Are open houses useful?
I say yes…sometimes. First off, open houses should be done when a property is first listed or when there is a significant price drop. For more on that, visit The Selling Series Episode 10 regarding hosting a successful open house.
When the weather is bad, it’s a particularly good time to hold an open house. When the weather is great, people have places to be and fun things to do. Rain, snow, and cold chase people indoors so host an open house and be that place for people to go. They are sick of being cooped up in their own house so they want to get out of the house to somewhere else warm and cozy. This is where an open house can be successful.
A strategic open house during bad weather can have great success. Step one is to advertise them well, that’s always the most important thing with an open house. Second, make them feel at home. Welcome them in, give them hot chocolate, coffee and cookies. Contrast the bad weather with great hospitality so that they immediately have a great first impression and can imagine living in the home. If they feel comfortable in the home now, the likelihood of them purchasing increased substantially.
When preparing your home for an open house make sure you declutter, depersonalize, and clean. Some people can’t look past a mess or other peoples memories. Ensure is shows as neutral as possible. And don’t forget to hide anything you don’t want to be found as guest may open cabinets or drawers.