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Hosting an Open House

In today's world where most buyers shop online and gather all the information they can until stepping into a property, an open house seems dated.

And there's a lot of truth to it - most serious buyers have an agent and would prefer a private showing.

However, open houses aren't a waste of time and can work well to sell a home. If your agent recommends hosting one, its worth your Sunday to give it a try!

Further, here are a few scenarios in which an open house could work marketing wonders: 

1. You've got a unique home 

Perhaps the house is unique for the neighborhood but shows really well. While buyers might not schedule a look because of stats online (for instance its a 2 bedroom house but an extra space you can't count as a bedroom works as a great guest area or office), they would be open to casually walking through on a Sunday because you are open and, honestly, who doesn't love seeing houses?!
The hope here is that when they actually step foot into the house, which they might not have done otherwise, they see the potential and appeal and put in an offer!

2. You are listing in the early Spring market 

If you are in an area with a lot of first time home buyers who might be getting out of a rental, you may have a pool of more casual lookers. While an open house doesn't change their purchasing timeline, if they step foot into a home and fall in love, it may push them to make some financial decisions (such as carrying rent and a mortgage) to get there.

3. Your neighborhood is special 

Obviously, a lot of people love where they live and feel its special, but if you have a highly networked neighborhood (such as an HOA with a lot of community events), consider hosting a neighborhood-only open house. This allows neighbors to feel welcome to walk-through and view your listing (particularly nice if there are multiple in your neighborhood) and spread the word to friends and family. Often, homeowners have one or two people who have commented to them in the past "If anything ever comes up in your neighborhood, let us know!". While they may not have any serious buyers right away, its potential free advertising, plus good will with the neighborhood!

4. You want to see some competition 

If you think you have a hot home, an open house is a great way of showing to all buyers how much traffic is on this listing. If you've ever been through an open house where you can barely get from one room to the next, the house might not show its best, but you'll be well aware that there will be multiple offers!

Similarly, if you have an investment property, hosting several opens instead of private showings can line up investors at the same time, showing interested parties that there are other potential buyers. e

Finally, a few tips on hosting an open house... 

1) Make sure its clean! Like really, really clean!
2) Light some candles or put out diffusers. Fresh baked cookies are lovely, but take a lot of time and could end up burning! Similarly, be careful what you make for dinner the night before or breakfast the day of!
3) Leave early so your agent can set up and give plenty of time afterwards before you come home for stragglers and more-interested parties.
4) Make sure to remove any valuables that could easily be pocketed or lock them up (this includes weapons and prescription drugs!). While most people who walk through your home are actually interested buyers, there is always the chance someone sees the open as an opportunity
5) If you haven't already, write a "Why We Love it Here" letter to potential buyers tell them about the reasons you as the seller have loved living there!


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