Hosting an open house is a great way to showcase a property to potential buyers, and your real estate agent will likely recommend holding one early on in the marketing process. This promotional event is unique in its professional yet low-pressure atmosphere, and with careful planning and preparation it’s easy to maximize a home’s appeal. Since your guests will be a mixture of agents and interested buyers, an open house has the potential to attract plenty of new and valuable contacts.
[Read: The Guide to Selling Your Home]
As the seller, you won’t be present during the open house, but there are a few things you can do to prepare your property. Here are six simple tricks that will help make your open house stand out from the rest:
- Improve your curb appeal.
- Stage the home.
- Rent a storage unit.
- Offer a brochure.
- Cater to all the senses.
- Market the event.
Improve Your Curb Appeal
The outside of a house makes the first impression on your guests. If the property’s exterior looks worn down and neglected, expectations of its interior won’t be that high. Though it’s wishful thinking to not judge a book by its cover, dirty siding and rampant weeds do tell a story about a home, and it isn’t a positive one. By touching up the landscaping and other necessary exterior maintenance, your open house will begin by making a good impression before anyone goes inside.
Stage the Home
A simple consultation with a home stager will tell you what you need to do to get your home fit for photos and the open house. Sometimes, stagers can simply declutter your home and rearrange furniture to make a home’s interior appear more pristine. In other instances, you may need to rent furniture to replace the items you currently have. By following a home stager’s guidelines, you’ll get a great interior design that will give your home a good flow and appeal to buyers.
Rent a Storage Unit
Renting a storage unit to free up unwanted clutter you can’t part with is the best practice during the open house and showing process, as clutter makes any home look smaller. Hosting an open house is easier if a few extra pieces of furniture are stored away so you can make rooms appear more spacious and clean. Having more room to roam and explore makes a positive impression on potential buyers, who see an open, inviting space.
Offer a Brochure for Memory’s Sake
A professional, full-color brochure that highlights the home’s best features is a must-have for any complete open house. This extra marketing step gives buyers something to remember the property by after the event is over. A good brochure will include key information like the price, address and contact information in easy-to-find places. Offering tangible media like a brochure is important, since buyers can confuse properties if they have seen many homes within a short period of time.
Make It a Feast for the Senses
An open house should be an immersive experience that’s unique from browsing pictures online. Sensory-wise, you want your visitors to be thrilled in every way. Offer refreshments to help them feel welcome and at ease. If it’s a nice day out, open a window to let in the perfume of spring. In all you do, highlight the home’s strengths so they appeal to potential buyers. For example: Maybe the kitchen is impressive and fully renovated. Having a professional chef come and make hors d’oeuvres in your kitchen not only keeps your guests fed, but it also shows off your amazing appliances.
Market Your Open House Well
In this digital age, making events like an open house known online is a must. All the bells and whistles at the event mean nothing if the event doesn’t get enough exposure. Your agent should share with leads, past clients and other real estate agents. Don’t be afraid to share the information through your networks as well to help it spread by word of mouth for people in the market. Especially in the luxury market or for a home that’s priced above the median for the area, every impression counts.