Updated: Apr 24, 2022
What is an open house?
Hosting an open house is one of the ways to create awareness about the house and also a good way to meet a lot of potential buyers at once and get their feedback regarding the house. The process of hosting an open house varies from seller to seller and also the real estate professionals depending on their individual perception. Every situation and house is unique, Knowing some of the pros and cons of hosting an open house might make the evaluation of the situation and decision making easier.
How to prepare for an open house?
Preparing for an open house may be a tedious process, but if the you feel it is worth it and helps sell the home faster, then there are some things you may do while prepping your home for hosting an open house.
Getting rid of unwanted Furniture
Getting rid of unwanted furniture may help open up the space in your home and might make it look spacious. Some people prefer to store the excess furniture in garage, storage shed.
Deep clean your home
Deep cleaning your home before open house is very important as it might give a fresh look and a fresh scent and may make the house look more appealing. You may also consider hiring a cleaning service especially to clean all the windows. Preparing and cleaning the entry way may give a great first impression about your home. It is not advisable to use strong scents as it might not be pleasant to many home buyers, some prefer to bake muffins or cookies before an open house as it gives a pleasant smell and a feeling of being at home.
Promoting the open house
Promoting the open house and creating awareness are a very important steps before deciding to host an open house. You may ask the real estate agent to post your home's listing in MLS and other websites. You may add a video of the home to make the buyers better interested and get an idea about the floor plan of your home. You may also tie balloons to the open house signs to get the attention, may post flyers in the neighborhood. You may also promote your home in the social media and ask your friends to share it to maximize awareness of your home's listing.
It is important to secure any expensive jewelry or any other valuable items, Bank statements, Identity cards or important documents before conducting an open house to be safe. You may also secure your prescription medications during the event.
Avoid being at home during the open house
Usually, the sellers don't stay during the event, only the real estate agent stays because the. Buyers may feel more comfortable sharing the feedback about the home when the owners are not around.
Choosing the correct Timing
Most of the open houses are conducted during the hours between 1:00 P.M - 3:00 P.M. You may stretch the timing of the open house from 12:00 P.M - 5:00 P.M to avoid competing with other open houses and attract and accommodate more potential buyers.
Preparing your home
There are some things you may do to make your home more presentable. You may wash all the windows, pull out the cars from Garage, remove all the pet belongings as not all the people are ecstatic about the pets, open the curtains and blinds to give home an ample light and also to open up the space, close your toilet seats. Clean kitchen countertops, Inside the cabinets and closets, doors etc.
Staging and accessorizing the home
Staging a home by renting private furniture may make the home look aesthetically pleasing and attractive. Accessorizing the home according to the room not only helps in highlighting room's best features and may also create a cozy environment for the buyers. Clean kitchen countertops, Inside the cabinets and closets, doors etc.
Pros of hosting an open house
Attract more Potential buyers
Having an open house is a great way to reach more potential buyers and usually the more buyers that are aware of the listing, more chances of selling the home faster. Some buyers may feel at ease in a social setting and the traffic may also increase the interest and drive to put an offer to buy the home. Some sellers may also prefer having an open house at a scheduled time rather than leaving the home during weekdays and may also decrease the frequency of scheduling and leaving the home.
An open house may increase the potential buyers thus increasing the interest in the house. This increases the chance of bidding war and help the sellers to sell their home at on optimal price. Some sellers prefer to set a deadline to the offer acceptance which may increase the buyers interest to offer more. It might help sell your home faster at a great price.
It may be a good way to get the feedback from the buyers and know about the features of the home that are pleasing to them and the features that does not fit according to their needs. It may help the seller to do certain modifications on the house if it is possible. It may help to sell their home faster for a higher price. It may create a low pressure environment for the buyer to share their thoughts as they may have enough time to look around, discuss and analyze.
Sharing Comps and information about Neighborhood
Hosting an open house may create a great opportunity to share comps as a printout or a flyer. This might help the buyer to have an idea about the neighborhood home prices and makes the chances of selling the home higher if your listed home price is relatively lower. You may also share about the schools, amenities, shopping, groceries, restaurants, sports opportunities nearby as a printout or a flyer to increase their interest on buying the home.
Cons of hosting an open house
Many sellers are usually concerned with the safety and security issues of the home while conducting an open house. Open houses may also increase your chances of becoming a victim of theft. It is very important to secure all the valuables, medications, important documents, bank statements etc to avoid valuables from being stolen or becoming a victim of even an identity theft. It may also pose a risk as it may give opportunity for the criminals to plan out a future break in.
Attract unmotivated and unqualified buyers
While conducting an open house, it may attract all sorts of people like nosy neighbors, prospects looking to get ideas on decorating or staging their home, thieves looking for future breakout or steal valuables etc. Some sellers prefer to show their home only to the serious prospects. It may also attract unqualified buyers who may not be qualified to buy your home as they don't have a preapproval. Having a preapproval gives a better estimate of what the buyer can afford. This depends on a number of factors like credit score, income, debt to income ratio etc
Chances of Property damage and increased expense
There are higher chances of property damage occurrence as many people are looking around. It might also cost a lot of money to conduct an open house like serving food or drinks, accessorizing your home with candles, flowers etc. You may also have high utility bills as there may be a need to use air conditioning or heater more than usual. These costs may look very less, but it might add up if you prefer and decide to host multiple showings.
During an open house, some buyers may not feel comfortable to look around, discuss and analyze as it is very crowded. Because of the crowd, the features that are pleasing may get unnoticed, the home may look less spacious etc. It may also reduce the one on one interaction with the agent while sharing feedback or opinions. Some sellers don't feel comfortable having many strangers at their home and some buyers don't feel comfortable going to open houses due to the pandemic and the risk. You may make a video tour or drone shot of your home to help the buyers to make a better decision of whether your home fits their needs.