So, you’ve decided to sell your home. Maybe your family has outgrown the house or maybe you need to downsize. Whatever the reason, organizing a successful open house should be a goal for sellers and real estate agents alike. After checking out the local competition, there are several ways to ensure you host a strong open house and, fingers crossed, receive an offer shortly after.

Tips from the Experts
Deb Wells is the owner of- and realtor for LivingWell Properties, based out of Prosper, Texas. According to their website, Deb “specializes in guiding home sellers towards a successful sale.” Wells is an Accredited Home Stager with over twenty years of entrepreneurial experience. She said the main purpose of an open house is, literally, to get a lot of people through the door.

An article from the home-improvement channel, HGTV, suggested that you can’t have an open house without preparing a property description sheet to give all of those people. If you have an agent, he or she should be willing to do this. If your open house is a DIY, you can create a simple description sheet in Microsoft Word or something similar. It should highlight important selling points or need-to-know information, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, asking price, total square footage, recent maintenance or upgrades, and any special features that separate your home from the others, wrote Annalisa Burgos.

Learn to Stage Your Home
Wells, who loves to help her clients prep their homes for selling, said that, most likely, those who are attending your open house will also be stopping by multiple other homes the same day. Your house needs to stand out from the others.

“Your house needs to be looking the best and presented in its best light,” Wells added. “That’s really what staging does so that when [potential buyers] walk through the door, they are pretty impressed. We stage all of our listings. I think it helps our listings stand out from the crowd.”

Burgos also touched on this point, stating that your home “must be spotless and clutter-free.” She said you need to fix what is broken, make smart choices when upgrading, and place your furniture in a way that makes the rooms feel the most spacious.

Make Sure Everyone Knows
“Top real estate agents tap their extensive networks to target buyers and get them into their clients’ houses,” Burgos wrote. “Unless, you too, are well-connected, getting the word out about your open house can be a challenge.”

She suggested using every method of communication: phone, email, postcards, social networks (schools, churches, etc.), social media, advertise online, post flyers on public bulletin boards, and many others. Also, don’t forget to put that professionally-printed “For Sale” sign on your front lawn.

Wells also expressed the importance of getting the word out.

“You have to get lots of attention on it, lots of advertising,” Wells said. “It needs to be posted on lots of online portals, Facebook posts and ads, so people can see it and draw a lot of attention.”

She also suggested that sellers really need to have a “draw” to the open house, whether you do a giveaway at the end or serve food and drinks (why not both?). You need to give your buyers a reason to stay, look around, and engage. For realtors, especially new agents, Wells said engagement is crucial. She considered this to be a free lead generations source.

“Most people who walk through the door don’t have an agent,” Wells said. “This is the quickest way to get business.”

Follow up
Finally, Burgos recommended sending a “Thank You” email to everyone who attended your open house.

“Within the following week, call each person and ask if they have any questions about the house and if they are considering it,” She wrote. “If not, thank them and ask if they have any suggestions on how to make the house attractive to other buyers.”

There are countless ways for sellers and their agents to give a memorable and outstanding open house. With guidance, time, and a little extra care, you can sell your house – hopefully for more than the listing price.

 

Questions? Comments? Email shannonw@firstwesterntitle.com