Unlocking the Power of Open Houses

Jane Pinzhoffer

Jane Pinzhoffer

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A lot of people are resistant to the idea of open houses. Security risks, unqualified buyers, and too many “lookie-loos” are the reasons often given. But open houses remain a staple in the industry because they’re super effective, offering excellent exposure and an invaluable opportunity to showcase your property to potential buyers.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a real estate agent trying to sell a property, keep reading because open houses are back in full swing.

Recent open houses hosted by KT Realty have been busy, proving that regardless of high-quality photos and videos, people want to view properties in person.

Sometimes, it’s how a buyer gets introduced to the property. In some cases, they weren’t even planning to buy. First-time home buyers, in particular, are often unsure of what they’re looking for or even how to start the process. Maybe they were driving by and saw the sign on the lawn and decided to stop and look.

Even people who aren’t necessarily interested in buying but want to see inside may know someone who would be serious about buying. Word-of-mouth has always been a great way to advertise. At the end of the day, the more people who see your property, the higher your odds of success.

For Realtors: Adrian and Ariel’s Tips on How to Set up and Run an Open House

Scheduling an Open House

Ensure that the open house has been scheduled on the appropriate real estate board so prospective buyers searching on the various real estate websites will see the upcoming open house; this is the primary source of visitors (serious ones, anyway.)

What are Typical Open House Hours?

This will vary between regions but 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM is common. We host our open houses for an extra hour, running from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. It’s not unusual for the last hour of our open house to be busier than the two previous hours combined.  If there are a lot of open houses scheduled, visitors will plan their route accordingly, stopping at ours last. This means they aren’t in as much of a rush, and they’re more likely to take their time, engage in conversation and allow our team members to take them on a proper tour.

Real Estate Sign By-Laws

Enough with putting ten signs and flags on every corner; it’s annoying and usually against municipal by-laws.  Familiarize yourself with the local by-laws and abide by them. Our best practices include the following:

  • Set up as many signs as you’re allowed
  • Install them the morning of the open house and remove them at the end of each day; do not leave them up all weekend.
  • Ask permission from homeowners when putting it on or close to private property.

Real Estate Agent Personal Hygiene

While this should be common sense, it’s been apparent in recent experiences that real estate agents must be reminded to be mindful of their appearance and odour. The big one is cigarettes; if you smoke, you smell. There’s no sugarcoating it. It’s unpleasant whether you smell like smoke, a mixture of smoke and bubble gum or smoke and cologne.  Be mindful of what you eat and wear, among other things.

My Real Estate Agent didn’t host the Open House

This is not uncommon and, for busy agents, often necessary. However, if somebody other than the primary agent, who the homeowners are familiar with, will be hosting an open house, ensure the homeowner knows, and ensure the real estate agent has visited the property and is familiar with the various aspects of it, including features, size, and local amenities.

Will Visitors Look in My Drawers?

Expect prospective buyers to look inside your appliances, closets, cabinets and anything else included in the sale. While some may consider this an invasion of privacy, buyers want to ensure that everything functions properly and is in a good state of repair.

Open houses are worth doing, especially for new listings. You will have all types of visitors, from neighbours to genuine purchasers, and you never know who will be the buyer, or who they will tell about your property. Don’t gamble with who the ultimate buy is. Run open houses and increase your exposure.

Inspired? Confused? Comment.

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