There’s a never-ending debate about the effectiveness of hosting an open house when you’ve decided to list your home for sale. According to a 2015 survey by the National Association of Realtors, only 8% of home buyers found the home they ultimately purchased through a yard or open house sign. Still, when you’ve decided to go “For Sale By Owner,” hosting an open house can provide flexibility for showing the property if weekday appointments don’t fit your schedule, and can generate word of mouth interest when attendees talk about your home. How can you host a successful open house event and find the buyer of your dreams?
To understand how to create a winning event, it pays to have an idea of the challenges that may be involved. First, many people that are seriously searching for homes are working with realtors, and as soon as a listing goes “live,” it is shared by agents with their buyers. By the time most open houses are scheduled, serious buyers have already seen the listing and will either have passed on it or will have visited. Also, preparing, marketing, and showing a home takes time, and will require some research to beat out the nearby competition in homes with similar locations, sizes, layouts, and conditions. How can you make sure your open house is a hit?
It helps to know what other properties are listed and to have an idea of how other sellers are marketing their properties. It’s a great idea to visit other open houses in your neighborhood and to get an idea of how they’re staged, how they’re promoted, and what features are played up during the event. Also, setting up your open house on a Sunday, when others are being held nearby, can increase visits to your event by piggybacking on the foot traffic generated.
Over 50% of buyers find the house they’ll purchase in an online search, so begin promoting your home about a week or so before the event. Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist allow you to make free listings for your open house, and details can also be shared over social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Also, never underestimate the power of a yard sign. Make anywhere between 20 and 40 signs to guide potential buyers to your address, and make yourself a map of where the signs are placed for easy collection after the event.
Many internet savvy buyers have already done a lot of research about your property, and it won’t look like the house is well maintained if they have answers to questions you don’t, like when a permit was last issued for an improvement. Create a description sheet for all attendees after researching your property on real estate sites and also your local tax/property assessor’s site. Include information like your contact info, square footage, taxes, maintenance or HOA fees, included fixtures or appliances, special features, recent upgrades, nearby amenities, and interior and exterior photos.
The most important thing for buyers to see in your home is themselves, and that will be hard for them to do if your home is personalized with clutter and an eclectic mix of furnishings, framed photos of your children or pets, or if it’s organized in an odd or particular way. Your home needs to be neutral, spotless, and clutter free—dirty, messy, or damaged homes get lowball offers or none at all. Make smart improvements and arrangements in the home that will keep you up to the standard expected for the neighborhood.
Selling a home can be a daunting task, and you owe it to yourself to explore every option. The highly trained agents at Win Win Fast Property Solutions can assist in offers for any type of traditional or distressed property, specialize in short sale approval assistance, and can purchase anything from single families and multi-families to condos and townhomes. Contact us today for a fair, customized offer and a fast closing!