Friday, May 13, 2016

Host a successful open house with these tips - By Rick Yost

One of the favorite tools of home sellers is the open house. Open houses can be so successfully run that they solicit an offer the same day or so poorly run that no one shows except a couple that steal prescription medicine from the home. Both scenarios happen more often that most people think. When a realtor is planning an open house for a home, a home seller should make sure that it is as successful as possible by asking that certain things are done. 
 Open houses should take advantage of the Internet. Open houses should be advertised in the newspaper, but great open house advertising goes well beyond the newspaper. Open houses should be posted on Zillow, on Trulia, on, and on the Multiple Listing Site. If a website was developed for the home it should feature the open house on the landing page. By maximizing Internet marketing, an open house will attract the most amount of buyers possible.

Old fashion methods should not be overlooked. Signs, and lots of them, on the corners and crossing street can lead traffic to an open house. Get them up as early as possible in the week with date and time posted clearly. Knocking on neighbor’s doors and letting them know that there is an open house coming up is a good strategy. They may know someone looking to join the neighborhood.

Two things the seller themselves should do to make sure that the open house is as successful as possible. First is to neutralize the home. Anything that a buyer might find offensive should be removed including pets, mounted animals, political posters, and even brightly painted rooms should be removed. Anything that can turn buyers off should be taken out of the space. It makes no sense to attract lots of potential buyers and then not try to appeal to them. The second thing sellers should do is be gone. Sellers should not attend their own open houses. Buyers can be made to feel uncomfortable and can become reluctant to give feedback in the presence of home sellers.

Information packets should be developed with copies readily available to interested buyers. The package should include the property disclosures, a lot map, the tax record, neighborhood info, and other similar homes in the area for sale or recently sold. Answering as many questions as possible for potential buyers makes an offer more likely.
The realtor should solicit feedback and use a sign-in sheet to keep track of guests.

Feedback will help determine what improvements should be done to the house and give better insight to the homes pricing. A sign-in sheet allows a realtor to reach out to the home viewers at a later date to get their opinions on the home and gauge their interest.

Sellers should also be security conscious. Valuable items should be locked away and easy to take items stored safely. Prescription drugs are often a target for thieves so, they should be stored in a safe place. It can be greatly disappointing to return home after an open house and have personal items or prescription drugs missing.

Following these tips with a realtor should lead to a successful open house and the sale of the home.
Rick is a realtor, real estate author, and longtime Windham resident. You can reach Rick with any real estate questions or needs at

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