When you’re showing a home, it can be difficult to gauge how prospective buyers feel about the property. But there are several steps you can take to make your event a successful one and nab an offer (or several) on the property you’re trying to sell. Here are just a few tips for holding a successful open house.
- Cleaning and staging. Ideally, the current owners of the home will help you out here, taking your tips for staging to heart by removing clutter and excess furniture, as well as keeping the interior spotless in preparation for your open house. But if you arrive and the place is a wreck, you’re going to have to take up the slack in order to make the home as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. So come prepared with rubber gloves, antiperspirant, and an extra shirt to freshen up before people arrive to view the house. You should also leave yourself plenty of lead time to clean up little messes that viewers could find off-putting.
- If nobody knows about your house listing, you’re not going to get a very good turnout on the day of the event, and that could seriously affect your ability to make a speedy sale. So take the steps necessary to let people know that an open house is happening. Advertise in appropriate print and online publications, make sure you’re saturating the local market, and place signs in high-traffic locations to direct prospective home buyers to the front door of the property you’re selling.
- Ready materials. Visitors to your open house will have no shortage of questions. In many cases you can answer them verbally, but it couldn’t hurt to have an FAQ page ready to hand out. At the very least, you should have a stack of business cards at the ready in case interested parties want to make a bid on the property. You’ll want to make sure they have all the information they need to contact you. But you also want to keep the house fresh in their minds. So think about printing up handouts with your listing, including specs and a couple of key photos. When buyers view multiple homes, it’s easy to get the details mixed up. You can keep them focused on your property with little more than a flyer at the door.
- Baked goods. Some people like the smell of roses, while others prefer lemon-scented cleaning solvents. But you’ll find that the biggest olfactory appeal when people enter a home comes from baked goods, and chocolate chip cookies in particular. Not only can baking them before and during the open house make the interior smell heavenly, but you can also offer feel-good snacks to weary house hunters who have been on the prowl all day. Anything you can do to increase the positive association with your property is likely to make your event more successful.
- Information taking and follow up – there’s an app for that. Every realtor, from Roche Realty Group to Century 21, is aware of the fact that the best bet for success in a home sale is getting contact information from interested buyers in order to follow up after the fact and keep the property fresh in their minds. So if you want to sell your home fast for a client, consider using an iPad app like Open Home Pro that is designed to let viewers sign in at the door (without leaving you trying to decipher their penmanship). You can not only get info about buyers and their agents, but the app also allows you to follow up and even send updates to viewers after the open house, keeping them apprised of status changes (like price drops). In this digital world, it pays to use technology to make your open house run as smoothly and successfully as possible.