Open houses, or "Opens", are extremely popular in the real estate community. The reason is that many cities are small and walk-able, so open houses will generate a great deal of foot traffic. Every Sunday morning, almost religiously, the signs go up with arrows, and sometimes balloons, directing would be home buyers to the opens all over town. Several prominent and tenured real estate agents claim to "have built their entire business" with this practice. These agents are proponents of open houses because they see them as a major source of exposure for a listing and because they allow potential buyers and neighbors easy access to the home. Over the years I've attended opens as a listing agent, a buyer's agent and a buyer; here are some tips I've picked up along the way.
Open House Tips
If you are going to host an open house at your home here are a few words of advice.
- Advertise everywhere. This includes Facebook, Craiglist, Newspapers, blogs and websites. Open houses listed on the MLS will syndicate out to Trulia, Zilliow and most other large real estate search engines. This is the best type of advertising for an open house.
- Use at least two signs. One on each corner with arrows pointing towards the property. Make the property easy to find.
- Make sure the property is in pristine condition! That means it is clean, smells great, looks great and has lots of light.
- Provide color promotional flyers with lots of pictures of the property and monthly payment estimates from a mortgage broker. Also provide the seller's disclosure, upgrade lists and any other documents with relevant information about the home.
- Place a sign in sheet and require visitors to provide name, email and phone numbers.
- Offering food, snacks or drinks is optional but not really a common practice.
- If possible, try to schedule the open when you will not be competing with other prominent Sunday events like religious ceremonies, parades, athletic events or anything else that will hurt traffic.
Open houses have a proven track record of success in the real estate community. These tips and advice won't guarantee that your home will sell for the price you want but they will give you the best and highest quality exposure for your property. Follow this advice and you'll be certain to put yourself in a great position to sell the home!