Ten Tips for Holding an Open House

Ten Tips for Holding an Open House

By Jessica Rosato

Luxury Residential Specialist
Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty

While sitting at my own Broker’s Open House, I began thinking of all the useful tips and strategies that can make an open house successful. What is the draw? What makes an agent or potential buyer want to visit a home? What can a listing agent do to generate a buzz around their open house? Here are 10 Tips that I came up with.

1. Market ahead of time — Use social media, send out an email blast, personally invite colleagues, knock on doors in the community and personally invite neighbors, put on your local multiple listing service. A week before is a great time to start.

2. Offer refreshments — Sad, but true, people will come for free food and drinks.

3. Make instructions/directions clear — If there is a gate code or if agents need to call ahead to be put on the gate list, let them know so they are not left wondering what to do once they arrive or confused as to where the actual home is. Make it easy for guests so that it’s a pleasure to come. Use signs and balloons to make the location even more obvious. Signage is key especially if you have an out-of-the-way listing.

4. Have marketing material ready and be prepared– I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to an open house and there is no information available on the home, and the agent is not up to speed on all the specifics. Not good. You should know the house inside and out, and have, at a minimum, an MLS sheet for people to review as they look. Often times an agent has a buyer in mind and would like to take something tangible with them to refer to later or to hand to their client.

5. Be sure the home is show-ready and inviting — The home should be in tip-top shape when having an open house. And it should remain that way throughout the showing sale process because you never know when a showing can happen, but definitely on days when you are 100% sure that guests will be passing through.

6. Good time frame and length — Try and choose a convenient time frame for your open house, a time when it’s more than likely that people can come. Sundays at 9 or 10 a.m. would not be a good choice, but Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. might. Not too early, not too late, not just one hour.

7. Be safe – It’s always best to have someone with you when hosting an open house, but if that’s not possible, be sure to keep your cell phone at hand and your purse hidden, if not locked in your car. Tell your sellers to put valuables away. It’s more than likely completely safe, but better to err on the side of caution.

8. Have them often — Consistency is key, and if you have the time, why not have them more often? The more open houses, the more the leads.

9. Register your guests — It’s great to get cards and/or register your guests. You can follow up with them and even let them know when the home sells.

10. Position yourself as the local expert — Know what’s for sale in the community where you are hosting the open house (whether it’s yours or you’re sitting for someone else). Know what’s sold in the past 3 to 6 months, know the market statistics and trends in that neighborhood, and have examples of similar homes in other areas nearby that are for sale.