Powerfact: Touring an open house can be disorienting for a buyer. As the real estate professional, it is your job to know how to put them at ease.
We visited a few open houses recently because we are considering purchasing a new property. After what I saw done (and NOT done) by the agents hosting the open houses, I felt the need to share five important tips with everyone about what a successful open house should look like.
5 Top Tips for Hosting a Successful Open House
1. Turn On All the Lights
There is a lot that goes into preparing your listing for an open house. If your open house starts at 12 Noon, don’t show up at 11:45. Make sure you are there at 11:30, if not sooner. This gives you time to get in “The Zone” and set everything up correctly. One of the MOST important things to do is to turn on all the lights. You don’t want your potential buyers focused more on finding the light switch than what the home has to offer!
2. Start Your Open House an Hour Before Your Competitor’s Open Houses
Most real estate agents seem to start their open houses at Noon, but 11AM tends to be a smarter start time. It gives you and your listing advantage because it puts your listing at the top of the queue when buyers are planning their day.
If yours is the first one open and stay open a little longer because to accommodate our hot market, your listing will be stand out from your competition. We went to an open house at 11 am, and it was packed! We went to another at Noon, and it was very slow, so 11 AM seems to be the magic hour for buyers looking at open houses.
3. Don’t Point Out the Negative
If there are negative aspects to the house, don’t point them out as soon as the buyer walks in. I went to an open house where the agent did this. I’m sure they thought they were being helpful. Without really thinking about it, he said to me, “When you see the house, don’t look so much as the square footage, because it’s not that great, but the workmanship is impeccable. That’s the best feature in this house – the incredible workmanship.”
Because he started off our conversation by bringing attention to the square footage, I spent the whole time in the open house looking at how small the house was, and while I did appreciate the workmanship (which was as incredible as the agent said), I was too distracted by how small the home was.
Your perception of what you think is good might not be to someone else, and what you think is bad might be good to someone else. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to remember that the concept of “less is more” in most cases, and not say anything at all.
4. Don’t Try So Hard That You Become a Distraction
I have had some agents that were really helpful, which is great, but be careful with how helpful you are trying to be. I have had agents giving me a property tour, pointing out everything to me, and talking non-stop. The truth is, the more the agent talked, the more distracted I was in viewing the home, and the less interested in the property I became.
I spent more time trying to tune agents out as they pointed out this feature and that picture. When I wanted to go look at something else, I kept getting pulled away from what I wanted to see, because the agent had their agenda, which didn’t really match mine. The agent, as helpful as they were trying to be by sharing the useful information, had become a distraction.
5. Let Buyers Take the Lead
The best thing you can is to let the buyer take the lead in the tour. When you bring them into the room, don’t say anything. Let them decide what they want to focus on because that is going to be what is important to them. As a real estate sales professional, seeing what is important to them will tell you how you can help them better when it’s time to talk offers.
Let your buyers get a feel for the room at their own pace, and when they are ready to leave the room, that’s the time when you can point out the features you might think are valuable to note before you take them to the next room.
Open Houses can be a tremendous source of leads and a terrific chance to brand yourself as a resource for the buyers and sellers in the community. Now is the time to sharpen your skills, be present for conversations, and showcase that you are the professional to trust in your market.
Power Agents®, head to your Buyers tab in the Classroom to download and customize key items of value to print such as the Easy Move Guide, New Homeowner Checklist, or Loanopoly. Print Have these for your Open House attendees.
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