And when it comes to selling your home, you want to stick with what works. The following tips have been shown to work for people across a wide range of markets, so only focus on what you or your agent feel would work for your particular situation and leave the rest behind.
Get the word out
Your realtor will be doing this, but there’s no reason why you can’t get involved too.
Tell everyone you know about the event. Give them a visual reminder (e.g. a postcard, flyer, etc.) if possible to keep it top of mind.
And if your employer doesn’t mind, you can post something on the break-room bulletin board too.
Your realtor should advertise your open house on the MLS as well as major websites like Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. And as it gets closer to the day, she’ll put out curbside directional signs – including balloons – to help the signs stand out.
Other marketing options to consider include:
Latching onto existing events
Borrow the traffic from other events (e.g. garage sales, local store grand openings, school football game, etc.) to draw more eyes to your open house.
Using door hangers
They still work, but in addition to your local neighborhood spread out to nearby areas. Even if the recipient isn’t looking to move, they just may know someone who is and who would love to live nearby. (e.g. a family member or friend)
Shifting the time
If your realtor knows that several other homes are having their events during the time you wanted then change it up.
While it does make sense to piggyback on everyone else’s open house events, sometimes it works better to be different.
For example, you could hold an open house event during the week and offer prospects a benefit such as cartoons on the big screen for the kids while the parents view the house. Or you could hold your open house during the football game and turn the event into a tailgate party.
Think outside the box
Don’t discard what’s been shown to work for others, but also think of unusual things that would appeal to your target buyer, perhaps benefiting them in some way.
Blow them away
You want your home’s first impression to blow away your competition.
Remember that your visitors have probably already seen images and information about your home, so you want their initial perception to be confirmed when they visit in person.
Run through the following checklist before opening your doors to the public to make the most of your open house.
- ⬧Cleaning and decluttering of course is paramount, both inside and out…everything should be in pristine condition.
- ⬧Move the cars out of the driveway to help visitors imagine their own cars parked there.
- ⬧If the market calls for it, have your home staged.
- ⬧Remove (or minimize) all personal belongings.
- ⬧Remove your pets if possible.
- ⬧Think about removing area rugs to help the rooms feel even larger.
Play it smart
While the idea of an open house is to get as many eyes on your property as possible, some of those “eyes” could be attached to devious minds bent on taking advantage of your open house and using the occasion towards their own ends.
Take the following precautions to avoid any problems and to ensure the open house is a successful one – hopefully leaving you with one or more offers in hand.:
- ⬧Bathrooms are for viewing only – you’re not a gas station, so don’t let a door separate you from a stranger and of course remove any and all pharmaceuticals from your medicine cabinets.
- ⬧Secure any and all valuables; cash, jewelry, bills, credit cards, valuable trinkets, small electronics, etc.
- ⬧Ensure that all visitors have a chaperone. One person needs to be available to greet people as they arrive while another one or two show visitors around the home.
- ⬧Collect contact information as people arrive by asking them to sign in when they arrive. You can opt for a traditional pen and paper checklist or get “fancy” by using an iPad or Android app
- ⬧As a seller it’s not recommended that you hang around at all, unless of course you’re holding the open house yourself. If that’s the case, make sure you’re never alone in the house and once the event is over confirm that nobody has gotten “lost” anywhere on your property. Safety should always be front of mind before anything else.
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