Open house tips and tricks often make the difference between a successful event and one that falls flat.
An open house can be a truly effective way to vault your way to ‘sold.’ It’s not the right choice for every home, but can be well worth the time and effort for the suitable ones.
Sellers will need help from their agents to set up the home for the event. Your knowledge will likely come with experience and the more open houses you do. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do a little research to prepare.
As part of River City Mortgage’s commitment to partner with real estate agents and offer support throughout the buying process, we’ve put together five open house tips to make everything smoother and help you close that deal.
1. Prep the Property Outside and Inside
Open house events are best suited for periods soon after the property is first listed. So, you have a short time to prepare the house. It may seem obvious, but the details involved to successfully lure in potential clients all day can be overlooked by agents.
An excellent open house tip to remember is that good curb appeal can start the relationship with a potential buyer on the right note.
Apart from cleaning and tidying, consider the following:
- Clearing walkways of any tripping hazards
- New flowers in pots outside the house can brighten up first impressions
- Place all vehicles in garages or away from the home to allow plenty of parking
- Repair any visible damage or loose-hanging exterior coverings like siding
Inside the home requires a different set of open house tips. From the moment a visitor walks into the home, they should feel welcomed and happy to be there.
To achieve this effect, try the following:
- Opening windows to let fresh air in
- Cover any bad smells with unscented room freshener so as not to overpower the visitor
- Brew a fresh pot of coffee, both as refreshment and for the scent
- An essential oil diffuser can tastefully accent a bedroom or upstairs room
- Turn on all the lights and open curtains- make it seem as bright and cheery as possible
- Clean all rooms as much as possible. How can you show off those beautiful hardwood floors if they’re covered in dust or mud from outside?
2. Start Early
Consider that prospective buyers will frequently set aside an entire day to view properties. They want to compare as many possible homes as they can.
Many real estate agents will start an open house at noon. But, if you start your own open house at 11 a.m. or an hour earlier than the average time in the area, it makes your property more likely to be viewed before the others.
Being first on the list of homes viewed can also be an advantage as all other homes viewed afterward will be compared to the first.
It will likely be to a lesser extent, but also staying open past the end times of other open house events can have an advantage.
3. Engage Buyers But Keep It Light
It’s polite to greet visitors as they show up. It makes them feel welcome and creates a more relaxed atmosphere.
Point out where a hard copy of the property information can be found (situated near the entrance for easy reach) and let them know they’re free to look around.
That’s it. That’s the baseline you should follow.
Some real estate agents might be tempted to follow buyers about, pointing out the property’s features or putting the hard sell on them. This tactic might easily turn them off dealing with you and the house itself.
A house is likely the most expensive and responsibility-laden purchase a buyer will make in their entire lives. Pressuring them, especially at the beginning of the experience, could have the opposite desired effect. Calm confidence is often the best attitude.
Stay in view and ready to answer questions if they approach you. Each visitor has their priorities of what to check out. It’s easier to discern if a house is a right fit without feeling any pressure.
4. Avoid The Negative
Almost any house is going to have a few shortcomings.
Whatever its drawbacks, whether low in square footage, a little run down, or far from amenities, etc., resist drawing attention to a property’s less stellar aspects in any way.
As Shakespeare wrote, “Beauty to be bought by judgment of the eye, Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.”
In other words, what one person perceives as unsightly or a drawback, may be considered beautiful or useful by another. So, let the buyer make up their minds about what works for them or not.
This choice also displays a positive attitude, which can go far to help close the sale.
5. Use Social Media Tools
Our final open house tip deals with the fundamental problem of the event. If no one shows up, all your efforts will be in vain.
Real estate agents can use social media to their advantage in many ways. Advertising your open house event is the key to success.
Traditional methods, like strategic signage, listings on real estate/housing websites, and neighborhood brochures are all just as effective as they ever were.
But as seven out of ten americans use some form of social media, it would seem obvious one should take advantage of such a prevalent method of advertising. Plus, it’s free.
Open House Tips — Conclusion
Open house events are just one of the many resources available in a real estate agent’s toolkit.
But if you’re going to choose to use this one, make sure you plan it out carefully beforehand and execute the operation with eyes open and a positive attitude.
This guide of open house tips is part of River City Mortgage’s commitment to partner with real estate agents and make the buying and selling process easier for everyone.
Part of that process is for your clients to apply for mortgage pre-approval as soon as they can. A River City Mortgage pre-approval letter can raise your client’s offer to the top of the seller’s options.
In this frantic and dynamic housing market, you need all the edge you can get. River City Mortgage’s Seal Of Approval might be the edge your client needs. Contact us today to learn more about our partnership program for agents and start closing more deals.