You’ve set a date for an open house, and you want to be sure the right people show up. You have the basics down: declutter and ensure the home is clean and well-maintained, but what else? Don’t worry; these insider tips should do just the trick.
Consider hosting an early showing of your home for locals only. If you’re planning an open house between the hours of 1 and 4 pm, invite your neighbors to stop by between noon and 1 pm. The invite will make neighbors feel appreciated and needed, but it will also allow your agent to focus on serious and interested buyers during the actual hours of the open house.
PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE. Bring awareness to your open house by uploading tons of photos, passing out flyers, and advertising in the local newspaper. Make sure your property is listed on the MLS and be sure to advertise the open house on websites like Trulia.com and Zillow.com. An added bonus: post an “Open House” sign in the yard a week before the event to let potential buyers that drive by the home know when they should come back.
Be absent. If you’ve hired an agent, there’s no real reason for you to attend the open house. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves in your home, as well as feel they can speak their mind freely, and it might be hard to do that if you’re there.
Secure your home and belongings. It’s okay to set some ground rules when you’re opening up your home to strangers. Require a signature and proof of ID (if you skip it, you run the risk of getting fake names and numbers) from every person who stops by the open house. Bathrooms are off limits–you never want a closed door between a stranger and your home. Dispose of any prescriptions you are no longer taking and/or take them with you, lock up and hide away all valuables, and ensure all guests have a chaperone at all times.
Consider choosing an “off” hour. Most open houses take place on Saturday or Sunday afternoon between the hours of 1 and 4 pm. Host your open house between 3 and 5 pm instead. An “off” hour ensures less open house competition and draws more attention to your property. An added perk: most buyers hit up several open houses in one day. At the beginning of the day, buyers are excited about the properties they are planning to see and fly through them because they’re eager to see what’s next. By knowing your property is the last open house of the day, the buyer can take their time viewing the property–and if they’re still looking–give you serious consideration.