Whether your property has just listed for sale, or even if it has been on the market for a while, an open house is an invaluable and effective way of marketing a home, particularly during the peak viewing months of Spring and Summer.
Open houses allow many different prospective buyers to view your home in a convenient way that allows the agent to facilitate multiple showings simultaneously, and, more importantly, to gain potential offers or valuable feedback.
So here are my 5 steps to a successful house:
#STEP 1: Advertise and Generate Interest Ahead of the Open House
Here at Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, we list all of our open houses with the local press and add the details to a variety of websites that advertise times and dates. Additionally door hangers and flyers can be distributed to the neighborhood to generate interest and ensure that plenty of people are aware of when and where it is happening. And also make sure that it is well signed on the day and in advance of the open house.
#STEP 2: The Realtor Becomes the Welcoming Host and Greeter
Owners should always be encouraged to make themselves scarce for the time of the open house, because they are merely going to inhibit potential visitors and make them feel uncomfortable and ill-at-ease. The realtor, on the other hand, plays host to all of the visitors, welcoming them to the home and finding out whether they need any further help or information, and, most importantly, capturing their contact details, so that follow-ups can be made and in order to inform the seller of the number of people coming through the door.
#STEP 3: Safety is Paramount
The realtor is looking after your prized possessions, so you should be encouraged to make sure that any valuables have been removed or placed under lock and key. Without making visitors feel that they are being watched, the realtor also needs to ensure that house is safeguarded and well looked after for the couple of hours during which it is under their custody. At the closing of the open house, I then always ensure that the house is left in as tidy a condition as I found it and always that lights are off, doors closed and locked.
#STEP 4: Encourage the Nosy Neighbors
Clients sometimes balk at the idea that the house may actually attract some of the nosy neighbors, but I always advise them that this is a good thing. Neighbors may have friends or relatives who want to move to the area - they already know the neighborhood and so they may become advocates for your house to their acquaintances. Also it may make them think about what they need to do to get their house ready for sale and, perhaps, their activities will enhance prices in the area and improve the marketability of your property.
#STEP 5: Feedback and Reassess
There's a lot of information that the realtor will learn from an open house and this needs to be discussed with the client: is the house over-priced? Does it show well or could some staging improve it? Is the decor putting people off? Are buyers worried about the neighborhood? Whatever the feedback, the plan of action and the marketing activities can be reassessed in the light of it, but, as a realtor, following up on the promising leads is the most important activity after any open house has concluded.