A presentable, spotless property is one of the key factors of successful showing, along with great location and correct price.
But while it is true that preparing thoroughly and paying attention to every detail increases the chances of a good offer, you should also bear in mind that the way people sell properties has changed in the past few years. Open houses have gone online, which means that throwing in a couple of signs in the neighborhood isn’t enough. In order to compel prospective buyers to come and see the property, you’ll need to build an online presence first.
We have put together a list of 5 tips that help first-time home sellers host an outstanding open house and impress buyers both offline and online.
1. Work on Your Home’s Looks
If you’re planning an open house, then you should consider a little makeover. This doesn’t mean that you should renovate your property from the ground up, but making sure that it is clean and inviting.
Take a couple of days to clean the house thoroughly and then make a schedule you can follow in the weeks before the open house. Be sure that the interior is bright, without any smells and dirt left by kids, pets, or food. Don’t forget about the outside as well - the entrance needs to be in perfect condition as it is the first impression of your home.
Experts also suggest that the rooms should be as neutral as possible. To this end, make sure to repaint any walls that are too dark or bright, remove all family photos, as well as any items that might be considered controversial (such as an animal head on the wall).
Finally, your home shouldn’t have too many pieces of furniture or be overwhelmed with decorations because potential buyers won’t be able to notice the house’s features. Decorate your home sparsely, with an elegant and neutral design in mind in order to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
2. Have the Documents Ready
A good open house is more than just having great ambiance - it’s about making it easier for people to buy the house too. So, make sure you have the following ready:
● Flyers containing high-quality images and key features of your house, a.k.a. a cheat sheet that visitors can take with them.
● Documentation pertaining to the property, including evidence of major repairs, blueprints for additions, warranties, and inspection reports.
● The open house sign in sheet which allows you to gather the basic contact info of those attending the open house. The benefit of this online form is that it may be completed quickly by the attendees. You can use a digital open house sign-in sheet which will help you save time and help you collect better quality client information.
● Pamphlets and brochures containing financing options so that potential buyers can determine their mortgage payment. Lenders and banks will supply you with these.
3. Accentuate the Best Features
Taking some time to figure out what the best features of your house are will give you a significant competitive edge. Start by collecting information about the neighborhood: good restaurants, fun local events, etc. and add these details to your property’s profile.
Then, try to identify which parts of the property would be most appealing to potential buyers. Make sure that these areas are well-staged and that you have great photos of them in order to highlight them both online and in person.
You should also consider inviting your neighbors to the open house. Even though the idea of your neighbors poking around your home might not sound so thrilling, there’s a chance they know someone who is looking to buy a new home. The idea is to have as many people as possible see the house, and your neighbors would certainly want their family or friends to move close to them!
4. Advertise Your Property
As mentioned earlier, the housing marketplace has moved online and today, more than 90% of home buyers use the web to search for properties. This means that listing your open house online is extremely important. Besides locating properties for sale, buyers also use these listings to decide which properties are worth visiting.
Start by creating a compelling online profile for your property where you will emphasize its best features, neighborhood benefits, and showcase some great photos. Think of it this way: you need to make buyers fall in love with your house in order to get them to visit it. Post your home profile in as many places as possible, including listing services, major real estate portals, as well as Craigslist. You should also share the info on neighborhood email lists and sites like nextdoor.com.
However, don’t forget to do some offline advertising as well. Even though you should not rely solely on flyers and signs, it doesn’t hurt to have these things, especially as the open house date approaches. You can also publish an advertisement in a community newspaper or even put postings on a popular coffee shop or store bulletin board.
Put signs at all major intersections directing people to the property, as well as on your front lawn. Moreover, to make sure people notice the signs and find your home easily, make the signs stand out by tying balloons to them.
5. Interact with the Open House Visitors
Your interaction with the visitors is as important as the property itself. Be cheery and upbeat as you greet everyone entering the house. Try to find out what they are looking for and show them the features of your home that fit their requirements.
In addition, try to get some feedback. Ask the open house visitors what they think of the house. This is a great way to get useful information about the impression your home is making and, if necessary, make quick fixes to address the issues.
Don’t be thrown off if you don’t get an offer immediately after the open house. This doesn’t mean that the event was a failure. Be patient - your buyers may be obtaining a pre-approval letter the next day and sending an offer a couple of days later!