4 Tips for Hosting an Effective Open House
If you're thinking of hosting an open house, you may be wondering if it's the right next step for your home sale. The COVID pandemic had a temporary impact on open houses as a whole. While virtual tours were already on the rise in the industry, videos took over the role of open houses these past few years. Their ability to accurately represent a property while keeping interested parties safe from illness made them the most popular alternative to the traditional open house. Fast forward to today, and we’re witnessing the remarriage of technology and in-person open houses.
An open house can be a prime opportunity to expand on the first impression your home sale listing made online. It's your chance to prove that the welcoming, shiny home in the online listing is true-to-life and ready for a new owner to call it home.
An open house might be a good idea if:
- You live in a unique home different from others in the surrounding area.
- You live in a high demand area.
But how? Like most things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about hosting an open house.
1) Be sociable, but keep your distance.
If you’ve hired a real estate agent to sell your home, it’s best to leave and let them handle the open house. But if you’re doing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), you should be present and personable at your open house. Warmly welcome each guest and chat with them. Share what you can about the property, but give them space to walk around and envision themselves in the home.
Photo from Canva
If you can, get feedback from each guest. Getting an outside perspective might help you improve things you missed before listing your home and help you host an even better open house should you do it again.
- Never do an open house solo. Whether you're using a real estate agent or selling your home as a FSBO, have at least one other person in the house, ideally one person for each level of the home. This will help with safety and security of belongings, along with being available to give facts about the home or answer questions.
- Have a sign-in sheet to collect attendees names, emails, and phone numbers.
- If you prefer people to take off their shoes, make a sign and have a basket of booties guests can use should they feel uncomfortable removing their shoes.
Get more tips: Top 5 DON'TS for an Open House.
2) Create an info sheet for home shoppers.
There’s a chance you won’t be able to speak to everyone who decides to drop by your house. Save the sales pitch for another day and offer facts about the property in a packet they can take home. Creating an info sheet for home shoppers to peruse on their own time allows them the freedom to be present and soak in the details of your home before leaving.
An info sheet should include:
- Home's address
- Asking price
- Contact information
- Additional maintenance or HOA fees
- Real estate taxes
- Year home was built
- Total square footage
- The number of bedrooms/bathrooms
- Appliances that are included
- Any updates, replacements, and the date it was done (roof, plumbing, AC)
- Special features
- Descriptions of what’s nearby
- School information
3) Stage, stage, stage!
Home staging shouldn’t be too unfamiliar at this point since you likely perfected your home before listing it online. But remember, it’s just as important to stage your home for an open house as it is for photos. And now, with people entering your home, you need to take it a step further and remove excess clutter that you may (or may not have!) shifted while catching the perfect shot of your kitchen.
Photo from Canva
Tips for staging your home for an open house:
- Fix what’s broken.
- Clean like you’ve never cleaned before.
- Freshen up paint.
- Clean or replace the carpet.
- Remove pets from the home.
- Arrange furniture to make the rooms feel larger.
- Remove high-value items and medications.
Tip: Along with removing valuables, put away small items that could be picked up by children.
More help for staging your home:
4) Shout it from the rooftops.
Well, shouting might come across a little aggressive and desperate, but these days you don’t have to scream at the top of your lungs to be heard. Social media and even good old-fashioned yard signs and flyers are a great way to get your open house out in front of the masses.
Photo from Canva
Here are a few examples:
- Add your open house to your MilitaryByOwner ad. We advertise weekend open houses on our social media accounts and open house page on our website!
- Create Facebook and Instagram live videos.
- Advertise on Facebook Marketplace.
- Post your open house on Facebook. Use hashtags like #homebuying, #homeselling, #openhouse, #realestate, #curbappeal, #househunting, #location.
- Share in your Facebook groups to catch the attention of other PCSing military families.
If you’re working with a real estate agent, your options may expand to MLS, Nextdoor, Realtor.com, and your real estate agent’s website or blog.
Although open houses can stretch your comfort zone (as you allow strangers to step foot inside your home often does), they can be a valuable tool when you’re trying to seal the deal. When done right, you might just leave the right person with a lasting impression of your home.
Ready to get your home online and in front of potential buyers? Take a look at MilitaryByOwner's advertising packages to see which one is right for you!