If properly done, holding an Open House is an effective way to generate more marketing exposure and attract interested buyers. But it’s not as simple as tidying up and inviting people to walk through your home.
To get the most out of your Open House, follow these tips:
- Make Sure Your House Is Ready: Just because you put your house on the market doesn’t mean it’s ready for inspection by prospective homebuyers. Your house has only one chance to make a great impression, so make you do a thorough cleaning and make any minor home maintenance projects that would make it more aesthetically pleasing. For helping locating skilled professionals in any home improvement area, visit our free “Find a Pro” section.
- Weekends are Best: Open Houses are traditionally held on non-holiday Sunday between 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Let people know that you’re having an Open House by placing directional yard signs at key intersections. ForSaleByOwner.com also lets sellers schedule and advertise their Open House event on their online property ad, and allows buyers to search for properties having upcoming Open Houses.
- Stage Your Home: People arrange their furniture and decorations based on their family’s lifestyle and tastes, but buyers are mostly attracted to homes that appear spacious. So you’ll want to stage your house so it makes a great first impression. Here’s more on how to stage a home.
- Create a Sign-In Sheet: Create a simple sheet that asks people to provide their name, phone number and e-mail address.
- Print Our Property Flyers: Print out plenty of copies of your ForSaleByOwner.com property flyer so that prospective buyers have information on the house and your contact info.
- Offer Refreshments: One of the oldest tricks of the trade is baking cookies right before an Open House. It gives the house a pleasant aroma of baked goods and the treats give people a reason to stay and ask questions about the house, which will provide you with more opportunities to talk about its features.
- Get Freshly Cut Flowers: Is there a better way to complement your home’s beauty with a vase of freshly cut flowers? Buy them from a local florist so that when people inevitably remark how nice they are, you can ease into a conversation about the terrific shops and restaurants located nearby.
- Keep a Professional Mindset: Visitors may make comments about what they do not like about the home. As a “by owner” seller, you have to keep a professional mindset and understand that you are not selling your home but rather a house for others to decorate as they see fit.
- Answer Questions About The House: You can never anticipate the wide range of questions that a prospective buyer might ask about the house and local community, but be prepared to answer questions about property taxes and the age of the roof, heating and cooling units, and major appliances. For questions that you don’t know the answer to, tell that you’ll call them with an answer.
- Find Out If an Interested Party is Pre-Approved: Not every person who comes through your house will be interested. But for those who ask questions indicating that they might be, don’t be afraid to inquire if they are pre-approved for a mortgage. If they are not, recommend that they contact a financial lender or a mortgage broker to take the necessary steps. They can also begin the pre-approval process here.
- Follow-Up: Within a day of your Open House, send a “Thank You” email to everyone who took the time to visit your house. Include a link to your ForSaleByOwner.com listing and ask if they had any questions regarding the house. A few days later, call up each person who visited your Open House and – in a friendly manner – ask if they are considering your house. If they are not, thank them for their time and ask if they have any feedback that might make the house attractive to other buyers. For those that are interested, offer them the opportunity to come back. Without getting your hopes up, be prepared by getting state-specific real estate forms needed to begin the formal sales process.