Guide to Having the Best Open House on the Block!
1) GET PREPARED
The reason a seller wants an open house is to SELL THE HOUSE! (Ugly Secret: your agents goal may not be to sell the property, but instead to look for buyers for other properties) You need to make sure as many PEOPLE as possible know when the open house will be held, and that the house looks the best it can. Find out about local laws that impact your open house, like sign rules. First, everything should be absolutely positively SPARKLING CLEAN. Make sure CLOSETS are organized and not overstuffed. Yes, I know it's a total pain to MOW the yard and DECLUTTER the counter, but the truth is that you want to make it easy for BUYERS to say I WANT TO LIVE HERE!
When is the best day to hold an open house? It really depends on where you live, and who is likely to be buying your home. In a high-density urban area, it may makes more sense to hold it in the evening as people get home from work. For single family homes, it probably makes more sense to hold it on Saturday or Sunday in the afternoon. However, there are exceptions, I know one agent who held an open house just for people on their way to pick up their kids from the local school. Schedule the open house based on what works best for your circumstances.
Holding an open house without advertising it is like serving pancakes without syrup. Sure, a few people may come by, but you want as MANY as possible. Knock on the doors of the closest 25-50 homes. Invite them over! Then pay to advertise it on Social Media. On the day of the event, attract passers by using directional SIGNS, banners and balloons.
4) DAY OF THE OPEN HOUSE
If you live in a gated community, alert the guard or station someone at the gate to ensure that everyone can get in easily. Give out flyers with the important information regarding the property - price, square footage, photos. Make sure you highlight the best features of both the HOME and the NEIGHBORHOOD. Have pens and notepads so buyers can take down their thoughts as they walk through. Put a WELCOME sign on the front door. Bake some COOKIES to ensure that the property smells great. If you have pets, find them a place to hang out for the day. Also, because people like to speak freely, it's better for the OWNER to also be gone for the day. REMOVE valuables and prescription medicines (Because even the best agent cannot supervise folks in the bathroom, the drug cabinet is particularly vulnerable). Add touches of luxury in unexpected places - a fresh flower in a vase, infused water on the patio, lovely music playing quietly in the background. Little details can enhance the EXPERIENCE without costing much money. Ask agents and buyers to SIGN-IN.
The day after the event, follow up with everyone who signed up. Ask if they have any questions, and hopefully see if they are making an OFFER. If they aren't making an offer, ask for FEEDBACK on what is holding them back. This is the OPPORTUNITY to learn what real people think of the property, so be prepared to address the negative issues. Regarding PRICE, remember that BUYERS always want to pay less and SELLERS always want to receive MORE. However, if more than 10 people have seen the property, and you haven't received any offers, it may be time to lower the price.