Open Houses 2.0: Strategies that Sell

by Deanna Kane

Open House Prep 101

A well-prepared home is the first step to ensuring a seamless event start to finish. Educate your clients on best practices to prepare their home for an open house, including staging, decluttering and depersonalization tips.

“Our listings are usually prepared for an open house since they are already staged,” says Ristine. “We typically have a stager come in to stage a home as soon as it is listed, so our listings are usually prepared before the open house.”

“Prepare the house as if it was the same day as the listing photo day,” says McNamee. “In addition to the usual – wash the windows, replace the light bulbs with high wattage, de-clutter, take out the trash – I also advise clients to remove all jewelry, small electronics, prescription medications and firearms from the home or lock them in a secure safe. At one open house, I even had the seller remove a few of her designer shoes and bags. I remind them that everything is fair game; if it has a door, it will be opened.”

Remember that when the open house is over, the home is still someone’s private residence and there are indicators of the sellers’ personal lives. “Hide all calendars, personal invites and anything that shows when the sellers will be gone from the home,” says O’Connor.

Learning from the Experts

Veteran brokers can offer rookie brokers a wealth of information that no real estate exam course could ever provide. “We encourage rookies to go to broker opens, to question brokers and get feedback from other experienced agents,” says Ristine.

“A new agent that is hosting an open house for another broker should take the time to learn everything they can about the house they are hosting in,” says McNamee. “Knowing the basic FAQs about a property will go a long way. Not only does it make the new agent appear knowledgeable and professional, but also it will help better prepare them for when the nosey neighbor comes in and might want to sell ‘down the road.’ First impressions are everything in this business.”


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