Setting up an open house when you are selling your home is crucial for a successful sale, but not all open houses are created equal. When you are ready to schedule an open house, make sure you get all your ducks in a row so that your open house doesn’t flop. Preparation is key!
Below are important things to consider when setting up an open house and making sure it’s as effective and cost-efficient as possible.
Step one – clean everything! Potential home buyers are looking around in every corner suspiciously – that is just the nature of the real estate market and anyone looking to make a big purchase, so give them as little reason as possible to be put off and make sure everything is as spotless as it can be.
Think deep clean here. What makes a big difference when it comes to open houses or showings is clean door knob areas and light switch areas. Those areas tend to accumulate grime over the years, and especially doorknobs and the areas around them tend to darken and stain – this is the potential buyer’s first contact with your home, at the front door and in every room potentially, so really make sure this part of your home is spotless.
Another reason for paying close attention to cleanliness is that people are going to be traipsing through your home at an unprecedented rate – consider the person who shows up last, as you won’t be able to be cleaning up behind everybody else. Starting at a point of exceptional cleanliness leaves you enough room to impress that last interested buyer still.
Staging your home before an open house is a large part of the potential buyers’ walkthrough and experience. Let your home speak for itself, and keep things simple. Open houses are letting in people with all different tastes, and the last thing you want to do is have so much of your style inside your home that a potential buyer can’t get past it. Stay as simple as you can while keeping alive what makes your home unique and gives it value.
When it comes to open houses, weekends are king. Schedule your open house after lunch and before dinner on a non-holiday weekend day. Don’t schedule an open house during work hours or a holiday weekend day and expect a large outcome.
A very old school but effective marketing tactic for an open house are yard signs and directional signs nearby your home to direct potential buyers. Another very effective method of marketing for an open house is flyers, printouts of any kind, and online advertising on social media.
You also do not need to and should not market globally by any means, only locally – for instance if you are selling your home in Port St. Lucie, you would be best off focusing on marketing only in Port St. Lucie. There are some websites that list homes for sale and others that also offer help with scheduling open houses and providing adequate marketing materials for your open house (beycome is a great example of this), so take advantage of them!
Feel free to make an appearance, but don’t hover at an open house. You want to make sure all potential buyers are given the opportunity to imagine themselves in your home as their home. It will be difficult for them to envision this when they see you hanging out in your element.
There is a sweet spot here if you would like to make an appearance, but keep it short, simple, cordial – and then get out.
Since you won’t necessarily be there for all of the action, leave some notes to highlight the assets of your home so that potential buyers won’t miss any of the good stuff – but also won’t feel awkward about you touring them around.
Notes can include certain features like checking the water pressure or the history of a certain piece of furniture – just make sure if you are noting a piece to include whether or not it’s part of the sale.
The value of a home to a potential buyer comes down to whether or not they feel the experiences they anticipate having in the home are worth the price. That is where the value of your home lies.
With this in mind, highlight the value wherever you can. If your backyard is especially peaceful, make sure it’s staged so that the valuable, positive experience of it shines through very clearly. If your kitchen is incredibly equipped for cooking, make sure it’s staged appropriately as well. Notes can also offer value here, say, if you’d like to note where the sun shines through in the morning in the bedroom – that is a particular experience of your home that may offer value, especially if it shines in a beautiful way. This is an example of something only you would readily know but adds tremendous value to the potential buyers’ open house experience.
Offer treats or refreshments
Offering treats or refreshments goes a long way for an open house! Taking the “experience” factor one step further from just what a potential buyer can imagine experiencing when they live in your home, add value to the experience of the open house by offering refreshments and/or treats. A candy bowl at the front door would definitely suffice, but you can take it a step further and have some drinks and cookies or finger foods available in the kitchen as well.
Engaging potential buyers in a positive way however you can will help your open house stick out in their mind, and the sky is the limit on how tasty or elaborate you’d like to make the refreshments or treats. However, be sure to limit your spread to food that can be easily carried around and enjoyed while walking, so potential buyers don’t feel stuck in the kitchen or like they have sticky hands while they’re touring your home.
Know what you need to know
When a buyer is interested, you may or may not know it clearly, but no matter what, if they are, they will have questions, and they will be looking for you to answer them and validate what they sense about your home. So be ready!
While you may think you know everything there is to know about your home since you’ve lived there for so long, it’s a good idea to brush up on some information, like exactly how old the house is, property tax information, and the status of major appliances.
Be prepared to follow-up
Create a sign-in sheet (perhaps positioned by the bowl of candy right at the front door), available upon first entry. You will be able to know who came through, follow-up, and check approval status accordingly. This is crucial for next steps and what you’d like to pursue or not, and also will jar your memory so you will be able to connect with all potential buyers successfully.
An open house can be fun although it does require some planning! There are a few important things that are necessary to consider so that your open house really stands out and makes an impact. A potential buyers’ experience is the central part of a successful open house – both what they experience as far as whether or not they see themselves living in your home, and the immediate experience of the open house that you’ve created for them. Keep all of this in mind, and with these tips, you’re on your way to creating a positive open house experience and getting one step closer to closing your home and finding the perfect buyer.