Open houses can take a lot of time and effort, both for real estate professionals and sellers. Agents are usually tasked with planning, publicizing, and greeting prospective buyers, while sellers tackle the necessary steps to get the interior and exterior ready for prime time. With the flurry of activity entailed, it’s important to do everything you can to make your open houses as successful as possible. Here are some tips:
1. Be safe.
Have hand sanitizer at the door, and be sure to follow the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid-19 guidelines and any related state and local ordinances. If holding an open house isn’t feasible in your area, or you don’t feel safe doing so, consider hosting a virtual open house instead.
2. Choose The Right Time.
Weekend afternoons are often good times to hold open houses, but be sure to check your community calendar and consider holidays and local sporting events that may be scheduled to avoid conflicts that could deter attendance. Set open house hours that are long enough to give potential buyers the maximum opportunity to attend.
It’s important to advertise open houses both before and during the scheduled time. Use social media to send event notifications, and ask your friends to share the information. Post a preview of the house beforehand and post a ‘live” update on your social media accounts when the open house starts. Don’t assume that your real estate colleagues know about the open house – send them announcements so that they can alert any interested buyer that they may have.
Put up signs in front of the home and at cross streets a few days before the open house to draw interest. On the day of the open house, add balloons to the signs, mailbox, or front of the house to attract attention.
Give sellers a list of suggestions to get the home ready for the spotlight. Your list might include tasks like mowing the lawn, picking up leaves and debris, cleaning the interior, emptying trash cans, and organizing closets. Adding some fresh flowers and candles can also help the house look its best. Agents should prepare, too, by having enough printed materials about the house, business cards, and measuring tape on hand. Be sure to have a guest book for lookers to sign so that you can show your sellers how many people toured the home and so you can follow up with potential buyers afterward. You might also consider placing a box or basket near the exit with slips of paper for lookers to leave feedback about the house and price. This could provide valuable information for you and your sellers.
When you’re preparing for an open house, contact your HSA Account Representative for home warranty materials to have on hand. An HSA Home Warranty provides a year of budget protection for covered repair or replacement expenses for many home system and appliance components that break down due to normal wear and tear. With HSA, homeowners also receive access to reliable, qualified service professionals when covered breakdowns occur. Home warranty protection can often give potential buyers the reassurance they need to proceed with offers and transactions.
Follow up in a few days with open house guests who left contact information to see if they’d like a second, private showing. Let your clients know that you’re taking this step, and keep them informed about the response you receive.