The practice of holding open houses has been questioned by some who believe they are either outdated or irrelevant with the ease of internet home searches. In today’s world of instant gratification, buyers don’t want to wait for an open house when they can take a virtual tour and view detailed photographs online. However, open houses have several advantages that even the most modern technology can’t compete with.
Why Open Houses Are a Solid Option
One of the primary advantages to an open house is that they provide a dose of reality. Buyers may see photos and room dimensions online but make misconceptions about how large or small the home actually is. Another advantage is that open houses allow buyers to spend more time browsing through the home. Without an agent there, they can freely discuss features they like and whether they can live with the ones that they don’t. They are also more convenient for the seller as well. Instead of having to clean and leave a home with 10 minutes notice, sellers have a set date to plan for.
Avoid the Biggest Open House Mistakes
To ensure that an open house is a success, avoid these common mistakes:
- Messy Homes- Don’t let clutter, such as junk mail and sporting equipment, lay around. Make all of the beds and clean out closets to provide ample space.
- Locked Doors- Don’t ever lock doors. If a person wants to buy a home they need to see every inch of it.
- Unkempt Exteriors- Exteriors should look just as good as interiors. Wash all windows and trim hedges and trees. Place potted flowers near the entry, even in the winter.
- Don’t Hang Around- Sellers should never be at an open house. Go for a walk and let your agent handle it. Be sure to take your children and pets with you.
- Too Much Personalization- Remove personal items, such as photos and religious objects. You don’t want a buyer focusing on your personal preferences instead of the home.
Best Open House Practices
The key to making an open house useful is to get creative:
- List the home online and make sure that it is searchable in online apps.
- Include information about the home online rather than printing out hard copy brochures.
- Place an open house sign in the yard, or on top of the for sale sign, one week in advance.
- Hold it during an off hour, so that you don’t compete with other open houses.
To really ramp up your open house, get crafty. Try serving drinks or snacks to show off the kitchen. In addition, display local art or products in which the buyers can get a feel for the community of the area. It makes the home seem like somewhere they want to live, rather than just a property.
Despite the attention that homes receive online, open houses are still very useful. They provide an opportunity for buyers to actually touch the appliances and imagine themselves using the kitchen or deck. This type of experience simply can’t be replicated online. For more information on selling your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us!