As the country’s borders slowly open and restrictions become slightly more lenient, different industries have gradually returned to their business order. For the real estate industry, site visits and open houses are starting to pick up for interested buyers to view the property for sale.
What is an open house?
As a seller or a real estate agent, holding an open house is a traditional way of selling property. It can be considered a step further in attracting potential buyers instead of simply waiting for inquiries to come through. It is also a good way for buyers to view the property in person.
Open houses are social in nature. As a seller or agent, you converse with attendees to know their preferences in terms of property. Although this can increase the chances of a sale, it doesn’t always go smoothly as planned. Hence good preparations and proper behavior can help minimize what could go wrong in an open house tour.
Preparations for the Open House
According to Evan Williams of Ray White Double Bay, good agents focus on the “three P’s” when preparing for an open house. This stands for price, presentation, and people.
Preparing the price of the property is pretty self-explanatory. Be sure to sort out the numbers in case there is a special price that you will be offering on the day of the open house.
One of the most important things when preparing for an open house is the property’s presentation. Here are the top three tips to follow to bring out the best of your property.
1. Minimize personal items on display when you are selling personal property. It is recommended to “de-personalize” a property as much as possible to make it easier for the viewers to imagine themselves living in it.
2. At the same time, stage the property. This will give the visitors a more solid idea of what the place looks like when lived in.
3. Keep the house neat and tidy. The property should reflect its photos used as promotional materials online. If you have the budget, hire a cleaner to tidy the place a day before the open house.
Out of the three P’s, people are the most important factor for a successful open house. Without them, there would be no open house in the first place. Make sure that the day and time for the event are properly advertised in order to attract the attention of potential buyers. And on the day of the event, have the proper etiquette to make the whole experience pleasant for both you and the attendees.
Open House Etiquette for Sellers and Agents
There are already lots of advice available on how buyers should behave during open houses. Sellers and agents also have a set of etiquette to follow during these types of engagements.
1. Dress appropriately and introduce yourself to the guests. Make a great first impression by being polite and easy to approach. The key is to be professional and to create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone attending the open house.
2. Accommodate your guests. You can prepare some simple refreshments for the visitors while they take their time to roam around the house.
3. Provide a tour of the property to those who may be interested in taking one. This is the best time to showcase the house. Highlight the important features and inform them of the faults if any.
4. Answer any questions that the potential buyers may have about the property. This will help you learn about their motivations and help them come to a purchasing decision.
5. Do not focus on one guest. If there are multiple visitors during the open house, accommodate everyone equally as much as possible.
6. Step aside and give the buyers some space and privacy to tour the property on their own. You don’t have to follow them throughout. Just be available in case they need your assistance. This allows you to be helpful without being overbearing.
7. Set clear rules on what the guests can and cannot do. This can make a better experience for all parties attending the open house.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of an Open House
Like any method, conducting an open house has its own advantages and disadvantages. The good thing about open houses is that it showcases the property to potential buyers in person. With that, it can increase the chances of converting a lead into a sale. If not, you can determine which of the interested parties may possibly buy the property when reinforced enough. It also provides less to no pressure for buyers since they can take a look at the property at their own pace before they can make the final decision.
The drawback of an open house is that it could get crowded on the property when there are too many visitors. Curious onlookers and neighbors may also join – in case it is open to the public– which can lead to security concerns. Although this method is good for acquiring leads, it does not necessarily guarantee a sale.
Holding an open house is a classic but an old method that may work for some. With social media and the internet, there are more unconventional ways to promote your property, acquire leads, and convert them into sales. What matters is to find the method that works best for you and continue to improve and evolve it. After all, real estate always finds ways to innovate and keep up with the times – and so do you.