‘Do open houses work?’ Real estate investors and agents have differing views about this question. Though some in the real estate business see this strategy as a wasted marketing effort, open houses still remain one of the most effective ways of selling an investment property or house, especially for a first time home seller.
So, What Is an Open House?
A real estate open house is a time when a home seller opens a home for potential buyers to view the property for sale. Just like any other marketing strategy, this tactic has several pros and cons.
- Face-to-face contact – While listing could be an effective strategy for selling a house, nothing beats meeting a buyer in-person as a first time home seller. An open house gives you the opportunity to meet people interested in buying an investment property or home. People usually have questions about issues such as transportation, security, and schools and you’ll be present to answer them.
- Attracts novice buyers – Buying a home can seem like a daunting task, especially for a first time income property buyer. Such buyers need a lot of advice, tips, and guidance during the entire process. Holding an open house is a great way of attracting people who want to understand how home buying works.
- Additional exposure – A real estate open house can be very effective for providing extra exposure for the seller’s home. This could be through newspaper ads, open house signs, open house flyers or online ads. This greatly increases the chances of selling the investment property.
- Unqualified buyers – Open houses are likely to attract people that are just curious, but cannot afford to purchase the rental property or home. You cannot screen all the visitors to ensure that they are qualified.
- Nosey neighbors – Some neighbors will only attend to find out if the home measures up to their own. Your home might just end up being the topic of gossip in the neighborhood.
- Security concerns – Open houses give criminals the chance to examine real estate investment property and plan crimes such as break-ins and vandalism. This is especially a problem when selling a vacant property.
- Risk of theft – When holding an open house, be sure to put away all valuable items before the guests arrive. Some criminals will attend only with the aim of stealing electronics, jewelry, and valuable artifacts.
Learning how to host an open house is very important for every property seller. Here are some open house ideas and tips to consider:
7 Tips for Hosting an Open House
1. Market Your Home Creatively
If your marketing efforts don’t get the attention of potential buyers, there is little chance that they will want to see the investment property in person. Since most people begin their search for property on the internet, make sure you have a strong online presence. Create attractive profiles for your home on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Use photos that highlight the best features of your property and copy that describes the neighborhood benefits. Don’t forget to include an open house sign in sheet in your listings. In addition, be sure to get your home listed on sites such as Mashvisor.
List your property for sale in the Mashvisor Property Marketplace now to attract serious buyers.
2. Keep the Property in ‘Show Home Quality’
To boost the chances of finding a buyer, your property for sale should be in ‘show home quality’ always. If the home is occupied, here are some of the things you need to do before the open house:
- Keep the kitchen sparkling tidy; no dishes in the sink or clutter on the counters
- Make the beds
- Clean and tidy the bathroom
- Remove all the junk, toys, and clothes from the floor
- Take out the garbage
- Leave the lights on
Consider creating an open house checklist to ensure that you don’t forget anything.
3. No Strong Odors
If your home has a lingering smell or is smoky, potential real estate investors and homebuyers are likely to get turned off. If you are a smoker, avoid smoking inside your house for several weeks prior to the open house. When hosting an open house, don’t cook meals or use strong perfume since some of your visitors could be allergic to strong smells.
4. Be Flexible with Your Timings
Being flexible with your time is one of the most vital open house tips. For example, if you schedule your open house from 9 am to 5 pm, there are people that might come earlier in the morning and others later in the evening. Be sure to make an allowance for such individuals. If you turn away potential buyers the first time, they are not likely to return a second time.
5. Bake Cookies
Though it might sound ridiculous, the scent of freshly baked cookies will create a homely atmosphere in your house. The scent will help prospective buyers make an emotional connection with the house. If you don’t want to bake, you could use cookie scented candles instead.
6. Improve the Curb Appeal
As a landlord, curb appeal is very crucial when it comes to staging your house. Plants should be trimmed and lawns mowed every week. Clean your windows and remove all the clutter from the compound. A paint job on the gate and exterior of your walls could also do wonders for improving your curb appeal.
7. Leave the Home
If you are in your home during the open house, you might be tempted to follow around and pitch to potential buyers as they tour the home. However, this will only end up making your guests feel very uncomfortable. To avoid this, take a walk or go for coffee and allow the visitors to look around in peace. This is an important element of open house etiquette. Serious buyers will want to examine every nook and cranny of the home without feeling rushed.
If you, as a first time home seller, have ever asked yourself ‘What is an open house?’, you now have the answer. If you follow the open house tips and ideas above, an open house can help you get a good offer in the shortest time possible. To enhance your chances of success, work with an experienced real estate agent. This should be someone that has held successful open houses for other sellers in the past.