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Open House tips

 Open house tips

Make your home look like a million bucks (well, duh). OK, then consider these ideas:

ADVANCE PREPARATION

Feeling apprehensive? Build your confidence. Put out a sign for an hour on a Saturday or Sunday. You’ll get a few visitors, sort of a dress rehearsal.
 
Buyers like new offerings. Advertise to catch their eye: “NEW ON THE MARKET!” or “NEW LISTING!”
 
Put your address and a location (subdivision) in your ads.
 
Mark the open house date on info box fliers. Larger crowds promote urgency.
On your flier, add drama: “DON’T MISS OUT” or “FEEL FREE TO CALL FOR A PRIVATE SHOWING!” Appointments before the scheduled open house reveal serious interest.
 
Don't conflict with a holiday or compete with some large sports or local community event.
 
Put an open house rider (a smaller sign that hangs off your main sign with "Open Sunday 1-3") up several days in advance. At intersections in your neighborhood, post directional-arrows, the morning of or a day in advance. 
If you're listed, be sure your agent has included your open house on the local MLS for the public and other agents to view.  
 

OPEN HOUSE DAY 

Anytime the weather holds down the attendance, remember, those who made the effort to come are probably very serious buyers.
Park your car across the street (not in the driveway) to give the impression of prospect activity. People are more inclined to stop if they think other buyers are inside. If possible, get you car(s) out of the garage. A vacant garage looks larger.  
 
Position your open house sign so that parked cars won’t obscure it. If your car should have been in the Cash for Clunkers program, park it at a local shopping center. 
 
Keep in mind that early arrivals are very interested.  Avoid a crowd at the opening by holding two different start times. On your sign and box flier, put “Open 1 to 4”. In the ad, put “Open 2 to 4”. The highly interested prospects will come at 1 and at 2, instead of all coming at 1. You can now give these prospects more quality time.  

DO A SURVEY GREETING

Anytime you greet people at your open house, ask them how they heard about your home being for sale. Tell them you’re trying to find out if your ad was effective (whether you advertised or not). This informal survey will let you know what is working: newspaper ads, fliers, the internet, the for-sale sign, directional arrows, word of mouth, neighbors, etc. It’s also an easy conversation starter. 
 
Most important however is that if the prospects came based on an ad or flyer, they already know the asking price. They are more inclined to be financially qualified, whereas the usual drive-by people are unknowns.   

DURING THE OPEN HOUSE

If there's a storm or screen door, keep your front door open. Visually, this is more inviting from the street. 
 
Be sure to have a cozy fire going if the weather is appropriate. 
 
Have a sign-in sheet for names and phone numbers. As visitors arrive, say, "We'd appreciate it if you would sign-in. Help yourself to _____________ (M&Ms, popcorn, etc.)."
 

YOUR CHANCES OF SELLING

Few homes are sold at an open house. Homes that do sell are always based on the buyers’ strong emotional feelings–getting caught up in the moment. The best candidates for this are homes that are clean and staged to show well. 

Price can always be negotiated. Emotional aspects can’t. As the seller, if your house is not clean, is in poor condition, or suffers from the blahs, an open house is a waste of your afternoon. 
 
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