bank and might be planning on sending you an offer in a few days.
Lay Out the Paperwork
Successful open houses aren’t just about appearances; there’s also a business component involved as well.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to have flyers, pamphlets, or brochures, filled with high-quality pictures and the main selling points of the home. This way, people can take the information home with them after viewing the house.
It’s also a good idea to lay out any documents that pertain to the house itself such as appraisals, inspection reports, warranties, proof of major repairs, as well as blueprints if possible.
In the end, the more information you can provide, the more your guests will be able to learn about the home, which can help them quickly make a decision.
The day before the open house, you should already have most of the major jobs taken care of. Still, there are a few final chores you can do to ensure that your home is 100% ready.
Before the showing, make sure to open the windows and air the house out.
Walk through the house and give each room a “once over,” by putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes and scrutinizing the view. Also, make sure that you’ve prepared all the necessary documents, and have everything decorated and laid out just the way you want it.
Having a Successful Open House
Although having an open house can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be overly stressful.
By properly planning and preparing your home by following these 7 open house tips, you’ll be well on your way to having your home sold in no time.
Darren Robertson is a top-producing licensed REALTOR® in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Valuing service over sales, Darren is known by his clients for both his extensive local market knowledge, as well his patience and reliability as he helps them on their home buying and home selling journey.