How to hold the perfect open house

Over the years, the importance and popularity of the open house has slipped. Now, more sellers are interested in other ways to get their properties noticed - but forgetting about this once-critical option could be a mistake.

Over the years, the importance and popularity of the open house has slipped. Now, more sellers are interested in other ways to get their properties noticed - but forgetting about this once-critical option could be a mistake.

In fact, an open house can be the final piece of the puzzle for any seller struggling to get their listing off the market. As a real estate agent, you can show them why they shouldn't be so quick to write off this event. One reason why the open house is less favorable now could be because it can be quite hit-or-miss at times. A bad one won't do anyone any good, but a great one can increase the number of interested buyers by a wide margin.

With that in mind, you should be on the lookout for ways to upgrade every open house. Here are a few things you should know, so you are ready when the doors open:

Don't make common seller mistakes
The listing should be the star of the show during an open house. However, too many events are marred by the presence of other elements, like a nosy homeowner, that can quickly get in the way of motivated buyers.

In an article for Parade magazine, Leah Ingram polled a number of real estate agents about their experiences with open houses. What they said could help you avoid their bad memories. For example, several agents lamented the ugly smells they've witnessed over the years. Homeowners who cook a pungent meal the night before can drive away buyers, and using scented candles, air fresheners and other sprays to mask odors can be a red flag for buyers.

On a similar note, sellers have to be careful about their pets. Several agents told Ingram that having pets on the property is a big no-no. They can scare buyers, prevent people from viewing rooms and prove to be a distraction overall. So, make sure dogs, cats and other animals are off the property before the open house.

Avoiding mistakes is but one part of the process. You will also need a firm understanding of the local market, and CRS Data makes that easy with mortgage records, warranty deeds and much more, right online. Walkthrough our CRS Data Real Estate Suite to learn more.

Use an open house to your advantage
With the smells, sounds, animals and homeowners out of the way, you can begin to design the perfect open house. There are a number of resources out there today that can provide assistance during this time.

According to Bankrate.com, one of those tools is technology. There are online applications that help with marketing and advertising, or even sites where the open house can be posted to attract visitors. Most buyers start their searches online, so the home needs to be represented well on the Internet.

You can also think outside the box when planning your next open house. Bankrate.com explained that you shouldn't be so quick to dismiss neighbors at the door. They can be great word-of-mouth advertising, because they are likely to call their friends - who don't live nearby - to tell them to swing by. 

"The neighborhood people are the most important sales people for the house," Pat Vredevoogd Combs, former president of the National Association of Realtors, told the media outlet. "So I want them to come in. They're the people who want their friends to come move into the neighborhood. They're my scouts."

You can also go low-tech at this time, walking around and telling people of the open house, making sure your sign out front says "Open House" and not "For Sale" and posting flyers. All of these steps can help increase foot traffic and ensure you have the perfect open house.



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