With today's slowing economy, it's important for agents to pull out all the stops, and to really use their skills and tools in order to move sales. The ‘open house’ is just such a tool. An open house is a great way to create some hype around a property, as you have numerous clients coming in all throughout the day. Sometimes all it takes is the knowledge of a little competition for an offer, or more, to suddenly appear on the table. It's also a great way to attract impulse buyers- those who will see a place once, fall in love and make an offer right then and there.
But in order to achieve a successful open house, certain bases need to be covered, and then some. First off, make sure you choose a winner of day for your open house. If you could control the weather, you might ask that it wasn't the first sunny day in weeks on the day of your open house, but seeing as certain things are out of your control, stick to the things you can influence. Sunday afternoons, are the very best days for open houses as the majority of folks serious about looking will have this time off. As this is when most sellers host their open houses, home buyers will generally commit this day to open house tours.
Make sure you've got the word out there, and in advance. A well advertised open house will attract that many more interested clients. Mail post cards, and invite neighbors. Have a sign on the front lawn on, with the details of the open house, and pamphlets with some features photos of the property. Details of the open house should be advance listed in your local newspaper and on your agent's website.
You'd be surprised how many people discover information on open houses on their own, go to them, and then, if they like what they see, they'll set up a private viewing with their agent. With the internet, and so much more information available at the tip of our fingertips, people are more inclined to do their own investigating first. Open houses are a great way to take advantage of this consumer behavior.
Your realtor should be present at the open house and should have a station set up with a feature brochure and any other pertinent information about the area/neighborhood/town. It's nice to have these other informational packages, in the case that the buyers don't really know that much about the town/city/neighborhood.
From a sellers perspective there are details to attend to. Make sure you've thoroughly cleaned, so that the home is sparkling and looking its best. De-clutter and de-personalize your home as if it were a show home. Make sure you take full advantage of whatever natural light you have in your home. Remove old curtains, or open them up. And, if your home needs more light, then, by all means light it up with extra fixtures or brighter bulbs. Clean the outside of your home and leverage your curb appeal. If you have pets, it's best to re-locate them, all their hair, food, and toys for the open house. Some folks are very put off by animals- you wouldn't want to risk a potential sale because “Fluffy" kept trying to sit on client x's lap.
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