Open House Tips for Realtors

1. Advertise! A study conducted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that 92% of buyers use the internet to house hunt. Make sure your open house dates are available through Zillow. With over 130 million visits per month, Zillow is a great place to start.

2. Invite neighbors to a appetizers or a wine and cheese party at your open house. It’s a great way to network and prospect. Socialize and have fun.

3. Everyone who visited your open house is a potential buyer so create an automated nurturing email marketing campaign to stay in touch. Make sure to also follow up within a few days so you can reconnect and help with their home buying search.

4. Be strategic with open house signage. Sandwich boards are great, but also mix it up with signage that is legible from a distance of at least 30 to 50 feet. Place directional signs to advertise in a five block radius ro reach a wider audience. Add helium filled balloons to attract attention.

5. Depersonalize the property. Remove family photos, diplomas, awards and anything else in the home before the open house. By removing personal items, the home doesn’t belong to any particular group of people and visitors can see themselves in the home.

6. Clean and organize closets and other storage spaces. Buyers will open closets, drawers and anything else with a handle. Instead of an avalanche of boxes when they open the storage closet, make sure closets are clean and organized.

7. Target local homebuyers with online advertising. You can even target potential buyers according to zip code through Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook and other online resources. With Facebook, you can add photos of the property and link to a landing page where more images of the home are available, plus a contact form to learn more.

8. Advertise by drone. Yes, drone advertising. Hoovy advertises open houses by attaching banners to drones and flying them in public places for real estate agents. Hoovy flies the drones at about 60 ft from the ground to be closer to the public.

9. Staging can help sell a home. Group your colors. Try to limit colors to just three per room. Keep larger items lower. If you have an even amount, take one away. Always keep quantities to an odd number as it is more visually appealing. Mix throw pillows and to create a spa appeal, add white towels to bathrooms.

10. First impressions are important. Simple updates to the entry can make a world of difference. Add a planter. If the door is worn, a good coat of paint can make a difference. A new welcome matt will make it more inviting. Sweep, clean cobwebs and remove anything worn.

11. In one study, 30% of people reported scented products as “irritating.” Skip the air fresheners and candles. Instead, encourage your seller to shampoo carpets, open the windows and let in the fresh air, deodorize appliances and toss throw rugs in the wash.

12. Experiment with lighting before your open house. Try opening shades and curtains, turning on different sources of light.

13. Advertise in small local newspapers as not every buyer is internet savvy. Many retirees read local papers and you’ll get a lot of mileage for your investment.

14. Consider a themed open house. If the home is Mediterranean design, consider presenting tapas. If it is a Spanish style, nachos may be perfect. Give your potential buyers a unique experience to remember the home.

15. Have handouts with your contact info ready for buyers to take. Mortgage Loan Breakdown and a glossary are two great handouts. Neighborhood information like local schools, grocers, restaurants and the “walk score” are great information. And attach your business card to every handout. Have a sign in sheet for visitors and capture their name, phone number, email and any other pertinent information. Follow up a few days later.

16. Email prospective buyers and invite them to your open house. Showcase the home in the email and include a professionally branded email signature. And offer to preshow the home. Why wait? Give prospects the ability to schedule time with you to tour the home early. Add an online scheduling link so buyers can set a time without fussing with the phone, call backs and waiting. After all, in this competitive market, the home could be pending by the time the open house arrives!

How Smart Buyers Use the "Mobile Real Estate Information Center", AKA "Realtor Open House"

There are many benefits to opening a house for sale on a Sunday afternoon. It saves having to make an appointment to see it, and it makes it convenient for everybody in the family to come together to tour properties. The seller benefits by having more people see the house in one afternoon instead of individual appointments. Most of the time however, visitors dismiss the help offered by the Realtor hosting the Open House and are reluctant to provide any information or ask any questions.

When visiting my Open House, do not be shy! ask questions and listen carefully, the information you need to make an informed decision is right there in front of you! I am the “Mobile Real Estate Information Center” and I am here for a reason: I want to give you all the information you need to help you purchase a home, maybe even this one.

I know this house very well, I know when it was built, how long it is been on the market, what type of inspections are available, what type of work is needed, why the seller is moving. I also know the neighborhood well, ask me about proximity to schools, shopping centers, public transportation, demographics, theaters, I also know exactly how far is the library or the post office for example.

Before the Open House I print and bring with me a CMA (Comparative market Analysis) of the property so not only can I show how this house compares to others in the same area, but also what other houses have sold recently in the proximity. If this particular house is too big or too small, I have a list of other homes available for sale, I can share some addresses with you right there and then.

I might even have valuable and timely “inside information” of homes about to come on the market, bank owned or foreclosed properties that I know are going to be listed soon. This information is potentially profitable for you Mr./Ms. home buyer… Just talk to me!

Even though I am not a loan officer, I know what the prevailing interest rates are and can quickly calculate your monthly mortgage payments with taxes and insurance, I can give you an idea of what your closing costs would be, I can even pre-qualify you on the spot! If I know what type of financing you need, I can tell you what type of documents you will need to get ready.

I am NOT just a Door Greeter, I can talk to you about investment properties, I can tell you some of the biggest tax consequences and/or benefits of owning a residence or an investment property. I can highlight to you the benefits of a tax deferred 1031 exchange and much more.

For me being at an Open House is like bringing my real estate office out on a road trip… Who benefits the most from my experience? Those who dare to talk to me about their real estate goals and dreams, you can pick my brain, I am committed to stay on that house for 4 hours so take your time!

Studies have shown that people are far more relaxed and willing to communicate with others on a weekend, they are more autonomous, they have time to slow down. Do not rush through the Open House, slow down and take full advantage of my 25+ years of experience and knowledge, it is all there for the taking! If you are not in my area, call me and tell me where you want to go, I will then put you in contact with the most active professional Realtor in that area… for FREE!