Everyone loves a good open house. It gives buyers an opportunity to check out a home without the added pressure of a personal showing, it allows the seller to get a(n ideally) large number of people viewing the home in a relatively short period of time, and it gives neighbors a chance to see a glimpse of the inside of other homes where they live. If you’re an agent, there’s a lot of additional opportunity that comes along with holding an open house. Not only could you find the future buyer for your listing, you can meet new, potential clients and other agents that work in the area. Naturally, you want to bring you’re A-game. No one is going to want to do business with an agent who’s sitting in a lawn chair in the living room, eating a 12-inch sub and watching Gilligan’s Island on their iPad mini… and you’re probably going to have one heck of a time selling the home, too.
So, how do you hold a kick-butt open house? Here’s just a couple of tricks to help you get started:
No scent is the best scent.
A 2009 study showed that more than 30 percent of people reported scented products as “irritating.” Avoid irritating 30 percent of your potential buyers by skipping the use of candles and air fresheners. However, it’s fairly common that agents will bake cookies in the kitchen right before the open house, because nothing says “I’m home” like freshly bakes cookies!
Clean the Carpets..
Eliminate odors with a deep cleaning. Shampoo carpets, let in fresh air, and you’ll be surprised at how much cleaner the air inside the home smells. Also, clean carpets look 10,000x better than dirty floors do.
Keep buyers focused on the home, not the stuff. Ask sellers to declutter and depersonalize a home before showings or open houses.
Clean out closets.
Closet size is a touchy issue for many buyers, so there’s a good chance that at least one closet will be scrutinized during an open house. Amplify the appearance of storage space by encouraging sellers to trim closet contents.
No pets (or evidence of pets).
Pets may be sweet and loveable, but they can also create damage and odors. Many potential buyers will run in the opposite direction because pets have lived there. So, for goodness sake, put away the litter box.
No open house benefits from an emotionally-attached seller hanging around. Avoid giving your potential buyers the creeps by gently guiding sellers away.
A home’s entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. Give the right first impression. Remove dead plants and debris. Scrub cobwebs and dirt from the front door. Add a decorative wreath or a nice chair.
Close the toilet lids.
Just do it. (Do it at home too.) 😉
Light & bright.
Rooms appear larger in brighter light. Turn on ALL the lights in the home, even in the closets, before people start showing up. Also, make sure all of the shades and curtains are open. Not only will this let more light in, but it will make the rooms seem more open and less closed off.
Give information in a different format.
Digital information rules, but agents should give potential buyers as much printed information as possible. Don’t be hesitant to put a printed brochure or photo postcard into a buyer’s hands. There’s something about tangible, physical information that sticks with a buyer, and could later encourage a sale or referral.
It’s tough for buyers to know what a property looks like at different times of the year. Use photo boards or a laptop slideshow to show off a property in different seasons.
Do you have any cool Open House tricks and tips that you’ve picked up? We’d love to hear them! Share them with us in the comments section below! 🙂