Hosting a Real Estate Open House: 15 Pro Tips You Need to Know
If you’re selling your own home, a great real estate open house could be the key to success. Use these tips to throw a professional open house.
Did you know that 5.34 million existing houses got sold in 2018? Or that 667,000 newly built residences were purchased?
I’ll let you do the math when it comes to the number of open houses and model home showings associated with all of those transactions.
Are you thinking about selling your home through an agent, or bagging the commission and selling it yourself? Either way, it’s important to do your research and the right legwork to ensure your open house is successful.
As you can see, you’ve got plenty of competition. So, you need to make sure that your real estate open house is well-planned and effective. Read on for 15 pro tips to guarantee a successful open house.
1. Create a Solid Property Description Sheet
When it comes to open house ideas, a property description sheet represents an invaluable way to stay at the top of potential buyer’s minds. It also proves effective for selling the merits of your property.
During an open house, these description sheets usually get handed out by real estate agents who provide them to attendees. But if you’re going the non-agent route, pass them out yourself.
They should include essential information such as:
- Property address
- Brief description of the property
- Interior and exterior photos
- Total square footage
- Number of bathrooms
- Number of bedrooms
- Your contact info (including a URL to your website or online ad)
- School information
- Asking price
- Neighborhood amenities (e.g. freeways, public transportation, shopping, recreation, etc.)
- Real estate taxes
- Recent upgrades you made
- Maintenance and HOA fees
- Any special features of the property (e.g. finished basement, fireplace, etc.)
- Outdoor spaces
- Appliances that are included
You can easily whip up one of these lists using a basic word processing program. Just make sure to print out plenty of copies. Also, save the file should you need to print out more at a later date.
2. Scope Out Your Competition
There’s no better way to get the realtor open house inside advantage than by checking out other people’s open houses. As you go through a few of them, pay attention to the strategies that they use.
For example, which features do they point out? Are any of these homes staged? If so, how are they staged?
As you’re getting the lay of the land, try to casually eavesdrop on how other visitors react to the home and the questions they ask. These genuine first impressions will have a major impact on how you move forward with your own open house.
3. Schedule Strategically
Here’s another great strategy to get more people to your next open house. Pay attention to when other homes in your area will be having an open house. Then, schedule yours at the same time.
Although it might seem counterintuitive at first, this is a great way to take advantage of foot traffic from people already in the area for another event.
4. Stage Your Home
What the heck is “staging” and why is it so important when it comes to selling home? It refers to the process of getting a house ready for people to take a look.
In other words, it involves neutralizing the decor, decluttering the rooms, and depersonalizing the building.
Where should you start when it comes to staging your home? Pay attention to these tasks:
- Fix what’s broken
- Maximize the space with furniture placement
- Make your home clutter-free and spotless
- Update your home based on what’s standard in your neighborhood and based on current trends
- Hide valuables and personal items
These steps will do wonders when it comes to getting takers for your property. Dingy dirty homes get lowballed. But with a little elbow grease, you can earn top dollar for your home.
And if you don’t have time for all of this work? Then, hire a professional cleaner. Believe me, it’ll be worth every cent. In fact, this is one of my favorite open house tips.
5. Use Word-of-Mouth to Your Advantage
Every time you talk to somebody, whether it be the grocer, the baker, or the pastry maker, mention your upcoming open house. Clue your family and friends in on the event, too. The same goes for work colleagues and gym buddies.
Take advantage of all forms of communication in the process. From texts to emails, phone calls to social media.
6. Use Social Media to Get the Word Out
We live in an age of endless tech wonders. Why not use this to your advantage to bring more people to your open house? It’s time to get social.
Get on Facebook and Twitter and let your contacts know what’s going on. If you have an Instagram account, post photos of your property along with text about the upcoming open house. Get creative and get the word out.
7. Create a Website to Showcase Your Home
Why not use prime internet real estate to help you sell your real estate? Getting a domain and website is affordable and an excellent way to keep potential buyers in the loop when it comes to your property.
On your website, include high-quality photos of your home. If possible, add a video tour of your property, too.
8. Get the Flyers Going
Real estate agents love this trick, and so should you. Get a “for sale” sign professionally printed and then stick it in your front yard.
Make sure the sign has a spot to put flyers. Then, fill it up with the property description sheet that you made. Include interior and exterior photos in color for extra impact.
9. Advertise Your Property
Sites like Craigslist can help you connect with more potential buyers. So, use it to your advantage. But don’t stop there!
Take out an ad in your local newspaper. Post information about your property on FSBO help sites, too. The more traffic you bring to your open house, the more likely you’ll be to get a buyer.
10. Make It Easy to Find
On the big day of your open house, post signs at major intersections directing drivers to your property. This will ensure that nobody gets lost on the way to your home. It will also bring in people who happen to be in the area.
11. Be the Host/Hostess with the Mostest
There’s a lot to be said for good old-fashioned manners. If people have made the time to come check out your home, then the least you can do is greet them with a warm smile and gracious demeanor.
This proves especially important if you’re going the FSBO route. You want to show people that you won’t be a pain to work with. So, dress professionally and wear a big smile on your face.
12. Get Contact Info from Your Guests
On open house day, make sure you’re prepared with a sign-in sheet for guests. They should fill out their name, email address, and phone number. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of how many people turned out for your event.
What’s more, you’ll have priceless information about the people interested in your home. Send them a follow-up email thanking them for their visit. If you have a website for your home, include the URL or a link to your online ad.
13. Find Fido a Babysitter
If you’ve got a pet, consider having a friend watch them for a day. Or, you could arrange to have your dog or cat go to a boarding house.
Not all potential homeowners like pets. What’s more, the event will prove stressful for your beloved best friend. After all, your house will be flooded with strangers.
14. Follow Up with Potential Buyers
Remember when we mentioned having a sign-up sheet so that you can keep in touch with potential buyers? Besides sending each one a thank you email following your open house, wait a week and then follow up with a call.
Be cordial and gracious on the phone. Ask them how their home hunt is going and whether or not they’re still interested in your house. Also, take this opportunity to answer any questions they might have about the property.
If they answer “no,” thank them for their time and ask for their feedback in terms of what might make your home a more attractive property to future buyers. Don’t forget to wish them happy house hunting.
15. Include Other Important Paperwork
We all know that buying and selling homes involves monstrous stacks of paperwork. Some of this paperwork pertains to potential buyers of your home. So, make it available to them.
Include a pamphlet that contains financing options. It should show what monthly mortgage payments would look like. That way, potential buyers will have an immediate sense of whether or not your home would be affordable to them.
Where do you get these figures? Lenders and banks usually have them readily available.
What other paperwork should be ready for potential buyers to look at? Don’t forget to leave out copies of the following:
- Inspection reports
- Evidence of warranties and major repairs
- Blueprints for additions
- Proposals for future improvements
- Anything else that pertains to your home’s structure
These documents show that you’ve got nothing to hide when it comes to this property. It’s also a great way to instill a sense of trust in visitors to your open house.
How to Host an Effective Real Estate Open House
The 15 tips above will help you host an impressive real estate open house. And one that’ll get results.
Interested in more surefire tips to help you sell a home? Read this post for 10 steps to sell your home without an agent.