Selling your home is all about marketing. But even when you’ve created a website for your home, posted it on all the major real estate platforms, and featured it on the MLS, your property can feel like a tiny drop in an ocean of real estate options. Sellers looking to make a splash often turn to a tried and true marketing tactic: The Open House.
At an open house, you welcome any and all to come view your home. We’re here to help you decide if it’s the right option for you and to make sure you pull it off without a hitch.
Should You Hold An Open House?
Hosting an open house may not be necessary, but the numbers suggest it can kickstart the sale of your home. In the U.S, 72% of urban sellers and 63% of suburban sellers host an open house. A study by Redfin found that these homes normally sell for almost $10,000 more, and remain on the market for seven days fewer, than homes without open houses. Although it doesn’t suit every property, you should consider hosting an open house if….
You’re in a premier location. The best homes for an open house can reel in the foot traffic. Homes nestled near a school or a shopping district get attention from buyers not only because they’re desirable, but because they’re easy to visit. Open houses highlight this convenience and give that curious pedestrian a chance to become a sincere buyer.
Your housing market is competitive. In places like Nashville, where the average home often spends as little as three weeks on the market, there are plenty of buyers. Open houses get as many of them as possible intimately acquainted with your home. Besides saving your real estate agent a heap of showings, this can make you some serious money. Lots of motivated buyers in the same room means more competition, which means better offers on your home. They may get the house, but you are the ultimate winner of this unofficial auction.
You’ve got curb appeal. Is your home the quiet envy of the neighborhood? Nearby residents who have daydreamed about the wondrous interior hidden behind your attractive facade, will jump at the chance to see if your home is everything they’ve imagined. This might seem intrusive, but the same nosy neighbors clamoring for a sneak peek will eventually be the ones pitching your home to their friends and family.
Your property is unique. Is there some aspect of your home that pictures on Zillow just can’t capture? Maybe it’s a sweeping mountain view, or a back deck so large that it defies translation to a computer screen. Whatever the feature, an open house is the best way to show it off. Market the signature trait in your online listing and advertising materials. Buyers intrigued by your distinctive home might find themselves infatuated with the rest of the property as well.
Is Your Home Ready?
Inviting home seekers to peruse your property en masse can be intimidating. The parade of critical eyes tends to make those little blemishes feel like unsightly warts. The buyers most likely to find their home through an open house have an annual income between $250,000 and $500,000, and pleasing this demographic requires attention to detail. Touch up your paint, invigorate your landscaping, and address those small maintenance issues that can be big problems for hairsplitting homebuyers. Once these fixes are complete, finish the facelift by giving your house a last-minute deep clean.
Next, it’s time to stage your property. Your real estate agent will help you declutter your home and get the most feng shui out of your furniture. Buyers need to be able to envision their own lives within your space, so you can off-load anything that you don’t use on a daily basis.
The fact is, you’ll probably need to do some updating before you sell your house anyway, so why not make it part of your open house prep?
Scheduling Your Open House
To maximize interest from buyers, find a time that fits in their busy lives. Usually, this means holding your event on a Saturday or Sunday, from late morning until mid-afternoon. The tricky part is picking the weekend. In Nashville, where there’s always something going on, finding a time slot that doesn’t conflict with another community activity can be difficult. If your city is holding a dominant day-time event, like a marathon or a music festival, you’d be better off lacing up your sneakers than showing off your home.
One way to increase traffic is to schedule your open house on a day when other properties are on display. Have your real estate agent check the MLS, and search sites like Zillow and Realtor.com to see when other local homes will be hosting an open house. Throwing your event into the home-seeking frenzy can draw in those potential buyers who might have started the day with another property in mind.
Marketing Your Open House
After all that work you put into your property, it deserves to be seen. To get the word out about your open house, we suggest two main strategies:
Advertise online. It’s probably no surprise that the internet offers a ton of ways to spread the word about your open house. An agent will help post your open house on the MLS, as well as the big three real estate websites: Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia. Your realtor may even have a blog or personal website where he or she can post about your event.
You can help out by mobilizing your immediate social circle. Start by creating a public Facebook event for your open house to get your network buzzing. Then encourage your friends to advertise through their own Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Potential buyers will hang on every word about this home that no one can seem to stop talking about.
Effective Signage. Go from hi-tech to low-tech with the classic “Open House” sign strategy. Signs are a loud, cheap way to get the local foot traffic in your door. It’s best to go all out. Shoot for about 20 to 40 signs of varying sizes, and post them around your neighborhood. Include your agent’s phone number on the sign, and don’t forget to point the arrow in the right direction!
The Big Day Is Here!
As long as you have a realtor (who will save you some serious open house stress), your work is almost over! The best thing now is to get out of your agent’s way and let them do what they do best: Sell your home. Realtors are pros at recognizing buyers’ needs and steering them toward your home’s most appealing features. Also, without you eavesdropping, buyers are free to discuss their honest opinions on the property. Before you go, however, give your guests something to remember you by: some refreshments.
The rule of thumb is to bake chocolate chip cookies for your visitors. Besides filling hungry tummies, they’ll fill your rooms with the inviting, hypo-allergenic scent of baked goods. But if you’re not a baker there are plenty of other mess-free options, like fruit trays and cheese plates, that will let the buyers know you’re taking care of them.
With any luck, these finishing touches will have guests rushing to make offers on your home. At the very least, you’ll make waves in the housing market that can wash all the way to your perfect buyer. If you have any more questions about the open house process or want to talk to someone about your other real estate needs, feel free to give Felix Homes a call at 615-354-5731, or send us an email at email@example.com. Our house is always open to you.