OPEN HOUSE BEST PRACTICES
Article by Elizabeth Weintraub (reprinted in part)
July 30, 2017 © The Balance
Hosting a Successful Open House
Assuming your home is presentable, spotless from top to bottom, priced correctly and located in a high traffic area, here are tips to improve the odds your house will sell at an open:
Prepare your home:
- Remove all vehicles from the driveway. Ask your neighbors to help out by not parking in front of your house.
- Open all the drapes, blinds and window coverings –– let in that light.
- Do not put spices on the stove to simmer without offering cookies, and do not, under any circumstances, use an air freshener because many people are allergic to synthetic odors.
- Turn on every light in the house, except lights that produce noise such as exhaust fans without separate on/off switches.
- Turn on soft music on each floor to help set a mood.
- Have available four-color flyers filled with quality photos and reasons for a buyer to purchase your home.
- Put out flyers that contain financing options so buyers can readily determine their monthly mortgage payment.
- Serve refreshments and snacks or, depending on your budget, maybe a catered lunch.
- Create a bulletin board of seasonal house photographs so buyers can see what the home would look like at another time of the year. This is especially helpful to showcase gardens during the winter.
Set out all documents pertaining to the house:
- Inspection reports.
- Appraisal or comps.
- Major repairs & warranties.
- Blueprints for additions or future possible improvements.
Interact with visitors:
- Be upbeat, cheery and greet each buyer who enters the home. Find out what the buyers are looking for and, if possible, show them why your home fits those requirements.
- And absolutely, ask for feedback. Ask each buyer what they thought of your home and would they consider buying it. Agents and sellers are hesitant to ask for a buyer’s opinion, so just grit your teeth and ask. It’s the only way you’re going to get a direct answer, and the answer just might astonish you. They might decide to sit at the kitchen table and write an offer. It happens more often than you would think!
- Further, if you don’t receive an offer at or directly after the open house, it doesn’t mean your open house was unsuccessful. It could mean the buyers are obtaining a preapproval letter on Monday and sending you an offer a day or two later.