The Beginner’s Guide To Hosting a Successful Open House
“Open House” is an event in which a property for sale can be visited by prospective buyers without an appointment. The selling agent is responsible for staging the property, arranging some refreshments, welcoming the visitors, and giving them an amazing tour of the house. Open houses are usually attended by passersby, neighbors, online buyer leads, and sometimes other real estate agents as well.
Though they are pretty common in US and Canada, agents in rest of the world have just started using this amazing tactic. It’s said that the soul never thinks without a picture. An open house allows prospective buyers to “see” the house and imagine living in it. That, my friends, is a much better way of selling property than just listing your property online.
“Open Houses are not just great for selling the property, it’s an amazing opportunity to network and build your credibility as an expert agent.”
However, the benefits of hosting an open house are not limited to just that. Having a real estate licence puts you in the competition but it’s what you do after that which determines who makes more money.
Here’s how hosting an open house can help you as an agent:
- Sell Property Quickly, For More Money
- Showcase Yourself As An Expert
- Connect Buyers With Right Properties
- Build Network In The Neighborhood
- Ask For Referrals
- Generate Leads For Future
If you are not hosting an open house as an agent, then you are losing your business in your market to your competition. In this blog, I will cover some of the things that you can do to host a successful open house and make more money.
Let’s get started!
Creating Maintenance Action Plan
The first step in organizing a successful open house is evaluating the condition of the house and making note of all the major maintenance work that needs to be done to get the house ready. As an agent, you need to do a thorough inspection of the property, note down any maintenance that needs to be done, and then communicate those action items to the seller. After getting approval from the seller, you can help them make those fixes as that would help you sell the property faster, for a higher price.
Such maintenance can include:
- Fixing plumbing leaks
- Fixing leaky faucets
- Fixing faulty bulbs
- Checking installed appliances
- Checking if you need a fresh paint of coat, inside or outside the house
You will also need to decide when exactly you will be hosting an open house. You should have everything ready 1 week prior to the event so there are no unforeseen complications during the event.
Exterior Home Staging To Enhance Curb Appeal
The outside of the house is just as important as inside. In fact, the exterior of the house will determine the first impression about the property for prospective buyers.
Here is a short checklist to help you make sure the exterior of the house is great:
- Mowing Lawn
- Trimming Bushes
- Trimming Trees
- Ensuring the paint is not worn out
- Clean and organize the garage
- Clear Driveway
- Clear pet droppings
Clean, Organize & Stage Home Interior
The whole point of an open house is to help prospective buyers visualize “living” in the house. Trust me when I say that nobody wants to live in a cluttered, unorganized property. The interior of the house is where you converse with the prospective buyers. If the interior is well-organized, there is proper lighting, furniture is well-placed, and the overall ambiance is good, then the chances of your getting a good purchase offer will increase drastically.
Here is a short checklist of things you should take care of before the big event:
- Make sure the temperature inside the house is comfortable.
- Create a nice environment by playing soft music in background
- Make sure there are no annoying pets in the house
- Depersonalize the house by removing personal items or design preferences.
- Turn on all the lights in the house except ones which make noise
- Make sure the house smells nice (Use air fresheners or scented candles)
- Baking cookies can also help you add a pleasant aroma to the house.
- Light the fireplace if the weather is right
- Organize and clean closets
- Clean the cooking range and oven before open house
- Make beds, have clean bedspreads, and dust blinds
- Make sure bathrooms are clean, have towels and fresh soaps
- Make sure there are no turds in the toilet
- Clean all wastebaskets
- Make sure the carpets are clean and dust free
- See if any of the woodwork needs polishing
- Make sure all the furniture is dust free
- Open all the blinds and curtains to let in daylight
Promote Your Open House, Online & Offline
The success of open house depends on the number of attendees and their experience. You should promote the open house through both your personal and professional network. Ask friends, family, and other real estate agents if they know anyone who is looking to buy a house. If there is someone who is looking to buy a new house, then reach out to them through that reference and invite them. You need to start advertising the open house at least one week before you host it.
- Update your online property listings with date and time for open house
- Put up well designed open house signs outside property
- Talk to other agents who might have potential buyers for the property
- Promote open house through classified and online ads.
- Publish a well-written open house update on your Facebook business page
“It’s best to host open houses on weekend afternoons to drive maximum attendance.”
There is a real estate concept known as 20-20-40. That means for every open house, you knock on 20 doors on left of the property, 20 doors on right of the property and 40 doors in front of the property and invite them to the open house. Now, why would people who already have houses be interested in coming? Well, because they will be curious about how much their house will sell for. Also, you can invite them to see what they think about the property. Invite those nosy neighbors to the event because even if they don’t buy the house, they might become your brand ambassadors and generate referrals for you.
Whether you are promoting the open house online or offline, make sure you provide the address and address to people. You should also include your cell number so they can call you if they can’t find the house.
Make Sure You & Seller Are On the Same Page
The main benefit of the open house is helping owners sell the house quickly, and for more money. One of the key characteristics of great agents is that they communicate, both good and bad. Before you begin, both the seller and the agent need to be on the same page and do this together.
As an agent, it’s your job to brief the sellers on benefits of hosting an open house, how you will do it, and what they can expect. After all, you can only host an open house with their blessing, not without it.
Here are 3 things related to sellers that you might need to tick off to host a successful open house:
- Request sellers to not be present during open house as that might have a negative impact on the buyer’s experience.
- Request sellers to lock all valuables before the open house so nothing goes missing.
- Request sellers to lock their pets or take them for a walk during the open house.
For agents, it’s important to provide the sellers an update after the event. This would include the number of attendees, how it went, any positive responses, and hopefully, a great buying offer!
An open house is a short flick featuring you and the property. You are the star of the show. It’s your job to entertain the visitors and show them a good time. This includes greeting visitors, give them a walk-through of the house, giving them valuable information about real estate, tell them about the neighborhood, and scope if they are interested in buying the house.
“Take proper security measures for the open house. If you are a female agent, you might want to get someone to help you out with the event.”
After greeting the prospective buyers, it’s time to offer them some refreshments. It can be juice, some cookies or sweets. Nobody can resist free food and it can serve as an icebreaker initially. After that, show them the house, tell them about the neighborhood, why the house is being sold and what’s the asking price.
Make sure you have your business cards to hand out to all visitors. Everyone has to deal with buying or selling real estate at some point in their life. Open houses represent a great network building opportunity that you shouldn’t waste. Use scoping questions to see what they are interested in, how you can help them and how they can help you. Here are some questions you can ask your visitors:
- What are you looking for in a house?
- Are you looking to buy the house for yourself, family members or a friend?
- What’s your budget like?
- Do you know anyone who would be interested in buying this house?
- Do you know anyone who wants to sell one?
Here’s a quick checklist for the agents for the actual show:
- Have you dressed appropriately?
- Are you smiling when you greet visitors?
- Are you taking note of everyone on a sign-in register?
- Are you treating everyone with respect?
- Are you providing them with valuable real estate information?
- Are you highlighting the best features of the house?
- Are you asking the right questions?
Well, that’s it! If you have any questions about this topic or are facing a particular challenge in hosting a great open house, leave a comment below and I will help you out. If you would like to learn more about lead generation and real estate business development, do take a look at GREL – Real Estate Agent Licence.