Most of what makes a successful open house is getting ready for it ahead of time. First, clean up the house and make space. Remove excess furniture that creates a cluttered appearance. Potential buyers need to see how attractive the house is, not the personal belongings of the seller. Then be sure that everything looks neat and trimmed outside. Remove cobwebs if you see any.
Buy signs ahead of time. You will miss out on a lot of potential buyers if you don’t have multiple signs leading to the property. Place one in front of the house, a second sign on the corner, then another one on the nearest busy street. Buy open house signs that have arrows on them. This way, you can have the signs directing traffic toward the open house, until they find themselves at your doorstep.
It is also important to place ads beforehand. Put an ad in Craigslist at 6:00am the day of the open house. That way, if your open house is between 10:00am-2:00pm, they have many hours plan the trip. Plus, anyone searching online between 6:00am-1:00pm might show up to view your open house. You will be able to tell your ad works when you see people walking in the door with a print out of your ad in their hand.
Have fliers ready to hand to people when the enter the property. People usually want to know the price, square footage, lot size, year built, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and finally, your phone number. You can also write up a “Neighborhood News” flyer to hand to people, along with the property information flyer. Many people are curious about local schools, shopping, companies that are hiring, and more. It’s not only the house that makes a buyer submit an offer, it is area and conveniences as well.
Have a “sign in” form taped the kitchen counter top with a pen where potential buyers can fill out their name and phone number. That is the perfect place because buyers usually start by looking at the kitchen, then go around the entire house, only to return to the kitchen for another look. Not only that, the counter is at a comfortable level for most people to stand and write down their information.
If you don’t ask people to fill out the form, usually they won’t. However it might lead to a sale. Just because they may not be ready or willing to put in an offer on the property that day doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in it. They may want to come back and take a second look at the property next week, or they might view others and decide they like yours the best. Wait about 5 days and call everyone. You might end up with an offer to purchase because you took advantage of using a sign in form.