Open house can be very productive here in Charlottesville VA!
Realtors have differing opinions on the benefits of holding open houses. I've had open houses where I've got a contract on a listing, and like many of us, I've sat for two hours by myself. In my experience, if you choose to do open houses, there are several things you need to consider a few things:
-Summer is coming. In the south, that means 100+ temperatures. And up north, the heat, combined with the humidity, makes for a stuffy home. Whatever you do, make sure the temperature in the house is comfortable, and I would go further to having it border on chilly. On a long summer day, a cool home will offer home buyers a place to hang out, just a bit longer. This means a longer viewing of the house, and their car parked in the driveway. An open house is like a nightclub, in that activity spurs curiosity, and curiosity is never a bad thing when it comes to selling a home. Remember, even those chatty neighbors have friends and family.
-Consider your timing. On the rare occasion I do perform an open house, I like Sundays after 2. Frankly, the 12-2 time block is tough considering church and brunch popularity in the US. It has been my experience, that the 1:30 to 4 pm time block is typically the busiest. I'm a big fan of differentiating yourself. Does a Saturday open or twilight open house work in your market? Something to consider.
-Remove any flyer boxes. I prefer telephone information riders to flyer boxes, but I know some agents still use them. If someone is driving in the neighborhood on the day you host an open, I wouldn't turn them away before they even make it in the door. If they feel the home is out of there price range, at least they have seen it before making a rash decision outside.
-Speaking of the door. Getting buyers in is the name of the game. The house has to be inviting. Open curtains/blinds, open the door (yes, it seems obvious) and coach your seller to power wash or sweep the driveway, add potted plants, and remove any barriers or obstructions to entry.
- Make your time productive. In addition to sign up sheets, make a point to speak to every guest when they enter. But also try to touch base before they leave. It's polite and people generally have questions. When you have little activity, a laptop or smart phone can help you get work done, or service your other listings.
As I wrote, hosting an open house is up for debate. But if we're going to do them, lets get some benefit.