Many real estate agents question an open house’s effectiveness to actually close a sale and rather use the event to meet potential clients. But for Private Sellers, who may not have the time or flexibility to take weekday appointments and host private tours, the open house can prove to be a valuable opportunity to get potential buyers through the door! That being said, you don’t want to sit around on a Sunday afternoon hoping for people to come by… you want to ensure that you have a successful turnout!
Follow these six steps to hosting your own successful open house:
Step 1: Check Out The Competition
Visit other open houses in your neighborhood and surrounding areas. See how other homes are staged and listen to what the real estate agents say. Make note of the features they point out — they know what today’s buyers are looking for. As you walk through, try to listen to buyers’ reactions.
Open houses are traditionally held on non-holiday Sundays. Find out when nearby homes are holding open houses, so you can benefit from the added foot traffic.
Step 2: Supply A Property Feature Sheet
All of our marketing packages on AlphaSold.com include printable feature sheets, and our Premium and Alpha packages also include professional quality, custom “booklet style” handouts. The property feature sheet is an excellent tool to help remind the buyers about all of the great features that your home offers, after they have left the property.All of our feature sheets include:
- Property address
- Asking Price
- Your contact info
- Featured photos
- Seller’s remarks
- Pertinent information (property taxes, condo fees, etc.)
- # of bedrooms / # of bathrooms
- Any special features
- Inclusions & exclusions
- Recent upgrades
Step 3: Prepare And Stage The Home
You’ve probably heard of “staging” – the process of preparing a home for sale, typically by de-cluttering, depersonalizing and neutralizing. This is a very important step when selling a property, and it should not be overlooked!
Your home must be spotless and clutter-free. Model homes get offers. Dirty homes get low ball offers or none at all. Fix what’s broken. Make smart updates based on what buyers want and what is standard for your neighborhood. Place furniture in such a way to maximize the spacious feel of every room. Sometimes this even involves moving over-bearing pieces of furniture to a difference room, or removing them from the house entirely to assist in an easier sale. Many buyers are unable to visualize a home’s future potential, so it is ideal to display a home at it’s best to start with!
Lastly, preparing your home for your open house, be sure to hide all of your valuable belongings (jewelry, electronics, and any other expensive possessions) as well as any medications and other personal items. This is a precaution just to avoid any potential incidences.
Step 4: Spread The Word
At AlphaSold.com, we provide marketing opportunities on some of the best advertising mediums in our society today! From the traditional “For Sale” sign, to attractive online displays with HD photography, and even MLS listing options!
However, there are still some other avenues that you should explore as well. Tell relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues that your home is on the market! Tap into your social networks, including schools, churches, community groups and online services like Facebook, Instagram, Kijiji, and Twitter. Posting flyers on public bulletin boards at grocery stores, gyms and workplaces can be effective as well!
On open house day, place signs at nearby intersections to direct people to your home.
Step 5: Be A Gracious Host
Normally, buyers are turned off by a seller hanging around the open house, but when you’re a private sale, they expect to work directly with you. The key is to maintain a professional attitude and give them the freedom to see the place on their own. You don’t want to hover over them as they view your property. It makes it difficult for buyers to visualize themselves living in your home when the seller is right there with them. It is better to keep a bit of distance, but still be available to answer any questions that they may have and to point out any special features about your home.
- If you have pets, consider leaving them with a friend or a boarding house for the day.
- Again, hide all valuables, medication and other personal items.
- Prepare a sign-in sheet for guests to fill out their name, phone number and email address.
- Greet each guest with a smile, hand them a property sheet and point out the most attractive features of the home.
- Invite guests to tour the home at their leisure and offer to answer any questions they may have.
- Get feedback from each guest, including their level of interest in the home, other homes they’ve seen and how the home is priced compared to others on the market.
- Offering light refreshments can be a nice gesture, such as cookies and bottled water, to help buyers feel more welcome in their possible future home.
Step 6: Follow Up
The day after the open house, send a “Thank You” email to everyone who attended the open house with a link to your Web site or online ad.
Within the following week, call or e-mail each person and ask if they have any questions about the house and if they are considering it. If not, thank them and ask if they have any suggestions on how to make the house attractive to other buyers.