Promoting a successful open house |

Promoting a successful open house

Sean and Aimee McDonald

Successful open houses are a product of significant planning and preparation. Although an open house may not be the resultant cause for the sale of a home, holding a home open, can increase the odds that it is seen by a prospective buyer. In response, consideration should be given to marketing efforts as the broad application of promotional tools could serve to capture a prospective homebuyer’s awareness.

Real estate professionals who’ve listed homes for sale on the market, are not only responsible for promoting those properties, they’re also responsible for acting as consultants, coordinating efforts resulting in the sale of those homes. Holding a successful open house is no exception, as it requires hosting professionals possess a strong sales and service orientation. Hosting professionals are expected to effectively communicate the attributes of the home while providing insight into the home buying process.

There are a number of ways an open house can be advertised to prospective homebuyers. Whether promoted using platforms like the local newspaper, social media, e-mail campaigns or real estate websites, there are a diverse number of channels employed by today’s real estate professionals. Not all agents enlist the same strategies, but regardless of the channels used, successful real estate agents will accompany a professional image of the property with a detailed description of the home’s attributes.

For real estate professionals, the benefits of hosting an open house are often twofold and sellers may be surprised to learn they usually aren’t the sole beneficiaries of an open house. Savvy professionals recognize hosting an open house affords them an opportunity to build their customer base as they’re provided an opportunity to showcase their services to other prospective clients. This is beneficial to both parties, as the hosting agent will aspire to ensure the open house generates interest.

Sellers must also take appropriate measures to ensure the home is visually ready to attract prospective buyers. One of the most important steps is ensuring the house has been thoroughly cleaned and staged. It is important to remember, the brighter a home is the more apt it’ll be to elicit a prospective buyer’s interest.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, sellers are usually encouraged to step away from their homes while the open house is in progress. Sellers should entrust their hosting real estate representative to appropriately promote the home. Prospective homebuyers will want to tour the property and discuss the home; however, in the presence of the home’s owner, potential homebuyers may feel stifled.

Albeit, most visitors to an open house won’t be in the market to buy. However, a well-qualified buyer may turn what otherwise would’ve been a casual visit into a purchase. Most attendees will probably be neighbors, people who saw directional signage to the home, or respondents to advertisements. But, visiting guests shouldn’t be dismissed, as they have the potential of becoming referral sources. Every visit made to the home has the possibility of leading to a prospective sale.

It’s important to remember, the goal of holding a home open is to attract the attention of prospective buyers. Yet, if the home is not appropriately priced, an open house likely won’t generate substantial interest. Sellers should request their agents conduct a competitive market analysis (CMA) to ensure the home’s price is reflective of current market conditions. In connection with holding the home open, sellers should be willing to discuss third-party opinions with their host, as an outside perspective oftentimes proves beneficial in making competitive marketing adjustments.

When holding an open house, the host agents should greet all guests at the front door with a smile and all visitors should be asked to sign a guest register before previewing the property. Further, every visitor should also be offered a brochure highlighting the property’s features and price. In connection, hosting agents often find it advantageous to have a sample mortgage breakdown on hand so prospective buyers acquire a sense of what the home would cost were they to purchase.

Provisions should be made to have fresh baked cookies and water for visiting guests. Where appropriate, informational items relating to the neighborhood, should also be made available. It’s important to remember, the purpose of hosting an open house is to provide prospective homebuyers with an experience that piques their interest not only in the home but also the community.

In effort to ensure the highest levels of customer service and home security, two or more hosting agents should be present during the open house. Multiple hosts will ensure all visitors are properly chaperoned while touring the property and provide an opportunity to answer guest questions relating to the home. Having multiple hosting agents also aids in the process of setting up and closing the open house.

Typically, open houses are held over the weekend but that’s not to say weekdays are necessarily at a disadvantage. The best time to hold a home open is when prospective homebuyers are likely to be found; this may mean promoting the home during peak commute times. Sellers should discuss the benefits of hosting an open house with their real estate professional as a successfully promoted open house may result in the seller receiving a competitive offer.

Sean and Aimee McDonald, realtors with RE/MAX North Lake Tahoe, can be reached at 775-250-8335 or