Your house is clean and staged to perfection. You’ve put signs in the front yard and at major intersections. You’ve scheduled your open house on the same day as others in the neighborhood, and you’re expecting a crowd.
So what do you do when potential buyers come through your front door? The key to hosting a great open house is to prepare for buyers just like you would if you were hosting a social engagement: by making them feel welcome and at home. Here are five tips for showing your house like a professional.
1. Prepare a Property Sheet
Professional agents usually prepare an informational flyer or brochure, and hand one out to each group who comes to the open house. This is a great way for buyers to remember your home. The experts at HGTV suggest that you include exterior and interior photos, as well as information such as your address, asking price, square footage, room descriptions and sizes, recent upgrades or renovations, appliances, real estate taxes, special features, lot size, neighborhood amenities, school information and your contact information.
2. Greet Buyers
If the weather permits, keep your front door open so that buyers feel comfortable walking inside without having to knock or ring the doorbell. Station yourself near the front door so you can greet them as they come in. Prepare a sign-in sheet and ask guests to jot down their name, email and phone number before they tour your home. Then hand each group the property sheet you prepared.
3. Let Buyers Explore on Their Own
You want your visitors to envision themselves living in your home, and that means you can’t be peering over their shoulders while they look around. Let them take a tour on their own leisure. Make sure you put away valuables, medication and other personal items, so you don’t have to worry. If buyers request that you give them a tour, point out the floor plan and not personal items. Let them enter rooms first and stand back while they look around. Be sure to maintain a professional attitude, and let buyers know you’re available to answer questions.
4. Appeal to All Senses
The kitchen is the heart of a home, and you can get buyers to linger by appealing to their stomachs. A plate of homemade cookies, for example, will not only taste good, but they will fill your home with a warm, welcoming scent and a reason to stay. Brew some coffee, put out some water, and be sure to offer plates and napkins. If you use paper products, have a place for visitors to conveniently dispose of their trash.
5. Follow Up
As guests leave, thank them for visiting. You can ask for feedback on the spot, such as their level of interest and how your price compares to other available homes in your area. Then use the phone or email address they provided on your sign-in sheet to reach out a day or two after the open house and see if they’d like to have a second, private showing.
Using these tips for showing your house will go a long way in creating a welcoming environment — one that will help you close the sale. If you’re ready to start the buying or selling process, head to Owners.com for all the resources you need to be successful.