In real estate, an open house is a scheduled period during which an owner puts up his home or property for sale, allowing potential buyers to view it. In earlier days, homeowners only placed large signs outside the home or along the street to announce the home was available for sale. Today, with the growing penetration of the internet, open houses are just a click away. A smartphone app can find open houses near me and also help to view their sale prices. It is all about you, the real estate agent, and the stager who
combine efforts to prepare the house for maximum open attendance. An open house done correctly will sell the property faster, and at a better price.
As per the 2020 National Association of Realtors (NAR), 52% of buyers found the home they purchased listed on the internet, 29% through real estate agents, and only 6% through a yard sign/open house sign. It means an open house event needs to be backed by the power of the internet. The realtor and homeowner will require to enlist the open house dates on multi-listing services like Realtor, Trulia, and Zillow and even post it on Social Media platforms like FB and Instagram. One can also share the listing on WhatsApp. NAR also states, the top 3 tech tools that have given the highest quality of leads are – social media at 47%, MLS site at 32%, brokerage’s website and listing aggregator site, both at 29%.
How to hold the perfect open house.
- Appoint a professional stager to prepare the home for the open house:
First impressions count. The landscaping and main entrance leading to the house need to be appealing and inviting. It is time to find a professional stager near me or reach out to one of the best home staging
companies of 2021. The home stager will help to: –
* Clean the property
The property has to be in pristine condition for an open house. Home stagers handle regular cleaning, deep cleaning, window cleaning, and carpet shampooing.
* Get rid of clutter
If the house has too many pieces of furniture or personal belongings, the stager can help to transport them to a warehouse to declutter the space.
* Give it a fresh look
Stagers are professionals who aim to provide a look and feel to a home to help sell it faster and at a better price. They bring the latest furniture and fixtures to highlight the features of the home. A stager can make any home look fresh by using various staging styles like mid-century, contemporary, and more.
* Take care of small details
A home stager will take care of the finer details. He/she will place fresh napkins and soap dishes in the bathroom or a dummy laptop on the work table. This not only adds to the appeal but helps a potential
buyer to envision the exact utility of every space. Stagers also ensure there are no leaking faucets or dirty shower curtains. They open up the drapes/shades to allow natural light into the home.
* Spruce the exteriors
Home stagers pay attention to landscaping, exterior paint, swimming pool areas, backyards, clearing the driveway, and placing the signs for an open house.
* Provide photographs and videos
The best home stagers in 2021 are aware that a homeowner needs professionally clicked pictures and videos to post on various online platforms. That will attract more footfalls and increase the percentage of potential homebuyers visiting the property. Today most of the top-stagers in California and other cities in the US are providing still photographs, virtual tour videos, 360 degree videos, matterport videos, and drone
aerial videos. A well-done video of your home serves as a virtual open house.
2. Advertise the Open House
The power of the internet has left word-of-mouth advertising far behind. Your real estate agent must help you to post your home on several online platforms. Upload/enlist the property and open house dates on the most popular social media platforms, on MLS sites, and on the real estate agent’s portal. You have to garner maximum mileage. Remember to have good quality photographs and relevant hashtags to reach the right audience. Advertise in the local community newsletter, distribute handouts, or post your open house dates on a popular store bulletin board, to get it noticed. You can even use WhatsApp or emails to inform people that the home is up for sale. Do not leave any stone unturned to advertise the open house.
On the day of the open house that is most probably a Sunday, do ensure that your real estate agent has put up strategically mapped signs around the neighborhood. After finding your home and shortlisting it on the internet, you definitely want the potential buyer to find his/her way as easily to the open house event.
3. Provide an informative tour
Information is crucial. At an open house, the potential buyer may have several questions after he/she views the property. From enquiring on the basement to finding out about schools close by, the buyer may ask any questions. Always be prepared with the right information. Most real agents who work in the area are well-informed. Sometimes the real estate agent who has listed the home will provide additional information for prospective buyers to take with them, like home finance options, flyers with photos of the property, and contact details. This way, the potential buyer can deliberate on the property and immediately reach out when ready to put in an offer.
4. Serve those cookies
Earlier the aroma of freshly baked cookies floated through the home to entice the potential buyer. Well, not exactly. It was never about winning over a potential buyer with your baking skills or with the sweet aroma of baked cookies. Offering the cookies or a fresh glass of lemonade allowed time for meaningful interaction between the real estate agent/homeowner and potential buyer. The more time you spend with your visitors, it helps you to find out what they are looking for and, and even to show them how the home fits their requirements. At an open house, you also receive feedback about the price and features of the home. That is the most valuable takeaway from an open house event.
5. Be prepared with the paperwork
A well-staged home in a nice neighborhood starts to receive offers either on the day of the open house or soon after. It is extremely important to be prepared with the paperwork. You and your agent must clearly set out documents pertaining to the house beforehand to avoid any delays in providing them to potential buyers. Documents like blueprints allowing any expansions, the latest inspection reports, and evidence of major repairs, and warranties will surely help to hasten the decision-making process.
Who should host an open house?
The first few questions that come to mind today are — how are houses selling during COVID-19, are homes selling right now, what are the open house benefits, what is the average open house attendance?
An open house event is perfect for a home that is located in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. When competition among buyers is fierce, it is an added advantage to make your home look unique and stand out among others in the neighborhood. Open houses in San Fransisco, in New Jersey, and other parts are trending in American real estate.
Homes that are walking-distance to local shops, restaurants and other facilities also attract more visitors to an open house event. More the interest in your home, better your bargaining power and offers on the property. Though it is all about location, location, and location, you have to remember that your property looks presentable, is priced correctly. Also, choose the right time and day to host an open house. 75 percent of real estate agents chose Sunday as the best day to host an open house.
In April 2020, Realtor.com released a new feature on its website, allowing homebuyers to attend an open house in real time without leaving their couches. Livestream open houses are a step forward from the traditional open houses. These open houses are scheduled in advance and broadcasted live, allowing agents to interact with the homebuyers.
When Not to Hold an Open House
In some cases, an open house may not be the best option to sell your property. It is advisable you speak to a local real estate agent who can guide you on this. An open house is not worthwhile –
- When there are already too many homes up for sale in the same locality.
- Most homes in the neighborhood look very alike.
- On days when the weather is not outdoor-friendly.
- The home is a fixer-upper and needs a lot of work to look presentable.
- The property is too far away from town.
- You /your agent are not able to give one-to-one attention to potential buyers.
The open house does have its advantages and disadvantages. If done correctly, there is no reason for your home not to sell fast and at a higher price. Even with technological advances, open house events continue to grow. It is mainly because most homeowners want to get the real feel of the property and the area.
They are not ready to base their buying decision on a mere virtual tour. Get the right mix of social media, MLS site, real estate broker’s website, and listing aggregator site to make your open house a success. With 5.34 million lived-in homes sold in 2019, there is reason to doubt a close number of open houses must be hosted.