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2011-01-10 02:43:35

Are Open Houses Simply a Waste of Time? Part I


The real estate shows on HGTV sure make a big fuss over Open Houses.  They would have  us to believe that holding an Open House will always attract LOTS of home buyers.  But the reality is, it doesn't always work that way. 

Most agents will agree that only a small percentage of homes are actually sold during an open houseOpen House.  Many agents do Open Houses for the sole purpose of meeting future home buying clients. 

Some agents won't do Open Houses at all, because to them, they just don't make sense.  In some instances (if your home is off the beaten track, difficult to find, or if your local market is too saturated with other homes for sale) an Open House truly may not be a good use of anyone's time.

Nonetheless, many agents
love doing Open Houses and know how to make them work, while others begrudgingly hold them simply to appease their clients

Sellers, if you feel like your agent is going into it with the wrong attitude, you may want to consider taking the success of your Open House into your own hands.  BECAUSE in today's market, you need to do EVERYTHING you possibly can to get your home sold and Open Houses are one of MANY possible ways to do this. 

Here are 8 ideas for improving your chances of finding a buyer at next Open House... 

  1. Your house MUST look its absolute best which means clean, uncluttered and in good repair with extra emphasis on curb appeal. 
  2. Make sure your house smells fresh, but avoid using scented candles, incense and overpowering room deodorizing sprays - your visitors could be allergic OR might become suspicious of the odors you're trying to cover up. 
  3. Remove pets and all evidence that pets live in your home (food bowls, toys, etc.)  There's always the risk that your visitors might be frightened of or allergic to your pet. 
  4. Stage your house so that it feels warm and inviting.  Have a cozy fire burning in the fireplace, if you have one.  Play soft music.  Offer light refreshments – nothing fancy.  A pitcher of lemonade or ice tea, paper cups and a plate of cookies will be a welcome treat for your guests.
  5. Make sure your agent publicizes your open house in places like,, the MLS, Craig’s List , Active Rain and local papers.  Be sure there are LOTS of signs pointing in the direction of your Open House.
  6. Place signs and balloons outside the house to grab the attention of people driving by. 
  7. If your holding an Open House during the winter months, be sure to check out Tips for Selling your Home During the Winter Months for a few season specific suggestions.
  8. Leave.  Some sellers think that ONLY they can point out their home's best features. The reality is, buyers often feel uncomfortable viewing a home when the owner is present.  Sellers run the risk of revealing too much information and/or saying things that could weaken their negotiating position.  If you don't trust the the person you've hired to represent you in the sale of your house - perhaps its time to find someone you can trust.  

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I share 8 MORE tips for improving your chances of finding a buyer at your next Open House. 

Do you like these ideas?  You'll find A LOT more just like them in the Ready2Sellin30Days, the do-it-yourself guide to preparing homes for sale.   Ready2Sellin30Days provides all the information and inspiration you need to get your house ready to sell in the quickest most economical way possible! 

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