By all means I am not an open house expert because just today I hold my first open house. As new agents, our managers usually tell us to do open houses so we can get more business and be more successful. Before we jump in to do any open house, we should ask ourselves why we are doing this open house and how we can make the open house successful.
Why We Are Doing This Open House?
We all read about doing open houses to show the house to prospective buyers and agents that are thinking of buying the house and hopefully get a few buyers or sellers in the process. If open houses are so vital, why are the really successful agents letting new or non-busy agents working on their open houses?
I have been doing real estate full time for a while, and have not done an open house until now because I focused on listings 5 or 6 days a week all day long. Since the listings are mostly vacant, agents can see the house with their SupraKeys and make an offer if their buyers are interested. This would let me continue finding more listings and be able to spend my weekends to relax with my family or preview new homes with them around the area. If I did my homework and priced the home properly, the home would sell itself and therefore no need for an open house.
Recently been getting short sales where the home is tenant-occupied so unless the buyers are able to preview the properties, it is rare to get offers. Instead of spending a hour here and a hour there to make appointments and show buyers and agents the properties every day for the whole week, I would rather do an open house for 3 - 4 hours where buyers and agents can come and see the place.
How can we make the Open House successful?
In order to have a successful open house, we need to do some planning and preparation.
- Work the detail out with all the stakeholders (sellers, tenants, office, etc.) at least a week in advance for when the open house and make sure all questions are answered.
- Make sure the owners/tenants could clean the home before showing or hire a professional stager to do the work.
- Announce the open house date and time anywhere you can such as ActiveRain, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, your local MLS, your office, friends, relatives, and groups.
- Make sure you have all the necessary equipments like signs, flyers, marketing materials, water, candy, etc. at least 3 days in advance.
- Try to do the Open House with another agent/helper. Not only this person can help you on your work, but more safety.
- Have a checklist of what needs to be done and have it checked off when completed.
For this open house, I made sure the owners, office, etc. are aware and ok with the open house a week in advance. I created a checklist of all the items that we would need and what needs to be done. I had a co-listing agent help me with showing the property. We had about 40 people stopping by.
I viewed this open house successful because I got 3 offers right after that were above the asking price where one had a 50% down and another was all cash. This means that I might not need to do another open house for this property and move to the next listing.