Do you want to sell your home as quickly as possible? Are you searching for an efficient and effective way to market your home for sale? If so, an open house might be the best way for you to accomplish your goals. If you are interested in holding an open house, the following information can help you as you try to sell your home.
What is an Open House?
An open house is an excellent tool used by a real estate agent to market and sell your home quickly and efficiently. Open houses can attract large crowds of potential buyers and buyer’s agents who are interested in purchasing your home. Because the event is held at a scheduled time on a specific date, it is much easier to plan for the open house. It also places less stress on the homeowner because you have time to prepare. In addition, an open house is much less disruptive to your life and your families lives.
Following is a discussion about open houses, including the benefits of an open house, how to prepare for an open house, unique ideas for an open house, and holding a broker’s open house. We want to encourage you to use this information to learn more about how an open house can help you sell your home. We also encourage you to contact our office if you have additional questions or you want more information about real estate transactions.
Benefits of Having an Open House
As discussed above, an open house has many advantages. We mentioned that the scheduled event is less disruptive and allows for planning, but we did not explain why. First, the traditional showing where an agent brings a potential buyer to your home can occur with little notice. When you are trying to sell your home, you need to work around a potential buyer’s schedule. If you say no to a showing, the person may simply move on to the next property.
Therefore, you are always living on the edge as you wait for the call telling you that you need to be out of the house in a few hours for another showing. Constant interruptions in your life can be frustrating. In addition, attempting to keep your home in “perfect” condition can be extremely difficult, especially if you have small children.
However, with an open house, you set the date and time for the event with your realtor. You know in advance that you need to stage your home so that it appears “perfect” for potential buyers. In addition, you can plan to be away from home for the open house. If you have children, you can make plans for them so that you are not hanging out at a fast food restaurant or a mall for a couple of hours every few days.
In addition to being able to plan and prepare for the open house, other benefits of holding an open house include:
- Large crowds at an open house can increase interest in your home.
It can be challenging to convince a potential buyer that he or she should put in an offer quickly for the asking price because there is a great deal of interest in a home. The only person the individual has to trust is the real estate agent for the seller. Buyers are typically suspicious of the listing agent because they know that the listing agent also has a financial interest in selling the home.
However, during an open house, you can have large crowds of people moving throughout your home discussing what they like about the house. Everyone can see that others are interested in the home. Therefore, it can increase interest in your home, thereby resulting in a quick offer.
- Large crowds at an open house can increase the sales price for your home.
In addition to increasing interest in your home, an open house can encourage a bidding war. Buyers who are interested in your home may engage in a bidding war as they fight to secure a contract of sale. A bidding war benefits you because it increases the sales price of your home. Even if a bidding war does not occur, an open house can encourage a buyer to offer the list price to secure a contract before another person makes an offer.
- Staging for an open house can be more dramatic.
When you are planning for an open house, you can stage your home with specific goals in mind. For example, if you have a room that could be used for an office, but you have used it for storage, you can rent furniture from a company that specializes in staging to help people at the open house see the full potential of your house. In addition, you save money because you prepare your home once for showing to multiple people instead of staging for dozens of individual showings.
There are also benefits if you are a potential buyer attending an open house. First, you can spend several days attending multiple open houses at your convenience without trying to schedule appointments for each house you want to visit. Second, by attending multiple open houses, you can quickly compare and contrast features and prices.
Preparing for an Open House
One of the keys to a successful open house is the preparation for the open house. Because you want to impress a buyer and convince someone to make an offer for your home, you need to maximize the additional time you have to plan and prepare for the open house. Tips and tricks for a successful open house include:
- Clean and Declutter — It sounds simple, but a clean home without clutter sells much faster than a home full of clutter that does not sparkle from a deep cleaning. Therefore, before your open house, perform a deep cleaning in every area of your home. Do not forget walls, baseboards, ceilings, and curtains. Also, declutter each room. Clutter hides the aspects of your home that may appeal to a buyer. Pack up mementos and souvenirs now for moving to your new home.
