Open house is one of the most important steps in the home selling process. An effective open house generates interest and moves potential buyers closer towards making an offer.
You’ve probably been to an open house or two and understand that the experience can make or break your interest in the home. Now that you’re on the other side of the process, you’re going to want some actionable advice from those in the know.
If you’re selling your Boise home, here are 5 tips for holding a successful open house.
90% of home buyers start their search online. That means you need to meet them there. Once you (or your agent) has listed your home for sale on all the major channels, including Realtor, Zillow, Redfin and the MLS, you can use these listings to announce your open house. In addition to your own availability, keep in mind that open houses are commonly held on weekends and non-holiday Sundays.
They say picture is worth a 1,000 words and that goes that’s especially true online. Browse the for-sale listings in your area and note the kinds of photos that make you want to visit the property. Buyers appreciate pictures of homes taken at different times of the year. If you’re holding open house in the winter, be sure to include high-quality photos of your spring garden in full bloom. surroundings of a home are just as important as what is inside of it!
Only use high-resolution images for your listings. If you need to borrow a friend’s camera or hire a professional, do it! Nobody wants to come to a low-res open house.
Make a first impression
If potential buyers get lost, or are unable find parking, they’re not going to stop by! Direct them to your open house with signs throughout your neighborhood and in the front lawn. You may want to test your own GPS map search from several points around town or at freeway exits to get an idea about where they’ll be arriving from. Provide instructions about where to park if you anticipate overflow or confusion. On the big day, make sure all of your cars are out of the driveway and notify your neighbors ahead of time. If they’re nice, they’ll move their cars from nearby curbs to make room for visitors.
Curb appeal is real. Open house starts as soon as they turn the corner and get that first view of the property. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a great impression! Freshen up the yard, put away trash cans and turn on porch lights. Create a welcoming entrance by slapping a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
As they enter, be polite but professional and make introductions with each buyer. Make a mental note about what they’re looking for so you can point out specific features that meet their needs during the walk-through. Never keep people waiting in the entryway. They’re excited to see the home so get them moving along immediately.
Let there be light and fresh air
Cleaning and staging for open house is optimized with attention to detail. Remove anything obstructing natural light such as drapes, blinds or shutters. If the sun is coming in particularly strong through windows, remember that buyers will only be in rooms for a few minutes. It’s best to keep the curtains open. If your home has dark accents or furniture, utilize indoor lighting to brighten things up. Soft lit lamps create warmth and openness. A good rule of thumb is: if there’s a light bulb, let it be lit. Experts advise turning on anything that’s plugged in.
Air fresheners or purifiers are not recommended for open house.There’s no telling what scent, however lovely it is to you, will be obnoxious to a potential buyer. Whatever unpleasant odor you’re trying to hide, it’s worth your time and money to get it professionally removed. If necessary, open a window.
Give them something to keep
Delicious snacks are pretty much expected at open house these days. Deciding what to offer can be tricky. At the very least, you should know the ingredients of what you offer in preparation for folks with allergies or dietary restrictions. While you can’t please them all, a nut-free, gluten-free treat might be your best bet. Refreshments should be water or other clear drinks. This saves you from the potential trouble of scrubbing out dark colored soda stains between showings.
It’s also nice to give prospective buyers something they can take home and consider later. Passing out property description sheets to everyone on their way out is an effective gesture. Bare minimum, it should include asking price, square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and any special features. A brief description about the neighborhood is recommended and maybe a short list of shops, parks and restaurants nearby.
You can hold a great open house but that doesn’t mean someone is going to make an offer that day. Nonetheless, prepare for that possibility by arranging for a loan officer to be in attendance in case an interested buyer wants to pre-qualify for a loan immediately.
Following up with buyers begins before they leave. Rather than relying on your follow-up call, it’s important to make contacts during open house. If a visitor expressed any interest, set up a second appointment on the spot. Don’t be afraid to be persistent. If they won’t commit, ask for their contact information to keep in touch.
After every showing, jot down a few notes about everyone you met. For example: Jan Smith, stay-at-home mom, needs office space, or, Bob Doe, Boise resident, had questions about kitchen remodel. These details give you something personal and helpful to mention when you reach out later.
Open house is just a piece of the intricate process of selling a house. If you are looking for alternatives to all the work, get in touch with us at Treasure Valley Property Solutions. We buy houses fast and can give you an offer for as-is homes.