How To Have A Successful Open House When Selling Your House

How To Have A Successful Open House When Selling Your House

Hosting a successful open house can be a tricky task to undertake. And more often these days, realtors will not resort to hosting one, as the usual showing process works well enough in most cases. 

It’s often debated how effective these open houses are amongst professionals in the real estate industry. But an open house can be effective if you are selling the home as the owner or for sale by the owner (FSBO). 

Before we dive into how to hold a successful open house, let’s review your options to sell a home. 

Ways to sell your home

There are multiple ways of selling your home, such as:

The traditional way 

When selling your home in the traditional way you will need to hire an estate agent to assist with creating a Comparative Market Analysis report (CMA). This will help establish the correct listing price. 

If the realtor believes that there’s some repair work required, you might need to call in some contractors before the real estate agent takes the listing photos. 

Once these images are taken, the realtor will upload them with the listing to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If, after some time there are no real bites, the agent might suggest an open home, calling in a hosting specialist, but you could hook a promising potential buyer. 

If said buyer needs financial help from a lender, you will need to wait for the bank to send an appraiser to ensure that the accepted price offer is fair. This appraisal can sometimes come in lower than the offer price, and your buyer could ask for a revaluation or withdraw their offer. 

But if this goes according to plan, you could be ready to transfer the deed to your home and sign on the dotted line. 

When selling your home with a realtor you are liable for their commission fee. As a rule of thumb, most realtors work off a commission of 5-6%. And that percentage is off the total sale price of the home. This happens at the close of escrow. 

You can work out how much this commission cost is by following this example: If you’re listing your home at $200,000 at a commission rate of 6%, this equals a total cost of $12,000. 

If you’re looking at cutting out this expense,  you can try the for sale by owner route. 

Selling without a real estate agent 

Taking the route of FSBO is a lot of work. While the commission fee might seem like a lot of money to fork out, it’s worth it if you’re uncertain about processes. 

As mentioned earlier, your realtor is responsible for all the marketing and promotion of the home. They are also heavily involved in drawing up contractual work and sourcing the deed to your property if it is stored at the county’s office. 

While it may seem like saving, you will still need to ensure you’ve covered a few bills for any work required to sell your home. This might include landscaping, renovation work, marketing, and more

If you’re unable to afford the services of a realtor or don’t have the expertise or time to complete this mammoth task yourself, you can always contact a cash-for-home service. 

Cash for home services

Relatively new to the real estate scene, these cash for home services, or iBuyers, use computer algorithms to work out the exact asking price for your home. 

They have large lump sums of cash at their disposal and are able to buy your home within days. This quick turnaround time means it is perfect for homeowners in a rush to sell their home, or those unable to sell their house on their own, or afford a realtor. 

While it’s up to you which method you choose, if you decide to keep it traditional and you’re struggling to move the property, you will need to host an open house. But how do you answer the age old question of, “How to have an open house?” and why should you follow through on hosting an open home?  

Reasons to have an open house

There are many reasons to host an open home. And these include: 

No time to show individual buyers

If you are trying to sell your home as an FSBO or you are using a real estate agent,  you might not have the time to show individual buyers around the house. 

Hosting an open house allows for multiple potential buyers to walk into the home at the same time. Also, multiple interested parties in the home will automatically create an atmosphere of competition. 

Why else would you host an open house?

You live in a busy area

For those who live in a neighborhood with loads of foot traffic, your potential buyer could be walking right past your home. And might have been eyeing out your property for the day you decide to list it. 

When planning what to do for open houses, most real estate agents will strongly suggest that you start to market the open home straight away. 

Homes that don’t photograph well

It might seem extremely unlikely that your home won’t photograph well, but it happens. This can be down to not having the right photography gear or natural lighting. 

But a home that doesn’t look good on the screen will mean fewer people showing interest in it. 

And sometimes seeing a property in person gives a different experience. This brings us to the next point. 

Interesting features

Homes with interesting features often do better when potential buyers get to see these items in person. 

Whether you have interesting light fixtures, interesting room conversions, or unique details. 

While you can take hundreds of photos, most can only appreciate these different details when viewing it in person. 

By simply hosting an open home you can ensure that everyone who’s interested can take in the details. 

But how do you host a successful open house? 

How to host an open house?

When starting to plan your open home, there are key elements to secure. These are our top tips for an open house.

Check out the competition

Understanding what is on offer in your neighborhood can help you plan for your own open house.  While the majority of homes won’t be an open house, you can take a look at them online. 

What you should take away from checking out other homes is what will work in your house. Take notes on what staging tricks work if the presence of a realtor was necessary, or what other buyers of the property were feeding back to each other about the open home. 

Prepare a property information sheet

It might be amongst the top real estate open house tips: having a detailed property information sheet is key when hosting a viewing. 

