-Was Your Open House Run Correctly!?
Short Answer Checklist:
If you’re in a rush and have just had an open house you aren’t certain ran successfully or you’re in your home right now while the open house is going on and it’s feeling lacking; below is straight to the point a cheat sheet to review your agent on how well they ran your open house.
- Did your Agent arrive at least an hour early?
- Were your neighbors invited to your open house?
- Do you see snacks and beverages available to your visitors?
- Was a window dressing plan drawn out and executed?
- Was a marketing plan drawn out and executed?
- Was your agent pro-active?
- Was the gate open?
- Are you there for the open house? Why?
- Did you get a report on how the open went?
- Did you agree on presentation limits (are your valuables packed away)?
If you have more time before your open house or you’re just planning for the event; below is detailed reasoning for why the above points are so important to giving your property the best chance on the market.
Why run an open house in the first place?
A successful open house is the best real estate tool when it comes to generating tangible exposure, period. Let’s break that down.
There are essentially 2 ways of advertising your property to the market; tangibly or virtually.
-Virtual marketing is any form of marketing that doesn’t involve the audience to physically experience the property.
Flyers, ads, videos, word of mouth, virtual tours, photos, digital marketing, listings, etc – are all forms of virtual marketing.
-Tangible marketing occurs when the audience is physically present at the property.
Open houses and private showings are forms of tangible marketing.
Virtual marketing is a faster and easier way to generate interest and inform the public that your home is on the market.
Tangible marketing is a more effective way of turning interested in action and getting an offer for your home.
A private showing typically involves a qualified buyer who more often than not has an interest in buying.
An open house might include unqualified buyers who are just curious but a successful open house with many people can produce an instant pool of qualified buyers and offers who will now compete for your home in a bidding war that benefits you.
The Detailed Open House Checklist
The name of the game is Convenience, Comfort and
1. Did your Agent arrive at least an hour early?
From the side of a potential buyer, buying a home is a long and high-risk experience to which a lot of money is potentially on the line. The home of their dreams is only as desirable as the experience it will take to get it.
If a buyer comes to an unorganized and unprepared open house where the agent isn’t there before them, it will automatically present an air of unprofessionalism if the buyer was to decide to make an offer.
On the long list of things that need to go smoothly to selling a house, the ball shouldn’t be dropped because of coming late.
2. Were your neighbors invited to your open house?
You never know who the closest people around you could know; it just might be a friend of a cousin who is looking to relocate to a nice neighborhood just like where they live.
Inviting the neighbors to your open house could turn out to be a diamond mine right under your feet and even if your neighbors just come because they’re a bit nosey to look around your home or get free snacks, they provide another massive advantage.
They easily fill up your open house. It’s more likely that more of your neighbors will make it to your open house than outside prospects but for an outside prospect, coming to a house full of people (neighbors or not) encourages urgency and a potential higher bid.
3. Do you see snacks?
At an open house, snacks can be the difference between losing an audience after 30 minutes or having them stay for 2 hours.
This is the rule: The longer people stay the better it is for you and your property. Numbers signify desire and interest and interest and desire stimulate action.
Let’s say 6 people come to your open house that runs for 3 hours in differing situations
Situation A: 1 person comes and leaves every 30 minutes (they got hungry) – (6 in total, 1 at a single point in time).
Situation B: 1 person comes every 30 minutes and stays for an hour and a half (6 people in total, 3 at one time after 1 and a half hours).
Situation B is more desirable because it’s a more competitive environment for your property. Don’t lose people because they got hungry.
4. Was a window dressing plan drawn out and executed?
What exactly is a ‘window dressing’ plan? It’s the agreed-upon method of presentation of your property before an open house.
It can be as basic as just sprucing up your house as it – cleaning furniture, making beds, packing away clutter, etc.
Or it can be extensive- bringing in faux furniture that wasn’t there before to make it easier for visitors to see the potential of your home; additional outdoor furniture, differing use of space, additional modern indoor furniture, etc.
Window dressing is making your home as admirable as possible for visitors.
PS – Open Your Curtains and Turn On Your Lights; it’s seriously a game-changer.
5. Was a marketing plan drawn out and executed?
When selling a home, few things are more demoralizing than having no one pitch up. This can happen occasionally on its own accord with no real fault to anyone but having and implementing an effective marketing plan makes such cases the exception and not the rule.
A marketing plan will detail how exactly the open house will be advertised to the public which can and should include your neighbors as mentioned in point 2.
Possible avenues of advertising include, the agent and broker website, social media pages, paid advertising, posters, signs, signs and more signs, private invitations, broadcast messages and almost anything else you can imagine to get the word out.
A marketing plan should be executed at least a week in advance of the actual open house.
6. Was your agent proactive (When necessary)
It’s a delicate balance for your agent at your open house. Some people want to be left alone to explore, some want a general tour with others around and some want a private tour at a public open house.
Being effectively proactive at an open house has to do with being there for exactly what the visitor wants while gently probing to get the necessary information that will help you understand changes that may need to be made.
Logging what people at the open house liked, loved, disliked and loathed can present the key to selling your home faster and at a higher price.
7. Was the gate open?
An often neglected and crucial aspect of an open house is making accessibility as simple and easy as possible. You want to be as obnoxiously visible as law permits; a good mood makes your home look nicer just as bad mood makes it looks worse. Nothing dampens a mood like getting lost.
Have signs outside your property to inform people that they’ve arrived, make your gate number more visible, send them directions on Google maps or draw them a physical map your home is in a secluded section of your neighborhood, make sure your sign invites people to come in and above all else; make sure your gate is open
Now that we’ve finished with the crucial elements of the open house, here are a few bonus fast considerations to keep in mind to make sure the day starts, runs and ends well
♦ – Are you there for the open house? Why?
Sometimes, it’s great if you as the owner are there for the open-house if you’re aware that you’re an accommodating person and have information that could bolster interest in your home.
More often than not though, it’s best to leave everything to your agent and leave your home with your spouse, kids, and pets. This is for 2 reasons:
Firstly, it’s more than likely that you have nothing to offer to the event; if your agent has done his homework as stated above – he should be more than enough to take care of anything and everything that’s needed to make your home look amazing.
Secondly, you’ll likely hurt your open house. People are more likely to tell you things they don’t like about your house (important things) to your agent rather than you. If your home needs to be repainted or your furniture is making the house look dated; good luck getting anyone but the most bashful to tell you.
Remember, an open house isn’t about you, it’s about your home.
♦ -Did you agree on presentation limits?
This is especially crucial if you and your family are still living in your house. Visitors are going to open doors, draws, and anything that isn’t locked.
Your agent isn’t going to be able to be everywhere with everyone at every moment. Making sure that loose valuables are packed away in a locked area of the house is crucial to make sure the day doesn’t end in stress and anger.
Keep special note of checking jacket pockets for anything small, important and forgettable. It’s extremely rare for anything to happen but better safe than sorry.
♦ -Did you get a report on how the open went?
A reason why open houses are a staple of effective agents in the fact that when they are done right, there is no downside to running one regularly.
Open houses are the definition of a win-win environment. When the event ends, at best you’ll have an offer or 3 for your home or at best again you’ll know how to improve your house for today’s’ market and today’s buyer.
A great agent should give you a report on both cases at the end of the open house.
In many cases, an initial open house that doesn’t end in an offer but advice is the absolute best-case scenario as it can lead to you making previously unknown changes that can shoot up the selling price of your property considerably.