10 Open House Tips

1. Create a property website

Most people when they visit an open house, are pulling out their mobile phone to take more photos of the house to remember / evaluate it later in the day or a day or two later. In addition, buyers usually end up visiting 3 to 5 house in the same day, so how do they remember your house versus the other ones they saw?

A good marketing strategy is to create a property website where you already have photos of every room in the house from multiple angles, as well as close up photos of all the interior and exterior features of the home. Once you have this, then provide a simple flyer with a QR code / short url link as an easy way for visitors to the open house to see all the photos, especially after the leave the house.

2. Advertise your open house on Facebook

Open Houses: We’ve had great success promoting open houses on social media for our clients. Typically, we include 4-6 photos of the home in a boosted Facebook post, which links to a landing page where visitors can see a little bit more about the home, and fill out a contact sheet to be notified when the open house is taking place. This is a great way for real estate agents to generate leads for themselves, as well as draw attention to the open house they’re promoting.

3. Team up with other agents.

Talk to other agents with listings in the area and coordinate a “neighborhood open house weekend.” Having multiple homes in the area held open will attract more traffic, and you can all take advantage of each others’ marketing efforts. Try something fun like creating a “punch card” or “open house bingo” where visitors get a stamp at each house they visit and can turn it in at the end for a gift card or prize drawing.

4. Make it easy for buyers to visualize how rooms can be used

If you are showing your home to prospective buyers then show how to use the spaces, include clever storage to make the most of the room, place furniture in unused bedrooms or spaces. For example if you have a box room make it into a study show how it can be used with nice home office furniture, a spare room add a bed and bedside cabinets. Buyers can find it hard to visualize how rooms can be used.

5. Make sure you give attendees these 3 handouts

1) Mortgage Loan Breakdown – Helps prospects understand the potential costs of financing the property.

2) Glossary of Home Ownership/Mortgage Terms – A single sheet of key terms and phrases can be extremely helpful to both first-time buyers and move-up buyers who haven’t purchased a home in a while.

3) Neighborhood Information – Note local schools, grocery stores or restaurants and the “walk score” of the home. And don’t forget today’s buyer concerns such as the best cell phone carrier/coverage for the area (very important in hilly, mountainous and coastal areas).

6. Come prepared with the right information

Know homes for sale, builders, and floorplans of the whole area around your open house. The people who come into your open house may have no interest in that home in particular, but you can still be valuable to them by knowing what is available and helping them to find the best home for them. For residents of that community, knowing the nearby builders and floorplans will allow you to talk to them with a degree of expertise, potentially lending more of an idea to them of what THEIR home could be worth.

7. Collect email addresses to keep interested lookers informed about future open houses

Collect email addresses the moment people show up. Do not bother them with advertisement, but have photos sent to their email addresses immediately after they view the house. This will keep the property on their mind, and expose them to things they may have not seen/noticed (ideally nice things).

8. Simple updates to your front door can make a favorable first impression

There are really simple ways that home-sellers can make dramatic differences to their homes for open houses. De-cluttering it key. Removing excess furniture and decorative items will make a house not only seem larger, but more accessible to the average potential buyer.

Simple aesthetic updates to your front door can make a huge difference, as well. It’s the first thing buyers see – an inviting door calls people in and sets the tone for the rest of the home. Good first impressions go a long way and can result in a relatively large return on investment.

9. Don’t forget about good, old-fashioned advertisement

Regarding promoting the home for sale, I run several different ads in both local prints as well as out of area. I promote via the web on several different websites. Open houses I often run an ad in the local newspaper, which is also on the website. Along with that I put on other websites such as Zillow, Trulia and much more. I put out several open house signs to direct prospective buyers to the house to view.

At the open house I have several different pieces of literature about the home for buyers to take. I have a sign-in sheet in order to capture clients. In addition I have some sort of refreshment, whether it be coffee/water and a small treat. I hold my open houses Sundays from 1-4, as that is a traditional time that most realtors do.

10. Bring in a housekeeper or professional organizer

If it’s tenant occupied, then the agent can offer to bring in a housekeeper. Even if it’s not tenant occupied, the cost of a housekeeper and you paying for that can really go a long way in the eyes of the Seller. It shows you are looking to make a good impression to the market. It can also help a not so organized Seller feel a little more organized since you’ve taken over a skill set that they may be lacking.

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