Constantin “Chris” Hinova is a Certified Negotiation Expert at Prominent Properties, Sotheby’s International Realty in Hoboken, New Jersey. He offers 23 tips to host a successful open house. “Assuming your home is presentable, spotless from top to bottom, priced correctly and located in a high traffic area, here are some tips to improve the odds your house will sell at an open house,” says Hinova.
Open House Tips
- Advertise online (newspapers are a waste of money). Write colorful, descriptive ads and place them in web classifieds or open house directories, too. Post Internet open house ads everywhere.
- Find the busiest intersection closest to your home and put an open house sign at that corner. The arrows should point buyers in the right direction and add signs along the way to guide buyers to your home. Place a sign every few blocks to guide buyers to your home.
- Did you know that many brokers will advertise your home on their websites?
- If you can, have your most upbeat member of your team stand outside in front of the house or building with flyers to direct buyers. Equip them with flyers. The flyers don’t have to be fancy, and have them give them out liberally.
- If you are getting swamped, the outside person can act as a traffic cop only allowing in one or two parties at most. If possible, have more than one person inside the house also to help with the showing. Just because there’s a line to get in, don’t rush anyone. Keep in mind that a lingering visitor might just be your buyer!
- Unless you are offering cookies or snacks, do not put spices on the stove to simmer you may just make people hungry and eager to leave to get something to eat.
- Do not, under any circumstances, use an air freshener because many people are allergic to synthetic odors.
- If you can, turn on soft music on each floor to help set a mood. If that’s not possible then at least do it in the living room .
- Have available four-color flyers filled with quality photos and reasons for a buyer to purchase the home.
- Put out flyers that contain financing options so buyers can readily determine their monthly payments including all charges, such as mortgage, common charges, taxes, HOA, etc.
- Serve refreshments and snacks or, depending on your budget, maybe a catered lunch. It’s very important to, if possible, have buyers sit down at the dining room table or on the couch to eat and drink your offerings – make them feel at home, their new home that is.
- Set out all documents pertaining to the house: If you did an inspection and fixed whatever issues were present then also put out the inspection report. If not, then wait until you do the repairs then make it available.
- Appraisals are great and if you don’t have any try to get a BPO or find a way to get comps.
- Document major repairs and warranties; if you are selling with the potential for improvements then add blueprints or architectural plans .
- Consider removing area rugs in favor of bare floors, to show continuity of space.
- Remove anything that may seem controversial like a like an animal head on the wall, or a photo with a polarizing politico.
- Of course, you should remove all clutter. Current accepted practice is to make the home look as if it’s brand new or just renovated. To that end, most agents recommend removing family photos.
- Collect all your pets’ ancillary items, such as food bowls and litter boxes. And if you can’t take them offsite then make sure they are pristine.
- Bathrooms! Don’t allow anyone to use the bathroom, this is an open house not an open gas station. The best way to do that is to keep the bathroom door open and make sure that it doesn’t close. Use a wedge on the floor or some other device to keep the door open. A closed door between you and complete strangers visiting your home is never a good idea. Remove those fuzzy toilet seat covers and make sure that the lids are down. No one ever purchased a home because they got a gander inside the toilet bowl.
- Lock up and hide your valuables. Just remember that these days “valuables” also include anything that would help an identity thief gain access to your personal information.
- Love your nosy neighbors. We all have nightmares of neighbors snooping through our closets, but in this case it’s a good thing. Neighbors have friends who might want to move in the neighborhood, so encourage them to come and ask them if they know someone who might be interested in buying the property.
- Be upbeat and enthusiastic and resist the urge to yell at anyone who throws around low ball offers. They might be just as new at this as you are and maybe they think they’re negotiating.
- Always ask for feedback before people at your open house leave and always ask if they know anyone who might interested in buying your home. You’ll be surprised how many homeowners and even brokers forget to do this very important step!
Use these tips to help make your next open house a huge success. Chris Hinova prides himself in being a pioneer of online marketing in the Real Estate industry in North Jersey. Having built some of the most respected and researched Real Estate websites in the area, Chris is able to deploy a powerful array of products, skills and strategies to provide for home owners the kind of marketing prowess previously accessible only to the biggest real estate developers. Chris’s Facebook marketing strategies are legendary and “top secret” so if you want to know how he does it you’ll have to ask him directly (917) 545-3438. Go to: http://jerseycityrealestate.net/about/ to learn more. Constantin “Chris” Hinova is a Certified Negotiation Expert at Prominent Properties, Sotheby’s International Realty in Hoboken, New Jersey.