Even in today’s favorable real estate market, it’s important that your house shows well. An open house can be an effective way to increase the visibility of your residence and get prospective buyers through the door. A quick search tells us that anywhere from 8-20% of an agent’s sales result from a showing.
What many sellers don’t realize, though, is that hosting an open house involves more than putting up signage throughout the neighborhood. Ask any experienced agent and they’ll tell you that preparing for an open house requires extensive effort and attention to detail. With that in mind, here are six tips for a successful showing.
Advertise, advertise, advertise
You might have the most attractive house on the market in 2020. But without the right advertising strategy, your showing will likely be a bust. That’s why we suggest getting the word out in a number of ways, including internet postings (web classifieds, Facebook Marketplace, etc.), social media, community newsletters, and local store bulletin boards. Avoid setting up mapped signs in the neighborhood until the morning of the showing.
Get the place ready
If you didn’t clean and declutter your house before putting it on the market, you’re behind the eight-ball at this point. Those who procrastinated may want to think about hiring a cleaning service in order to focus on making special preparations for the showing. Elizabeth Weintraub of The Balance recommends removing all vehicles from the driveway, letting in as much light as possible, and playing soft music throughout the music.
Sellers with a larger open house budget should consider serving a catered lunch for visitors. Lastly, avoid using an air freshener, as one of your visitors may be allergic to synthetic odors. Opt for a candle in a high-traffic part of the house as an alternative.
Set out the paperwork
It’s easy to get caught up in the “little things” at your showing. As a good host, you might find yourself picking up after visitors and offering them beverages, among other things. But don’t forget why you went through all this effort in the first place — you’re trying to get someone to buy your house.
This is where a property description sheet comes into play. Such documentation includes the address, asking price, contact information, photos, real estate taxes, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, special features, recent upgrades, and neighborhood amenities. While the flyers don’t have to be fancy, they should be simple and easy to read. Pro tip: have your brochures readily available for visitors upon arrival.
Interact with visitors, but not too much
This is a big one. If you’re working with a realtor, you will probably be asked to leave your home for the showing. However, if you’re selling the place yourself (For Sale By Owner or FSBO), you’ll need to be smart about how you interact with visitors.
We can all agree that no prospective buyer wants the seller hovering over them. Visitors want to be able to look around a house and make note of what they like and don’t like. So if you choose to stay home during the showing, know the line between seller and host. Pro tip: avoid hanging out in important areas like the kitchen or living room.
Congrats, you made it through your showing! Unless someone made you an offer on the spot, there’s still work to do. Annalisa Burgos of HGTV advises sending a “Thank you” email to everyone who attended the open house along with a link to your listing. Over the next few days, call the attendees and ask if they are considering your house. This is also the time to verify information with buyers and answer any questions they may have.
How an award-winning real estate agent can help
When it comes to preparing for an open house, it’s often best to defer to a real estate agent. An experienced agent will work with you to obtain the necessary property information and then handle the advertising on their own. Keep in mind that while some agents view showings as a thing of the past, others see them as integral to their success.
At American Home Agents, we understand the challenges of selling a home. Our family-owned team is truly invested in your needs and we will do everything in our power to get you the most money for your home. Don’t forget to check out our seven tips for a quick home sale.
Happy holidays from all of us at American Home Agents! Contact us at (303) 695-5900.