A real estate agent has many tools in his or her arsenal, and each one can be a fantastic way to reach new clients and help existing ones buy or sell their homes. However, one of the best is also one of the most traditional - the open house.
While it may seem that these events aren't as useful in today's real estate market, they still are. Great professionals use an open house to their advantage, and it can be one of the easiest ways to get a home sold. Even so, there remains several steps that need to be accomplished so everything will go smoothly.
Don't make these common mistakes
Real estate agents have their hands full when planning an open house. In the past, many people felt that these types of events were useless, because only passers-by showed up - not serious buyers. However, that has changed, and now many people find their next home purchase via an open house.
With that in mind, one of the biggest mistakes people make is letting the seller attend. Renee White, a California-based broker associate, wrote in ActiveRain that buyers that do show up want to have serious conversations about the property. Unfortunately, the current homeowner can get in the way of that. Instead, the agent should represent the person during the event. They can then network with other professionals and their clients, hopefully drumming up some interest in the process.
In addition, another common mistake is the over-the-top open house, White explained. In some cases, agents feel the need to organize elaborate entertainment, including live bands or expansive meals. This can instead prove distracting for attendees, taking the focus off of the home itself. On the other hand, a better step would be to keep attractions to a minimal, and let the property do the talking.
Planning for an open house event requires a sound understanding of the neighborhood, its buyers and the real estate market. In order to acquire that knowledge, Courthouse Retrieval System has compiled a comprehensive database of mortgage records, warranty deeds and much more. This removes the need for a timely trip to the local courthouse.
Do stage the property
While going over the top can ruin an open house, not doing enough to prepare can be just as costly. According to HGTV FrontDoor, the goal is to allow the buyers to put themselves in the property, and envision their lives as if they were to own it.
To do this, the first step is to put away all of the current residents' personal belongings, the news source noted. This includes family photos, artwork, notes and other effects. In addition to this step, it may also be beneficial to hide the fancy gadgets and toys, such as the expensive coffee maker. Clean countertops, shiny bathrooms and well-kept rooms demonstrate the open, airy spaces the house provides. Clutter can ruin that image.
Above all else, the open house should be about the property, not the people. So, the best step is to stay in the background and make sure that the only conversations being had are about the home.