Let’s face it … selling your home can sometimes be a bit of a drag. And your open house can be a stressful event, no matter how many times you have opened up your home to onlookers in the past. Just how much do you need to clean beforehand? Does your furniture make your rooms appear too cluttered? If your home is empty, should you consider professionally staging your rooms? Should you serve food? If so, what should you serve?
Which brings us to a whole other battery of questions. Who should you invite? Where should you post signs? What are the best places to promote and market your open house? Is there anything else you could be doing to boost attendance?
With these questions in mind, let’s take a look at a few tried and true, as well as some new and innovative, open house ideas to help you boost your attendance.
If you take a look around at any open house, you will likely see most of the attendees with their cell phones out and in hand, taking pictures throughout the house to help jog their memory after they leave. They will also likely be trying to take down as much relevant information as they can, to compare to other houses that they may be considering. Why not give them a hand and take some of the work off their plate?
Creating a unique website for your property does just that. Part of a good real estate marketing strategy should include a website with various pictures of each room, as well as pertinent information that the homeowner can use in their search (school zones, neighborhood info, etc).
Consider reaching out to other sellers in the neighborhood, whether FSBO sellers or real estate agents, to coordinate some sort of “open house weekend” or event. It may sound counterintuitive to want other available houses showcased at the same time as yours, but hear us out. Having multiple offerings of homes that are available for sale within a close proximity will actually increase foot traffic and turnout - meaning more prospective buyers for you!
One of the newer players in the real estate game, OpenHouseDay.com is a brand new technology - your one stop shop for all things related to open houses. Prospective homebuyers can visit one site, and quickly find a plethora of open houses on their selected dates and within their desired areas. Visitors to this site are serious and qualified - just the audience you’re searching for. Also, advertising on OHD provides you with an added level of security and confidence, with a list of pre-registered attendees.
Often times, prospective buyers will say that they have a hard time visualizing how rooms could be used. Play up specific features of your house, and show your prospective buyers how your rooms can best be used. For instance, showcase a square guest or bonus room with contemporary and sleek office furniture.
This includes a mortgage loan breakdown (so that prospective buyers fully understand the potential costs of buying your home), a glossary or summary of key home ownership terms (you would be surprised how quickly this information slips the mind of prospective home buyers who have been out of the market for a few years!), and neighborhood information.
You will still want to market your open house the old fashioned way, including an ad in your local newspapers. Don’t forget to put up open house locator signs along nearby streets with heavier traffic, directing prospective homebuyers to view the house. Also, particularly if you live in a heavily transient area, consider marketing your open house out of the area, as well.
A week or so before your scheduled open house, consider hosting another open house - for agents only. This will help familiarize agents with your property, and will give them time to inform their clients. At this open house, make sure that you have all relevant neighborhood information readily available for the agents. This includes everything from nearby schools to homeowner’s association fees and dues.
The expression “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” exists for a simple reason -- because it’s true. Prospective homebuyers tend to make snap decisions on whether or not they can see themselves living in your home very quickly. Increasing the curb appeal of your home will, in turn, increase the likelihood that prospective buyers will be interested in your home. Freshen up the paint on your front door, replace any outdated lighting, and plant a few colorful plants.
Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 people don’t like heavily scented products? Chances are, this isn’t something that you’ve really even considered when planning your open house. Cater to those with a sensitive nose by keeping any scents in your home light and neutral.
It is a good practice to collect email addresses as soon as prospective buyers walk through the door. It is important, however, that you not bombard or hassle your potential buyers with heavy-handed advertisements; rather, use the email as a fantastic opportunity to connect with your prospective buyers, reinforcing the positive points of your property.
If you are in the market to sell your home, don’t forget to list your open house on OpenHouseDay.com. OHD is Southern California’s newest and most efficient way for prospective homebuyers to find open houses that meet all of their criteria within their favorite neighborhoods. Register online or contact a member of our team to get started today!