It seems there’s a lot of confusion surrounding open houses. Some people think you don’t need them at all, and others claim open houses are essential. While “63% of top real estate agents said that they do not always recommend open houses,” other agents “estimate that at least 20% of their sales results from an open house.” The fact is, when conditions are right, an open house can help you sell faster and at a better price because it can bring in your perfect buyers and even start a bidding war. But you do have to have all the pieces in place and get things just right. So to give you an open-house selling edge, here are our 5 tips for a successful open house in .
1. Determine Whether an Open House is Right for You
Our first, and perhaps most important, tip for a successful open house in involves making sure that an open house is the right selling tool for you and your home. If these two important conditions obtain, then you should probably host an open house: 1) your home is fairly unique and doesn’t look other houses in the neighborhood or has desirable distinguishing features, and 2) your home is located in a densely populated area with lots of interest and high demand.
So if you’re house sits in a hot market, and/or it’s a desirable or rare home, then you should host an open house. “In short,” real estate pros claim, “the more in-demand your house and location are, the more people will want to come to your open house, and the higher the competition will be on the offers that roll in.”
Your local real estate agent can help your assess y your property and the local market to determine whether the two requisite conditions for a successful open house obtain. To discover more about how a good agent can help you in this, call 866-593-7012.
2. Schedule for the Best Time
Another important tip for a successful open house in is to make sure you hold it when people are actually willing and able to come. Obviously, weekdays aren’t the best time because people are usually busy with commuting, jobs, kids, shopping, and so on. This means, then, that the weekends are best. A majority of agents, 75%, choose Sundays for open houses.
But what time of day on the weekend is best for your location? Heres what the experts advise: “Those living in a metro area should host their open houses from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you’re out in the suburbs, host your open house between 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
3. Prepare Your Home Thoroughly
And, of course, your home has to look its absolute best for an open house in , which means, in addition to cleaning and decluttering, creating the right ambiance. Following, according to those in the industry, are some of the things you should do:
- Bring in and provide as much light as possible. Open all the drapes and blinds and turn on overhead lights and lamps.
- Make sure the driveway is empty of all vehicles and ask neighbors not to park in front of your house.
- Serve refreshments such as snacks and drinks. Even better, if you can afford it, is to provide a catered lunch.
- Have soft, mood-setting music playing throughout your home.
- “Do not, under any circumstances, use an air freshener. Many people are allergic to synthetic odors.”
- “Create a bulletin board of seasonal house photographs so that buyers can see what the home would look like during another time of the year.” This is an effective tactic when your open house is in the winter and you want to showcase your lawn or gardens.
4. Market Your Open HouseCreatively
But people won’t’ come to your open house if they don’t know about it. That’s why marketing, especially creative online marketing, is so critical for a successful open house in . National Association of Realtors statistics for 2014 revealed that 92% “of homebuyers use the Internet in their open house search.”
Below are some of the top online venues and tools you should use for a successful open house:
- MLS – Your agent should definitely list your open house on the multiple Listing Servies (MLS).
- Facebook – For broad reach, Facebook can’t be beat. It also allows you to use laser-targeted ads to reach your exact target market.
- Zillow and Trulia – These are the two online real estate giants to help you get the word out about your open house and to help interested buyers find your house.
- Your agent’s site – A top-notch agent may have her own professional website and/or blog, and a posting about your open house can get a lot of targeted attention.
5. Don’t Forget the Selling Power of Paper
Finally, a key ingredient in hosting a successful open house in is simply keeping in mind that it is ultimately about business. And a good way to keep it business focussed is by using good old-fashioned paper:
- “Display four-color flyers filled with quality photos and the key points and unique features of your home – a cheat sheet people can take home.”
- Put out brochures/pamphlets with information about financing options for interested buyers to help them calculate mortgage payments. (You can likely get these from local mortgage lenders.)
- Make available copies of all the pertinent documents regarding your house, such as “inspection reports, appraisal or comps, evidence of major repairs and warranties, blueprints for additions, or proposals for future improvements.”
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to hosting a successful open house in . Still, you have to get everything right, and there’s much more to be done to ensure success.