Your house is fresh on the market in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country and you know that competition among buyers is going to be fierce. You know the home will need to be shown — and probably even have a virtual tour given today’s environment. But are you ready for your open house?
You might believe that regular showings would be adequate. They definitely involve fewer hassles and strangers shuffling around your home. But in special cases, an open house may bring the perfect buyer to the table. Or, best case scenario, it could drum up enough interest in your home to spark a bidding war.
But for it to do all of that, you have to host your open house the right way. Here are some essential tips to put together a memorable open house that will have prospective buyers pouring in and making offers.
First, you should schedule your open house on an ideal day. Conventional wisdom tells us weekends are the best days to host an open house because you won’t be competing with workweek or family activities. But weekdays can also work well if you choose hours conducive to the buyer’s lifestyle and schedule. 75 parent of real estate agents chose Sunday as the best day to host an open house, but Saturdays are just as critical. The other important factor in the success of your open house is the time of day you hold the showing. Late morning to mid-afternoon are typically good times.
Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere
Sellers should not be home during the open house, and all pets should also be away during the event. If your vehicles have to be at the home during the open house, at least remove all cars from the driveway. Ask your neighbors to help out as well by freeing up the street space and not parking in front of your house.
You’ll want to create an atmosphere filled with airiness and light. Open all the drapes, blinds, and window coverings. Turn on every lamp and overhead fixture. No, this won’t expose all of the flaws in your home, it will make your open house feel hospitable and show you have nothing to hide.
Food can put buyers in a good mood. Serve refreshments and snacks or, if budget permits, even a catered lunch.
Scent might sell, but stay away from synthetic odors. Definitely do not use an air freshener, though the smell of fresh-baked cookies is always welcome. Legend has it, the smell of baking makes buyers feel at home. Why not try it?
While on the topic of senses, sound can be pleasing as well. Consider playing soft generic music throughout the house.
Making Sure the House is Ready to Be Seen
Prepare the house just as you would for an individual showing by making sure that exteriors and interiors are freshened up and clean. The home will show best if the house has curb appeal and the inside of the home is decluttered and depersonalized. Allow prospective buyers to imaging themselves living in the home, so put away any family photos or other personal effects. This is also important for security purposes.
Depending on your own furniture situation, you may consider having the house staged. Most people are visual and will have a hard time trying to imagine how a space will look with different furniture in it. So why not offer your visitors fresh staging, or even staged images that show how that extra room will look as an office, a nursery, or a family game room?
Displaying House Info
Some agents find that printing up key slides and visuals and placing them around the home can be very helpful. As a prospective buyer tours the home they will come across these insightful pieces of information and be reminded of all of the wonderful features of your home.
An extra and appreciated step would be to display seasonal house photographs so that buyers can see what the home and its grounds would look like during various times of the year.
Make sure to provide some printed information about the home and neighborhood, like an informative Buyer’s Guide, as well as a way to capture each visitor’s contact information for follow up.
If you’ve followed these tips and marketed your open house well, you’ll surely be ready to hold a stellar event that attracts prospective buyers and gets your house sold!