There has been a big debate in recent years in the real estate market as to whether or not open houses are necessary. With things being virtual, interested parties can view pictures and take virtual tours of homes they wish to buy. Though there’s a lot of benefits to virtual tours, but if your home has been on the market for months or you don’t have the time to keep scheduling individual tours, sometimes, allowing a group of buyers to get a firsthand experience of what it would be like to live in the home can make a big difference. Whether you’re selling the home yourself or working with a realtor, here are some effective tips for hosting the perfect open house.
Do Your Homework
What elements are required to host an open house? The best way to learn this information is to do your research. Check out other homes in the area advertising their open house to see what is required (and what you’re up against). Pay attention to how the home looks, talking points brought up by the real estate agent, most popular rooms or features, and buyer responses.
Get the Facts on Your Property
Now that you have a better idea of what will be required to pull off a successful open house, it’s time to get to work. You’ll need to start by gathering facts about your property. You’ll need this not only for your listings and advertisements but to hand out to potential buyers as they arrive at the event. You’ll need information that includes your address, the asking price, contact information, property description, applicable fees (Maintenance or HOA), property taxes, number of bed and bathrooms, square footage, outdoor space, upgrades and renovations, neighborhood amenities, and school information.
Stage the Property
Next, it’s time to prepare the property for showing. Staging should include getting rid of the clutter and personalization. The idea is to create a neutral space that most buyers could appreciate or change with very little effort if they bought the home. Start by cleaning up, make sure that the entire place is spotless. Then, start fixing any things around the house that are damaged and make any upgrades that you believe would provoke more interest from the buyers. Once you’ve done that, you can start setting up furniture in a manner that makes the space look open and move-in ready.
Get the Word Out
Now it’s time to let buyers know you’re having an open house. You can talk with your realtor about contacting their network of buyers. You should also start telling family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the event. Posting on social media, sharing the news with your church, schools, and community groups can also get a buzz going. You should also advertise on craigslist and real estate sites. As an added touch, you can also use signage like Gator board printing outside of the property to advertise the sale and open house event for passersby to see.
Open House Day
You’ve done the work, now it’s time to sell that property. On the day of an open house, it is your job to be the best host possible. The trick is to make them feel at home and answer questions as they are asked, but also remaining distant enough to allow them to roam the property and formulate their own opinion. Here are some quick tips for rocking your event:
- Get rid of the pets
- Remove medications and valuables
- Greet buyers
- Have a sign-in sheet
- Place refreshments in a common area for buyers to indulge
- At the end of their tour, be sure to get feedback on the house, what they liked, and how it compared to other open houses they’ve attended in the area.
Selling a home can take time, but hosting an open house at least gives potential buyers the opportunity to visualize themselves in the house. Once the open house is over, all that’s left to do is wait for the offers to come in. You should send out thank you notes to everyone who came and consider following up within a week or so to see if they’re interested. With any luck, you’ll get several offers for your home sooner rather than later.