When selling their homes, homeowners can employ several strategies in an effort to drum up interest among potential buyers. One such strategy is to host an open house, which invites prospective buyers to tour the property.
Realtors have long used open houses to introduce properties to the market, and a well-planned open house can help sellers generate numerous offers in a single day. Whether working with a realtor or listing homes on their own, homeowners can follow a few simple tips to ensure their open house is a success.
• Generate publicity online. Nowadays many prospective home buyers do the bulk of their research via their computers and devices. By advertising their open houses online, sellers have the potential to reach a wide array of buyers. Many real estate agents employ sites such as Zillow.com and Trulia.com to promote open houses and showcase properties, so sellers can make sure their agents are taking advantage of these wildly popular sites. Some even allow sellers to list their homes on apps that buyers can peruse on their smartphones.
• Generate publicity in traditional ways as well. Traditional publicity should not be overlooked when promoting an open house. A $5 “Open House” lawn sign is an effective and inexpensive way to attract buyers who are driving through desirable neighborhoods looking for their next homes. While the Internet is a valuable resource to promote your open house, the sheer volume of online listings can make it hard to reach potential buyers. A traditional lawn sign and a listing in your local newspaper are budget-friendly promotional opportunities that can generate interest in your open house.
• Invite your neighbors. Neighbors can be great salesmen for your home and the community where you live. Invite friendly neighbors to your open house and encourage them to chat with prospective buyers. Buyers will appreciate neighbors’ firsthand knowledge about the community, and their friendliness can help to create a strong first impression that increases buyer interest in your home.
• Consider some changes to your home decor. When hosting an open house, you might not need to go so far as to stage your home, but you may want to make some changes to the decor to make your home more neutral and appealing to buyers from all walks of life. Remove any potentially controversial artwork or decorative items, replacing them with more neutral items that won’t offend or distract any potential buyers.
• Leave the hosting to the professionals. Unless you’re selling the home on your own, resist the temptation to attend your open house. Let your realtor do the work. Your absence can make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves in your home, while your presence may make them uncomfortable or hesitant to explore the property and ask any questions.
When hosting an open house, sellers can take several steps to make their homes more appealing to buyers.