First impressions matter.
Especially in real estate, when competition is high and buyers are quick to make judgments on a home within seconds of pulling in the driveway.
For an agent representing a property seller, the open house is a critical step in the real estate process that allows you to showcase the home and connect with potential buyers. But there’s a lot more to running a successful open house than just fluffing pillows and deep cleaning.
In this article, we turned to 5 real estate experts for their advice on what it takes to run an open house that’s effective in bringing in qualified buyers and helps the home sell faster.
How to run a successful open house
In real estate, an open house is an event where people are welcome to come inside a property to view it during a set period of time. These events are informal and typically occur on weekends, making it easier for people with busy work schedules to attend. From a marketing standpoint, an open house is useful for generating buzz about a newly-listed property and can even secure a buyer.
There’s a lot of time and preparation that goes into throwing an open house. To help you prepare, we asked 5 real estate experts to share their tips and tricks.
Here’s what they had to say:
Tip 1: Get the word out to the right people
“Invite the neighbors for a private open house right before the public open house. The neighbors are always looking around for their friends or relatives who they want to move next door to. Use a lot of signs. Put them on all main roads that lead to the property.
Make sure that the open house gets out to all the major websites at least a few days in advance. This is the difference between a busy open house and a quiet one. If you only do one thing, do this.”
Tip 2: Get the property open-house ready
“Make a complete list for your client on how to give the house a facelift. When presenting the list, work with the right contractors, negotiate the pricing, make a recommendation on what work needs to be done and present it to your client. Focus on the work that makes the biggest impact. This list should include both short and long-term projects such as fresh paint, landscaping, and remodels.”
- Donna Castillo, Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams
Tip 3: Make attendees feel at home
“The main objective of an open house is to make potential buyers feel as comfortable as possible. Literally make them feel, ‘at home.’ Provide snacks and refreshments. Encourage people to kick off their shoes and stay awhile. Have some light music playing in the background, and make sure the bathrooms and kitchen areas are freshly stocked with soap, hand towels, and other basic comforts.”- Stan Mead, CEO at Summit Home Buyers
Tip 4: Engage with buyers but don’t be overbearing
“Do not follow buyers around. Let them look without distraction or pressure, and watch their body language. You should keep an eye on them to let them know you’re there in case they have any specific questions. But be mindful not to bug them.
Don’t be afraid to run open homes and conduct them with confidence. They are an important piece of your marketing armory and can be a great indicator of whether, or not, you are offering an attractive proposition to property buyers.”- Craig Heppell, Founder at Agent in a Box
Related: Don’t miss out on finding a potential buyer by forgetting to follow up with them after the open house. Discover the best real estate CRM software to help you manage all your contacts and relationships.
Tip 5: Create informational handouts to stay top of mind
“Provide information about your home in the form of pamphlets. On the handouts themselves, use more images and fewer words. Make it skimmable with high-quality pictures. This ensures that buyers and their agents leave your house with a physical item. It will make it easier for them not to confuse your house with the competition.
If your content is exceptionally well done, the pamphlet can help your house stand out over others later on when the open house attendees discuss the homes they saw that day.”- Benjamin Ross, Realtor at Mission Real Estate Group
Open for business
Open houses can be a successful avenue for generating buzz and getting closer to finding the right buyer for your client’s property. Remember that every home is unique and will require varying levels of work and preparation in order to have the best open house possible. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re getting ready to market a new listing.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out these real estate marketing ideas to help fuel your marketing efforts.