Open houses are a great way to market properties that are for sale because several people get the chance to get a quick view of the house without having to commit to a full showing. Many realtors use this as a way to increase buyer traffic and the property’s exposure in the market. While the tour of the home is more of a speedy overview rather than an in-depth look, people are more likely to schedule a private showing if they like what they see during the open house.
If you are a real estate agent and you have a client who has agreed to have an open house done on their property, how do you go about getting ready for it? While some steps are obvious, some may be overlooked as well. But fret not, here are a few tips to keep in mind while preparing for an open house:
- Make sure the property owner is away during the open house. They can’t be around for the open house because potential buyers will be uncomfortable and might not want to see the property. Guests should be able to say what they want and ask questions without worrying about offending the owner. It might be good to agree to a set schedule with the owner so they know when to be away, especially if they haven’t moved out yet. Have your listing agent use an automated showing feedback program. A showingsuite feedback program will help them easily track feedback on your listing.
- Start preparing the property a week before. Staging a property is not a quick process and it’s better to give yourself and your client enough time to do so. That way, the house will look its best on the day of the open house. During this week, give the property a deep clean, get rid of any junk, and have the seller take out all valuables (especially if they haven’t moved out yet). You can also hire a team to stage the house so it looks welcoming and cosy in addition to being clean during the open house.
- Host a broker’s preview. When preparing a home for an open house, it can be helpful to listen to advice from other agents and brokers. If the home is listed with a brokerage or if your client is willing to pay a commission to a selling agent, a broker’s preview can be really helpful before the open house.
Brokers and agents can come to view the house and provide you with feedback that you can use to improve the property before you open it up to potential buyers. If there is something that is missing or off about the staging, real estate professionals are the best people to consult on what needs to be done.
- Make arrangements for maintenance work ahead of time. Since the property might be on the market for some time, there will likely be more than a few open houses that will take place. Give your client (and yourself) peace of mind by scheduling the maintenance work in between open houses in advance. Having to constantly clean and take care of the property’s lawn can be a hassle for the seller to do all the time, so you can take the initiative to arrange for these services as the agent. Your client can focus on other things, and you can ensure that the property will always have a manicured lawn and sparkling interiors before each open house.
- Find alternative accommodations for pets. Open houses can be harder to manage if the property owner owns a dog or a cat. Letting the animal stay at the property could possibly repel a lot of potential buyers due to phobia, allergies, or some other reason. That being said, it is a good idea to find another place for the pet to stay at before the open house. Recommend that the seller has their pet stay with a friend or relative during the open house to minimize the hassle. Your client may also board their animal companions at a pet hotel as well.
- Prepare all home marketing materials before the open house. As the agent, it’s important to take initiative and talk to the seller about having home marketing materials. This is a great way to enhance customer recall by providing pamphlets and brochures with photos, specifications, history, and other relevant information about the property. If your client agrees to this, make it a point to have all the materials printed and ready by the open house. You can stack them up on the coffee table next to the refreshments, so the guests are free to get one or distribute them yourself to them.
Preparing for an open house can be a laborious and overwhelming process. But by following these tips, you and your client will have a better idea of what to do and complete each task before the first open house. While it is a huge undertaking, all the work will pay off when you are able to find the right buyers and sell your client’s home through these open houses.