Tips for Hosting a Great Open House
So you‘re a real estate agent with a house you’re looking to sell. That’s great! But it’s not as simple as putting a For Sale sign on the front lawn. People know better than to judge a book by its cover, or a house by its exterior. That’s why you need to host an open house – so the public can view the house, ask questions, and provide their contact information.
But with so much riding on an open house, it’s best to know how to host a good one. Here are some tips every good real estate agent should follow.
Get the Word Out
Step one for any open house is always going to be advertising. After all, people aren’t mind-readers. So if you want people to attend, make sure to post about it. Real estate websites like Zillow are a must, but also consider posting about it on social media. If you have great photos of the house and property, consider posting them on Instagram. Make a public event on Facebook that people can RSVP to.
No matter where you post, just be sure there’s enough relevant information and gets people excited about the event. Dates, address, and times are a must, but also consider adding in information about where to park.
Clean the House
An open house should showcase the property at its best, so this is non-negotiable. Even if you don’t hire a service for a deep clean, at least vacuum for dust, sweep out the dirt, and give the bathroom a thorough cleaning. Dust bunnies and stains are a big no-no.
Something to keep in mind is that while you want the house to feel like a blank canvas that buyers can imagine their own belongings in, you don’t want the rooms completely empty. According to a study by the NAR, 49% of real estate agents have confirmed that how a home is staged has an effect on a buyer’s view of the home. So make sure you have quality furniture on display, but avoid personal items. Put the essentials in each room to set the stage (table and chairs in the dining room, couches and lamps in the living room, etc.) but keep the details minimal.
A good host knows how to make people feel welcome, and few things can top being offered beverages and snacks from the get-go. Consider finger food that can be purchased or made in bulk and that won’t make a mess.
For extra hosting points, seasonal drinks can be a great way to make buyers already feel at home. Fresh lemonade in the summer, hot apple cider in the fall, rich hot chocolate for winter, and sweet tea in the spring are all good options. If you’re feeling really fancy, consider having wine available and cheese or charcuterie boards that guests can pick off of.
Have Written Information to Hand Out
Potential buyers might be looking at multiple houses at once, so how do you make sure they remember yours? Or you might have so many people visiting that you worry not everyone’s questions will be answered. An efficient way to do this is to make a brochure or handouts detailing the features and assets of the house.
Get creative with this to make it both effective and memorable. Perhaps include a basic blueprint or map of the house noting key features of different rooms, or an FAQ list. This way potential buyers can reference things easily and you won’t have to answer the same questions over and over.