OPEN HOUSE TIPS FOR THE FOR SALE BY OWNER Look in your local newspapers in the classified real estate section, to determine which day is the most popular for doing your open house.
Schedule your open house at least one week in advance.
Restrict the total open hours to 3 or 4, (i.e. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) to reduce your wear and tear of waiting for buyers. It also increases the odds of people visiting simultaneously. This may be a bit hectic, but it enhances the sales atmosphere by creating interest when one prospect sees another looking at the house at the same time they are.
Place directional arrows from about three or four blocks away toward your home.
Place a very visible open house yard sign in front.
Leave space for visitors to park.
Remove all debris from in front of the house.
Your front porch area and entryway should sparkle!
Turn on all lights, including closets and open draperies.
Place your brochure or other printed material in the entry area.
Have extra clean bathrooms and close all toilet lids.
If the home features very organized closets, open a few for inspection.
Verify that valuables have not been left where accessible.
Tune in soft music from the same radio station in each available room.
Consider a guest registration book for visitors to sign.
OPEN HOUSE PREPARATION Buyers decide which home to purchase based on comparison. Just as every person has good days and bad days, so do homes. When holding your Open House, it is critical that your home be in its best condition. The following are a few of the most important things you can do to create a positive atmosphere in your home during your Open House.
Curb appeal is of the utmost importance! All lawns should be freshly cut and trimmed. Remove any unnecessary items from in front of the house. Most important is to have a "fresh" appearance as the prospective buyers approach the home. This can be accomplished by washing down the sidewalks, turning the soil in bordering flower gardens and watering the lawn just prior to the open house itself.
The entry way is critical. The buyer forms an opinion before he ever steps through the front door. The front door should be freshly painted, if needed, and cobwebs should be brushed out of the corners of your entryway. A fresh container of colorful flowers would be a wise investment for the front door area. If snow exists, make certain you have a clear walkway from the parking area to the front door. A coat rack inside may come in handy as well.
Have your air conditioner turned down low during summer months. If you have this feature in your home, you want the prospective buyer to know it the minute he walks in the door. In colder months, a roaring fire will set a wonderful tone in your home. Have adequate firewood available for the afternoon.
Obviously, the cleanliness of the home is imperative. The most important rooms in the home are the kitchen and bathrooms. Extra effort in these rooms will go a long way toward a favorable impression.
Check to see that all lights work in your home, including garage and closets.
Doors should open and slide freely. A little lubricant can prevent an embarrassing situation in the home later.
OPEN HOUSE SAMPLE ADS FIND YOUR OWN HOME Walk through this elegant contemporary home featuring 4 bedrooms and a view of the pool that will take your breath away. Available for viewing from 1-4, Saturday. Price - Address
SNEAK PREVIEW This ranch-style 3 bedroom retreat just went up for sale! Open for the first time this Saturday from 1-4, you'll love the extras. Price - Address
NOT A HOUSE - A HOME When you enter this 3 bedroom home, you will feel the warmth that makes this one truly special. If you like good feelings, come by Sunday between 1-4. Price - Address
BRING A FRIEND... to enjoy the warm setting of this country home. Picture yourself entertaining others in the private picnic area overlooking your 5 acres. Open for your inspection from 1-4, Sunday. Price - Address
BOARDS & NAILS Don't mind the construction mess; it's worth it. This 4 bedroom home is scheduled for completion within 30 days and will be ready for you to move into. Price - Address - Hours
WANT SOMETHING UNIQUE? This 4 bedroom home has it all. From a private security system to a built in stereo masterpiece. This will turn your head. Price - Address - Hours
Use your neighbors, friends and co-workers to help you spread the word about your open house. Start with sending out Open House Invitation by Email to your contacts, then post on your Social Networks, send handwritten invitations to neighbors, work your offline social networks, like neighborhood associations, clubs, church directory, workplace bulletin boards and etc. Place an ad in your local Print Ads. Always include the area of town, the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You must also increase the exposure of your home by placing your ad on various Internet FSBO websites.
Here is an example of a open house invitation
I wanted to let you know that your neighbor's home will be open for prospective buyers this weekend. If you know anyone who may be interested, please let them know. This could be an opportunity to view the home at their convenience. __________________________________________________________ Address
_________________ Date _________________ Time
YOUR NAME ___________________________________________________
PHONE NUMBER _______________
(A handwritten invitation will increase the attendance of neighbors dramatically.)
