Now that Open Houses are back on as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decrease, it’s a great time to jog our memory on how to host a successful one.
An Open House is a crucial part of selling a home, as it gives buyers an opportunity to view the home and creates a sense of urgency and motivation. It’s one of the first tasks a seller must prepare for, with guidance from their real estate agent.
Both the seller and the agent should follow these steps to ensure the maximum number of people view and are impressed by the home, and to increase the chance of it selling quickly + for top dollar. The more successful the Open House, the more likely the seller will receive an offer.
The Seller Should:
- Freshen Up Curb Appeal- The buyer’s first impression of the home is the exterior. Freshening up the landscaping and paint can help boost your curb appeal to make a great first impression. The seller should also make sure to power wash and clean all walkways and driveways and move cars and trash cans away from the front of the home.
- Clean and Stage- The property needs to be in pristine condition on the day of the Open House. Make sure to get your carpets cleaned, wash the windows, wipe all of the counters, remove any and all dust, declutter, and have all toilet seats down. Hiring a professional cleaning company is recommended to have your home looking flawless. Consider having your home staged to make it the best on the block.
- Remove Pets- Animals shouldn’t be seen, heard, or smelt during an Open House. If they can’t spend the day with a relative or at an alternative location, try to confine them to areas of the least traffic during the Open House.
- Brighten the Space- Make sure to turn all of the lights on in the home and open all blinds and curtains. You want the home to feel as light and bright as possible.
- Protect/Remove Personal Items- Lock up any valuables and remove personal items. Homebuyers want to visualize your home as their own, which can be difficult if there are pictures of relatives hung on the walls and children’s artwork hung on the fridge.
The Agent Should:
- Spread the Word- The Realtor should make sure the Open House is promoted across multiple marketing outlets, on all major real estate portals, social media, and digital and print ads. Realtors may even promote the Open House to neighbors with flyers and door hangers to generate verbal buzz throughout your neighborhood. Even if your neighbors aren’t in the market to buy a home, they may know someone who is. Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing strategy that even the seller can partake in.
- Put up Signs- The Realtor should further generate buzz of the upcoming Open House by placing a “Coming Soon” sign in your yard prior to the Open House. On the day of the Open House, the Realtor should strategically place Open House signs in front of your home and on surrounding streets and intersections.
- Provide Information- Your Realtor should never host an Open House empty handed. They should have materials such as a property brochure or flyer with photos, selling points, schools zoned for the area, and community information. It is also recommended to have a lender present to provide information on payments. If the buyer leaves empty-handed, they are much less likely to remember your home out of all the other ones they tour.
- Host- The Realtor should host the Open House, not the seller. Buyers may feel slightly uncomfortable or restricted with their feedback if the seller is present out of fear of offending them. Your Realtor will be well-versed in how to professionally and best answer any questions the buyer might have.
- Discuss Feedback- A valuable take-away from hosting an Open House is feedback. Your realtor should collect contact information from everyone who visited the house to see what they thought of the home afterwards. If a majority of the buyers thought the home was over-priced or needed certain features updated, it’s more than likely true. This information can be used to discuss and decide what the next step is to ensure your home sells.
Both the seller and agent should also follow the necessary precautions before, during, and after the Open House to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. To read more about the COVID-19 health precautions Bob Lucido Team is taking, click here.
If you’re looking to get your home sold quickly + for top dollar, call 410.465.600 or email Bob@boblucidoteam.com!