When it comes time to list and sell your home, there are many elements to the marketing strategy that may come in to play: Staging, good-looking photos, an internet presence, a for sale sign in the yard, and of course, the open house. While at first reaction holding an open house may seem an antiquated marketing method, it’s important to know that the open house still bears merit and attention even today, when 50% of buyers buy a house that they first saw on line. Below, three of the biggest mistakes that sellers will make when it comes to preparing and holding an open house.
NOT TAKING THE OPEN HOUSE AS A SERIOUS OPPORTUNITY TO SELL YOUR HOUSE, RIGHT THEN AND THERE! It’s true, the odds are against you. Many of the buyers that will attend your open house are what we lovingly call “looky-loos”: they’re there to look, not to buy. Knowing this, sometimes the “getting ready” part of the open house is shrugged off and the home might not show as well as it could, or should, for the open house. Hopefully when you were getting your house ready for pictures you had already tackled some of the bigger “to-dos”. Maybe it’s been a few weeks since your listing went “live” to when you’re having an open house, so there may be some prep work to do. That said, go into the planning for an open house like the buyer for your home will be walking through, and remember that “first impressions are lasting”. Clean, declutter, and depersonalize and stage your home, inside and out, so that the home is show-ready.
STAYING FOR YOUR OWN OPEN HOUSE (BIG NO-NO!) For any showing of a home, you want the potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house and to fall in love with it. They’ll also want to feel free to discuss amongst themselves the flaws, without fear of offending you. It’s tough for those things to happen if an owner is hovering. Let your real estate agent host the open house for you, and they’ll give you the feedback when it’s over. For open house time, it’s best to be sure to be out of the house, and remember to take your pets with you, too!
NOT HOLDING YOUR HOUSE OPEN AT ALL. With all the benefits for having an open house while your house is on the market, the biggest mistake that you might make is not holding an open house at all. Giving buyers the opportunity to leisurely walk through your home; only having to clean and stage once for multiple viewings; giving your home more exposure through the marketing of an open house; and allowing the buyers the opportunity to see the house in person are all reasons to be sure to get an open house on the calendar asap.
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