How to have a successful open house

An open house can be the perfect compliment to an excellent listing and property, and real estate agents who know how to organize great ones will have a fantastic tool for their repertoire.

Open houses are a waste of time, right? They rarely sell listings, waste both the real estate agent and the seller's time, and provide little value.

In reality, these ideas are nothing more than excuses, and they are wrong. On the contrary, an open house can be the perfect compliment to an excellent listing and property, and real estate agents who know how to organize great ones will have a fantastic tool for their repertoire. 

An open house can be perfect for all types of real estate, from foreclosed houses to new homes, and real estate agents should focus on several key areas in order to stand out from the crowd and offer their clients something special.

Set realistic expectations
One of the many jobs belonging to a real estate agent is to advise clients. This step is especially vital before an open house, which many people may assume will end up selling the home that day. According to Ellen Miller in an article for Angie's List, realistic expectations should be set beforehand.

Few markets, if any, will bring out hundreds of visitors to an open house. On the other hand, there will most likely be a dozen or so people swinging through, including a decent chunk of nosy neighbors, Miller explained. Therefore, sellers should be aware of the potential turnout so they aren't let down when the foot traffic is light. 

However, real estate agents can do a few things to increase the number of visitors. For example, there are certain times throughout the year when an open house will perform better. The first weekend after the listing goes up is a good time, Charlotte, N.C.-based real estate agent Beth Smith Shuey told Miller. This way, the house will be the new kid on the block instead of old news. 

In addition, seasonal attractions - like major sporting events - are a bad time to hold an open house, even if the seller and the agent have no interest in the local football team battling it out on the gridiron. Great agents can market a house in a number of ways leading up to the event, either with flyers, Internet postings and signs.

Courthouse Retrieval System can help all real estate professional excel in the industry. With an expansive collection of mortgage records, property data and much more, agents will have access to all the information they'll need to assist their clients.

Tricks for the best open houses
Armed with a comprehensive collection of real estate property records, agents can provide useful and valuable advice to both buyers and sellers. Additionally, they should also advise their clients about how to organize an open house to increase the public's awareness about a home.

Thankfully, real estate agents have a few tricks to pull it all together. According to Wade Webb in an article for AgentsBoost, opinions are split on open houses. However, they do provide a valuable asset to sellers.

One way agents can increase turnout is by staying vague regarding the end time. Webb explained that he often gets asked how long an open house needs to be in order for it to be successful. He advocated flexibility. When marketing the event, agents should set a solid start time. The trick is not saying when it will end. If there's a poor turnout, the agent can leave. If there is interest, people will be calling ahead of time just to make sure he or she is still there.

Additionally, the agent should go around the neighborhood in advance and hand out a preview sheet about the property. Depending on the location, some agents may want to have a sign-up sheet at the front door and make people stand outside while the home is being shown. This way, those not serious will leave, and interest can build while visitors wait.

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