The property information sheet will include the following information: 

  • Property address

  • Asking price

  • Your contact info (including a URL to your website or online ad)

  • Brief description of the property

  • Exterior and interior photos

  • Maintenance or HOA fees (if applicable)

  • Real estate taxes

  • Total square footage

  • Number of bedrooms

  • Number of bathrooms

  • Appliances that are included

  • Outdoor spaces

  • Any special features (fireplace, finished basement, etc.)

  • Recent upgrades you made

  • Neighborhood amenities (shopping, recreation, freeways, public transportation, etc.)

  • And school information

There’s no need to worry about design layout, as long as the information is easy to digest. 

Staging the home

We’ve mentioned that you’ll need to make plans to stage your home. You can hire a professional to assist, but you can also do it yourself. 

The first step is to de-clutter, depersonalize, and neutralize the home environment. You need potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in the space. Which can be hard with distractions. 

Your home also needs to be spotless and clutter-free. Homes that are dirty often get lowball offers. 

If there’s something broken, make sure to fix it. And if you can afford to make updates to match the surrounding properties you should. 

When arranging furniture, make sure to allow maximum space around it. Your home needs to feel spacious. 

What else do you need to know when it comes to open house tips for sellers?

Promotion and marketing 

If you have a real estate agent on board, they will be responsible for listing your home on one of their extensive networks that target potential buyers. The realtor will inform them that you’re hosting an open home. 

But if you’re working as FSBO, you will need to start this process on your own. Make sure to upload your open home on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Ensure there’s a professionally printed sign on the curb to indicate your home is being shown, as well as on intersections to direct people to your house. 

If you have an extra budget, you can do a pamphlet drop and place an advert on a local notice board that your home is on show. 

And always make sure to include some images of your home. 

There’s still one step to follow on accomplishing your goal of, “How to have a successful open house”. 

Be the best host

It might be one of the biggest rules on how to hold an open house, you must be a gracious host. A poor host will automatically put off potential buyers. 

Make sure to maintain a professional presence and allow viewers to wander the property freely. 

Also make sure to:

  • Book a pet sitter for the day off-site.

  • Lock away valuables, medication, and other personal items.

  • Have a sign-in sheet for guests to leave contact details. 

  • Be on hand to answer any questions. 

  • Offer light refreshments and eats. 

The more at home they feel, the better for you. 

Your last step is to use the contact sheet to follow up on potential buyers and whether they have an interest in putting in an offer. 

But what if no one replies? After all the work and effort you poured into the open house? Well, you can sell to House Buyers of America. But why? 

Why trust House Buyers of America to buy your home? 

Since 2001, we buy houses in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. During this time we’ve innovated the real estate game, as well as impressed thousands of customers. It’s this longevity and success that sets us apart. 

Currently, we have over 100 reviews with 5 stars, with testimonies from a select few! Most of these reviews highlight that House Buyers of America will: 

  • Sell houses fast

  • Pay cash for homes

  • Treat you with the utmost respect

House Buyers of America has also earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is an organization that helps United States consumers find businesses they can trust. 

But it’s our positive rating on Facebook and Google we’re most proud of, with hundreds of positive reviews. 

When you’re selling your home, you want to be 100% sure that you can trust the company you’ve contracted to help you. And nothing will put your mind at ease more than reading our clients’ reviews of our services. 

And because our clients have spoken about us with such fondness, we’ve been asked to contribute thought leader comments to various publications. 

Submitting our professional opinion to America’s most trusted media outlets, like: 

  • USA Today

  • The Wall Street Journal  

  • CBS News

  • ABC

  • NBC

  • And Fox

But how does House Buyers of America work? 

How House Buyers of America works

We’ve ensured that every step is simple, quick, and efficient. That’s why our first step is you approaching us. 

Simply give us a call at 855-659-3289 or use our online form to get started!

Within 10 minutes, if the call is made during office hours, we will have a fair cash offer for your property. 

Once we’ve gathered your information, we will arrange a time for us to come by the house to finalize that important paperwork. 

And once you’ve signed on the dotted line, the money will be in your bank account in a matter of days. 

It’s never been easier to sell your house fast

Get an offer with a click of a button

Sell your home directly to House Buyers of America and can skip all the hassle and months of uncertainty. Simply enter your address – and get our offer with a few simple steps.

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The below statistics demonstrate why this is the case: The entire length of time it takes to sell a home is more than just the number of days your house is on the market. Before your house can be listed for sale, you must do your research to ensure selling your house is the right decision and also find contractors. That takes time. 86% of home buyers finance their homes, meaning they must wait for their mortgage loan to be approved before finalizing a purchase. That adds additional time to the closing process. It takes 30 days, on average, for a mortgage to be approved, and 50 days for the sale of a house to be completed (from initial offer to closing). On top of that, if the house needs a lot of work and the buyer is getting a construction loan—like an FHA 203K loan—you can expect another 90 to 120 days for that to be approved. Why The Traditional Route Might Not Be Fast Enough Traditional house selling methods often require time, sometimes stretching from 6 months to a year. 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