Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Open House
If your home is currently on the market, you may be considering whether or not to work with your real estate agent to host an open house. You may have heard that open houses are ineffective or "old-fashioned" in today's world of online marketing. Open houses do not work on every house, in fact, we know statistically that very few homes actually sell from having an open house. BUT, an open house can create some buzz for your house - if you do it right!
As most REALTORS know first-hand, it takes a combination of different marketing strategies to sell your home quickly and for the best possible price. While online marketing and mobile technology are certainly critical parts of the equation, an open house can have a tremendous impact on a successful sale -- when done correctly, that is. Here are our Top 5 tactics for a successful open house. Make sure your agent is incorporating all — or at least some — of these strategies for your home's open house:
- Staging well in advance - Don't bother having an open house if your home is not properly staged both inside and outside. Now is the time to work with a professional landscaper because curb appeal will never be more important -- prospective buyers won't bother coming in if they don't like what they see from the outside.
- Proper advertising - These days, people are so inundated by life and media that unless your open house is promoted far and wide — and frequently — they will never even know about. Your agent should be: advertising in newspapers; using social media to promote your open house; networking with other agents in the area to make them aware; circulating direct mail to neighbors and nearby communities; and personally inviting key prospects.
- Enlist the neighbors - Start polling your neighbors on what they like best about your neighborhood: the schools, the convenience, the community services, the people, etc. Compile this into a handout for your agent to distribute at your open house. After all, what better testimonial could you ask for than the next-door neighbor?
- Consider a theme - Some of our fellow members in the Top 5 Network have hosted some unbelievably creative open houses. Consider inviting local restaurants to set up food stations so visitors can experience a "taste" of the community; ask a local antiques shop to stage the home with their showcase items; invite a local gallery to create an art exhibit throughout the home; or highlight something of interest about your home. One Top 5 member, for example, listed the home of an antique car collector and put all the owner’s cars on display and invited car enthusiasts.
- Have the right materials on hand - Your open house will be for naught if you don't have the proper materials on hand, such as: a guest directory that asks for names and e-mails (find a creative incentive for guests to leave their e-mail addresses, such as entry into a drawing for a local restaurant gift certificate); professionally done photo brochures of your home or even a DVD of a video tour; payment and financing information.
Be sure to ask your agent how he or she intends to follow up with open house visitors -- this is the most important factor of all. Without a quick and effective follow-up system in place, you could very well pass over a potential buyer.