Love it or loathe it, if you’re selling your home this summer, the open house is a must to catch the peak of the season’s buyers.
If your goal is a quick sale at the best possible price, exposing your home to the largest number of house hunters is the way to go. How do you get that exposure? With the classic sales tool of the open house coupled with some Internet marketing.
Don’t ignore technology
Technology, particularly the Internet, has changed some facets of the sales process but the principle of making a good first impression is a key to success. If your home is listed with a real estate professional, you’ll have a partner but if you are going the FSBO route (for sale by owner) then it’s a one-man (or woman or family) show.
Unfortunately, you ignore the new technology at your own peril. The National Association of Realtors reported that in 2014, 92% of homebuyers searched the Internet early in their hunt. If your property isn’t listed online, you’ll be missing many of the potential buyers.
Prospective buyers nowadays are more likely to use apps or online listings to find properties to view. No longer can sellers rely on people following the neighborhood signs to their home. With an agent, the open house dates can be entered into a multiple listing service and syndicated to other services. Without an agent you’ll have to enter the listings yourself as part of your marketing drive.
Technology as a marketing tool
Where technology comes into its own is getting the word out. Using their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, sellers should share the listing and dates of their open house with friends, relatives and colleagues alike.
Real estate professionals are divided as to the value of holding an open house. However, many sellers and agents believe they’re a valuable tool, especially if held the first weekend the property is listed and aggressively marketed on the Internet.
The significance of open houses is their importance for marketing and getting the word out there. Encouraging the neighbors to show up is a good move strategically – they’ll come out of curiosity but may also have friends or family looking for a home.
Savvy agents will tell you the more people that come by a property, the better chance there is of a successful sale. If you are working with an agent, they may put on a broker’s open house, where lunch or snacks are served and agents are invited to tour the house.
Use the list below as a starting point when preparing your home for an open house.
Key areas to polish up for a perfect open house
• First impressions count
• Freshen up the yard
• Spruce up the exterior
• Curb appeal is vital
• Immaculate and clean
• Remove clutter
• Stage the home
• Emphasize fine features
Nearly half of all buyers start their search on the Internet. There they find out prices, finishes, school districts, and other neighborhood information before they’re ready to view. Market your open house properly on the Internet and attract interested buyers.