Top 10 – Tips for Running Open Homes
Running an open home is your opportunity to show off your property at it best, and running a good open home can make all the difference in getting that sale. So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Tips for Running Awesome Open Homes !
1 – De-clutter the House
No one wants to walk into a mess – if your property is a mess then it will be hard for any potential buyer to look past that. You need the buyers to focus on the property itself, and not on anything else. This is just as important outside the property as it is inside, so get a gardener if you need to and get those weeds up and those old bicycles stored away in the shed! This leads nicely onto tip #2….
2 – Neutral Decor Inside the House
If the decor inside the property is too “in your face” and eclectic then this may put off buyers, who will be looking to imagine themselves in that property. The more neutral the decor, the easier it will be for buyers to imagine themselves in there. If you need to, invest a few dollars in a lick of paint to get rid of those garish yellow or bright green walls, in favour of more neutral whites and creams.
3 – Do not Stalk the Buyers !
Ok, so this one is pretty important – when someone comes into your home for a viewing please resist the urge to follow your buyers around as they explore the property. I get that you will feel protective over your property, or proud and perhaps want to show it off, but by following buyers around you will not allow them to relax and really take in what they need to take in from the viewing.
If you are worried about valuables, then lock those away before-hand. If there are certain aspects of the property that you really want to highlight, which you are worried may be missed unless you follow them around, then mention these prior to setting them loose or create a one page open home flyer with the pertinent info on it, which you can leave on the kitchen bench-top for buyers to grab.
Remember, the important thing here is that you want to give buyers the chance to really feel at home in there, and hunting them like a deer stalker won’t help !
4 – Create an Open Home Flyer
You may have lived in your property for a while and so know all the cool things about it, but it may be hard for someone viewing your home to notice all these things in 15mins. Create a one page flyer on which you highlight all the main features of the property that you want buyers to be aware of. Put your contact details on the flyer, so that if the buyer has any questions once they have left, they can easily ask you.
5 – Schedule Open Homes Regularly
One Open Home will not sell a house (unless you are very lucky !), so be prepared to run them regularly. Every week should be enough. If you create a rhythm around this then it will help you to get better at it and also force you to keep the property tidy, if you are not already a tidy home owner.
Also, consider mixing things up a little and running open homes during the week as well as weekend – ensuring your property is available more often will increase your chances of getting people through the property.
Finally, it can sometimes be easy to get too comfortable when you are selling your home, and allow the process to drag, so counter this by scheduling weekly open homes and in doing so keep up the momentum to get that property sold !
6 – Be Prepared
Even if you are running open homes regularly, you should still be prepared to show people through the property at other times – I can guarantee that not every buyer will be available at the times that suit you. So, be prepared and ensure that the house is tidy (see tip #1). If you are going to be away for a while then have a contingency – leave the key with someone you trust who can show people into your property. If you have created a flyer (see tip #4) then make sure that you always have plenty of copies of these lying around.
7 – Create an Atmosphere
You want buyers to feel comfortable and also to feel like they have “come home” and so what says that more than flowers ! So, have some flowers around the house, don’t go crazy, but by just having a few around it will make the place smell nice and look inviting.
If you don’t already have any plants, then get a few – again, don’t go crazy, you don’t want to turn the place into a jungle, but just a few Yuccas will really add to a nice, relaxing and natural feel.
Finally, consider baking some cookies or fresh bread in the oven – the smell is really inviting and says “home” – you can then offer these baked good up to the buyers as a treat !
8 – Don’t Make it too Personal
If you are still living in the property then chances are that you will have a lot of family photos around, or maybe even family members too. On the day of the open home, ask them all to leave (politely !) and consider taking down some of those photos – this may sound a little harsh, however this will further allow buyers to imagine themselves living in there and putting their own mark on the property – this will be harder to do if your Aunt is knitting in the living room behind a collage of photos of your extended family !
9 – Take Buyer’s Details
Get a pad and pen and ask buyers to jot down their contact details as they arrive. This will give you a good opportunity to follow up with them after the open home is finished to get their feedback and begin the conversation around selling the property to them.
10 – Advertise, Advertise, Advertise !
Finally, there is no point running an Open Home if no one knows about it, so remember to advertise the fact that you are running Open Homes and let people know when and where. There are so many ways to do this, but sign posts down the road are a good idea, as these will capture those weekend Open Home drivers in the neighborhood.
If you want to get serious about it, then you should advertise online to reach the maximum possible number of people.
If you have a listing on sellahouseNZ (which we sincerely hope you do!) then login to your account and add an Open Home date to your listing NOW to let buyers know.