Even in today’s digital age, open houses remain a crucial source of real estate leads. According to a 2018 report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), up to 7% of buyers discover the homes they eventually purchase through open houses. That’s more than the discoveries made through home builders and home builder agents (5%), directly from sellers (3%), and via print newspaper ads (1%).
Even where the discovery is made elsewhere (say through a real estate agent or the internet), a large number of buyers consider open houses a vital part of the home buying process. The Harford Courant, quoting figures from NAR, says that 92% of buyers feel open houses are “somewhat useful” with only 8% saying they aren’t useful.
With this in mind, every seller should put significant effort into delivering the perfect open house experience. The following are a few common mistakes you should avoid as a seller to get maximum value from your open house;
Attending the Open House
As much as many owners would like to, attending your own open house is a bad idea. There are several reasons why. For one, most serious buyers are not comfortable asking pertinent questions about the house while the seller watches. If they can’t ask these questions, their chances of making an offer rapidly decline. Additionally, owners attending their own open house may end up divulging information which might be irrelevant to the sale, but dissuade a buyer.
Not Promoting the Open House
According to the NAR report referenced earlier, 50% of home buyers discover the homes they eventually purchase online. You should be taking advantage of this opportunity. Although open houses take place offline, ensuring that the event is promoted vigorously on online platforms, including your website, aggregator real estate websites, relevant forums, and social media will make a big difference in turnout. Also, if you have groups on messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger, make sure to mention the open house to encourage word of mouth.
Not Staging the Home Right
Proper staging is about getting prospective buyers to picture themselves in the house; it’s about selling a dream and appealing to emotions. You won’t achieve this if you don’t put in the effort. It is important to find ways to “wow” the buyer. Even if you’re working on a budget, make sure that the main areas, including the entryway, exterior, living room, kitchen, master bedroom, bathroom, and outdoor living spaces such as the back patio are in the best possible shape.
Placing too much focus on décor, too little on repairs
While clearing the clutter is necessary, making actual repairs is just as important, if not more. Don’t ignore glaring issues such as a shattered window or a broken kitchen door. The same applies to worn-out floors and malfunctioned appliances. If the mantel fireplace in the living room isn’t working, fix it, replace it, or remove it altogether. The broken fireplace is enough to put off buyers.
Not providing marketing material
Finally, you must make marketing material available for every person walking into the house. Otherwise, it’s out of sight, out of mind. Ideally, you want to provide a mixture of different marketing materials, but, usually, a simple takeaway flyer will do. Make sure the flyer has essential information about the home, complete with quality pictures of the neighborhood and local schools. This will help attendees remember your home.
It’s About Putting Your Best Foot Forward
The purpose of an open house is to win the hearts of buyers. Avoiding the above mistakes will help you not only draw more foot traffic but also appeal to attendees heart and soul, significantly increasing your chances of getting an offer.
Contact us today to discuss your home selling needs!