It is pretty common in Colorado's competitive market, as well as other places, for a home that is fairly priced and in good condition to sell without ever hosting an open house. However, most Realtors still believe in the power of the open house, especially when it comes to encouraging multiple offers or breathing new life into a somewhat stale listing.
Of course there are tons of other reasons to host an open house as well, practically if the home has been remodeled or renovated, was taken off the market and put back on, is a new-build, or is in a particularly popular community. Furthermore many Realtors see an advantage in hosting "neighborhood open houses" which are designed to bring the immediate community together not necessarily to fuel the listing, but to encourage community relationships. Having said all that, there are also several things you, as a Realtor, definitely want to do and don’t want to do when planning an open house. And, here they are!
- Preach the golden rules! Clean, de-clutter, depersonalize, and stage. These fundamental guidelines should never be overlooked and will go a lot further than any other single thing you can do.
- Make sure agent and client expectations and realities are the same.
- Consider putting forth funds which can be reimbursed at closing for things like staging items, carpet cleaning, and floor replacement if the homeowner is unable to cover those costs.
- Make certain the open house is marketed in local publications a few days prior and advertised well on the streets the day of.
- Showcase the home’s features by encouraging people to open doors to closets, appliances, garages, and outside living spaces.
- Have some handouts prepared that include listing information and offer consideration requirements, as well as some community details.
- Encourage families to bring their children and other family members to the open house with them.
- Put up signage that indicates things like where the crawl space entrance and sprinkler controls are located.
- Open house agents should invite guests to preview the home freely, but should also interact with them by giving them a “tour” of specific elements without being over bearing.
- Have a sign in sheet with phone numbers and emails.