- Clear Pathways — You may need to move some of your furniture to make it easier for people to move around your home. You want to stage your home with specific pieces of furniture; however, you do not want the furniture to hinder potential buyers from reaching all areas of your home. Your real estate agent can help you determine if you need to rearrange furniture or remove furniture from your home.
- Remove Personal Pictures and Items — Your personal items and family photographs make your house a “home,” but it can prevent potential buyers from seeing your house as their home. Put away personal items and family photographs. Instead, replace them with tasteful décor that enhances the anticultural beauty of your home.
- Self-Market Your Home — Your real estate agent will aggressively market and advertise the open house. However, you can also join in that effort by telling friends, family, and co-workers about your open house. You can also use social media to spread the word about the open house. The more people that know about the event, the more people that might attend the open house.
- Hide the Pets — If you have pets, remove all items in the house that broadcast this fact to potential buyers. While you may love your pets, others may not like the idea of pets living in the home. It may not make a difference, but it is better to err on the side of caution.
- Secure Expensive Items — We want to believe that everyone at an open house is attending for legitimate reasons. However, this is not always the case. Remove or secure your jewelry and other valuable items to avoid problems. Also, if you have items that have significant sentimental value, put those items away to prevent unintentional damage.
Your real estate agent will probably have other tips and suggestions for preparing for your open house. Working closely with your agent is the best way to have a successful open house. Your realtor has experience with these events; therefore, take advantage of this experience by following your realtor’s suggestions and instructions for an open house.
Also, it might be tempting to “sneak” into your own open house just to see how things are going. Do not give into the temptation. Let your real estate agent do her job and host the open house for you.
Unique Open House Ideas
In some cases, you might need to employ out-of-the-box ideas to increase interest in your open house. You want to attract as many people as possible to increase the chance you will receive an offer for your full list price or higher. Serving snacks and marketing the open house as more of a drop-in get together or party can help increase interest. However, to truly boost attendance, you might need to up the game.
Some unique open house ideas you might want to consider include:
- A Kid’s Carnival — If you are marketing your home for families, you might want to set up some small games and activities for children. You can also put together “goodie bags” for parents that include information about the community, including schools, libraries, recreational activities, and healthcare facilities.
- Hip and Young — If you are selling a home located in a trendy urban area, you might want to market the home toward the hip and young generation. Host a coffee bar or appetizer bar highlighting area restaurants. You may also want to host an art show by partnering with local galleries or artists.
- Vacation Home — Marketing your home as a second home can be a bit tricky. You might want to try a raffle with local businesses to attract more people to the open house. The free raffle highlights the area’s best businesses and attractions for individuals searching for a vacation home or investment property.
- Seniors and Retirees Empty Nest — Some couples are searching for a home to downsize after their kids move out. If your home is a bungalow or smaller home, you might want to highlight the area’s benefits for the elderly, such as community centers, health care, and other aspects that might appeal to seniors or retirees.
The point of the open house is not only to show the beauty and benefits of your home but to highlight the community. You can tailor the open house to target various individuals. However, you do not need to limit your open house to one set of potential buyers. You can prepare brochures or packets that highlight items of interest for each type of buyer.
For example, you could have a packet targeted to young couples, singles, parents, seniors, and investors. By preparing various packets or brochures, you are able to connect to each person who attends our open house, thereby increasing the chance that you will receive multiple offers for your home. The goal is to sell your home quickly for top dollar.
What is a Broker’s Open House?
In some cases, homeowners do not like the idea of an open house. Maybe they do not want a group of strangers wandering around their home, or they want to avoid noisy neighbors from attending the event. A broker’s open house might be a good compromise for these homeowners.
If you decide to hold a broker’s open house, your realtor will host other agents and brokers at the open house. The agents do not bring their clients. It is an opportunity for agents to see your home, so they can discuss it with clients they believe would be interested in your home.
A broker’s open house can generate interest in your home within the real estate community. It also gives your realtor the chance to speak with other agents about technical terms that many buyers may not be interested in, but brokers and agents are very interested in discussing.
If you have questions or want more information, we encourage you to contact our office to speak with a real estate professional.
Call The Wright Choice Team today at 804-307-2589 to tour available homes for sale in the Chesterfield County area.