******************************************************* GREAT OPEN HOUSE QUESTIONS "Hi, thanks for coming by today. My name is ___________ and your name please?" Common courtesy once said that you should shake hands with both husband and wife. In todays enviroment you should not do this. “Did you find out about the home from my advertising or did you see the signs?" If they saw the signs, they will want to know the price right away. It will also give you a feel for how effective your advertising is. "Here is some information I put together on the home. As you wander through the home you may find it helpful. Please let me know if I can help in any way." Stay out of their way. Let them know you are there to help them, not just sell them the home. "Are you from the area?" If not, can you help them with restaurant recommendations, lodging, rental cars or any other information. You may want to have a small list of area attractions and restaurants at different price points. 'Would you like a map of the area?" Invest in several cheap maps or pick some up at your local welcome center. This can be a google map you have printed out. Have your name and phone number on each map you give away. Show them where they are as it relates to any other place they would like to know. Could I get you to fill in the guest register. Would you mind?" The information will be more accurate than if you ask for it for yourself
******************************************************** Open House Report Date ____Time _____ Total of visitors _______ How they found home ( this information helps with future open houses) __________ Found home by advertising __________ Found home by directional arrows __________ Found home by invitation __________ How many were interested in the home? __________ How many asked for additional info on the home? Overall reaction of visitors to the home: Overall reaction to price: ************************************************
The Day Before Your Open House
Clean your house. Your house must shine.
Make sure that the front of your house and sidewalk is perfect.
Time to talk to your neighbors about parking. If you have a neighbor that you are friends with ask if you can park your cars in their driveway. This clears your driveway/garage for the open house. Also ask your neighbors to please not park in front of your home during the open house.
Pull together your refreshments menu and make sure that you have everything. Make sure that you have all your serving pieces ready to go. Remember small disposable plates, cups and napkins. Place a clean trash out in this area. Keep a roll of paper towels hidden in the area for cleaning up spills.
Firm up the arrangements for children and pets care. Make sure that no pets are roaming through the house during an open house. Children need to be off property during your open house. Make sure that all their toys are put away.
Go through your house, every room and make sure there are no tripping hazards.
Check the weather report if it is going to be rainy you might want to go to Home Depot or Lowes and get floor runners and slip on booties. This will protect your floors from getting too messed up.
Make sure all jewelry, financial statements, passports, documents and prescriptions are out of sight and secure.
Make sure you have enough listing sheets/flyers on hand. If you intend to have giveaways make sure you have them ready.
Organize your room talkers so you know where to put them. Make sure you have double-sided tape to secure them, if necessary.
Prepare a clipboard for visitors to sign in and leave their contact information.
Drive the most common routes to your house to detect last-minute detours. Note the best locations for directional signs and yard signs.
Make sure you have enough signs and are ready to be put out. I suggest that you put them in your car the night before. It will save time on open house day.
The Day of Your Open House
Do a quick clean of the floors and wipe down all counter tops, kitchen and baths. Close all toilet lids. Check all mirrors to make sure they shine
Put away all toys and pet items.
Three hours before take your children and pets to another location.
Arrange your refreshments, flyers, giveaways, sign in clipboard and home book.
If the weather is bad put out your runners and booties.
Open all drapes and blinds. Turn on every light and lamp in the house.
One hour before your Open House starts, place directional signs at intersections.
Put the “Open” sign on top of your For Sale By Owner sign.
Now it is time for you to use your smile. Greet all your buyer’s with a big smile and a handshake. Ask them to fill out the sign in sheet. Look at the sheet after they have signed it to make sure you can read their name and telephone number. You will use this to follow up on the buyer’s the next day. If they have a buyer's agent with them, ask the agent if they are pre-qualified. If there is a buyer’s agent present let the agent preview the house with the buyer. Let them know that you are there to answer any questions. DO NOT follow them around unless asked. If the buyer is not with an agent ask them if there is a particular feature they are interested in. If you have the feature, show them the feature. Always let them enter areas first. Keep answers and discussions centered on the house.