This article was written by Sandi Clark for the First Team Blog.
In one word, “Absolutely”. With our last properties we have averaged between 75 and 110 attendees. Within the first 4 to 10 days we have had offers and often more than one. This wasn’t just a miracle, but a planned marketing approach. As a seller if you are going to request/allow an open house, then let’s make it count. If it is done right you have a steady flow of buyers coming through the house and they see the other people. It makes a buyer nervous especially if this home is a favorite. They are more likely to write an offer if they see that other people like the home too. There is something about desiring what other people want.
The advantage for the seller here is that a well-executed Open House makes each day on the market count. The sellers have offers sooner and there is less interruption of their daily lives with a lot of single showings at odd times—especially at dinner! There is also more likelihood that there will be multiple offers and at higher prices. Using our approach we have found that statistically we sell homes for 13% more per square foot and 27% faster than the market average.
Our approach begins with a team effort–our sellers work very hard to make the house pristine and free of clutter. They move out furniture that is too big, put away large numbers of personal pictures, store valuables and treasured mementoes and even plant new plants. When our professional photographer comes to shoot pictures, the house looks amazing—like a model home. We also include evening shots especially if there is a gorgeous sunset view. We want buyers to picture themselves entertaining in the backyard. The point is to have the buyer imagine what it would be like to live in THIS home.
Once we have pictures, great care is taken to feature the home appropriately—if a buyer only looks at the first 6 pictures (some web sites only feature a small number) you don’t have the first 6 pictures be slightly different angles of just the backyard. Your first 6 pictures show different areas of the home—it’s like a summary—front of home, view from backyard, kitchen, family room etc. Next we work a number of hours putting together relevant and enticing verbiage for the Multiple Listing Service so it invites those buyers looking at the pictures to come see the home in person. Don’t forget to include the neighborhood amenities—isn’t that one of the reasons, Mr. Seller, that you bought here?
This is just the beginning of what is done before you plant that sign in the ground and load the kids into your car for the afternoon. An open house is an extremely well thought out advertising campaign: one of many campaigns that top agents use to market a home well. If done right, you expose your home to a maximum number of buyers and other real estate agents all in one afternoon.
Before hiring an agent, make sure you ask them about all the marketing they intend to do for you and include some questions on planning for an outstanding Open House.