Now that life is starting to come back to ‘normal’ in Ottawa, Kanata, Barrhaven, Orleans, Arnprior, Dunrobin, Kemptville, Smith Falls, and beyond, we have once again started to host open houses for our sellers.
Three weeks into our realtors hosting open houses and we have already sold one listing in Barrhaven from a direct open house. In this particular case, the client lived around the corner, saw the open house signs, came into the house and fell in love with the home.
The short answer is this: Yes! Open houses do work when you’re guided by the right real estate professionals. At Paul Rushforth Real Estate, we love to host open houses on behalf of our clients. Pre-Covid, we sold 9-10% of our listings through open houses.
Why Do Open Houses Work?
Increase Home Exposure
All kinds of people will visit open houses, from curious neighbours looking for decorating ideas, to serious buyers who are visitng several other houses that weekend.
Even if your open house attendees aren’t in the home buying process, they can be great sources of word-of-mouth advertising.
Neighbours are a great source of assistance when selling a house in their ‘hood’.
Once the neighbours are welcomed to attend a private showing, they feel they are a part of the sale of their neighbours home and will be busy finding you a new buyer, or thinking about upsizing or downsizing themselves.
Every neighbour has a friend or family member trying to get into their neighbourhood.
Hosting an open house properly does take a lot of time and preparation. That’s why it’s best to partner with a real estate agent who knows exactly what to do to have a successful open house.
The real estate agents at Paul Rushforth go above and beyond for our clients by door knocking the surrounding neighbourhood to let neighbours know that we have a home available for them to preview prior to the official open house.
Once we have door knocked the neighbours and hosted a neighbour open house, we are now ready to invite the general public in to see the home.
Our realtors are trained to know every aspect of your home so they can assist a potential buyer to make a quick decision about making you an offer.
Low Stress Environment
In order to attract potential buyers, a lot more work goes into open houses than you might think. Leaving it up to a professional is a good way to take some of the stress of the home buying process off your plate.
It’s also lower stress for the home buyer, too. Most people tend to be more relaxed walking through open houses, as they won’t have agents looking over their shoulder the entire time.
They can take as long as they need to explore, which helps them envision themselves in their future home.
Help Uneducated Buyers
Pre-inspections of each of Paul Rushforth Real Estate’s listings allows buyers to also read and review the inspection during the open house and ask any questions for clarification. Giving the potential buyer transparent information about the listing has always been key to our successful open houses.
Prior to the open house, the marketing team at Paul Rushforth Real Estate emails the top 300 Ottawa realtors with the feature sheet of the open house. This allows the busy realtors to send their pre-qualified buyers to attend the open house even if the realtor cannot make the time slot.
When Do Open Houses Not Work?
Poor Real Estate Agent Planning
Realtors who state open houses don’t sell houses don’t realize that it’s not as easy as setting up a 2-4 p.m. topper and showing up two minutes before and opening the doors to the general public.
A listing agent might put on several open houses, using them as an opportunity to find new clients or home buyers who don’t yet have a real estate agent. Make sure you have a trustworthy, reliable agent who is focused on showcasing your home to its maximum potential, and not just using it as a means to drum up more business.
It’s important for your real estate agent to advertise your open house properly. While street signs put out around the neighborhood are effective at attracting prospective buyers, they should also be using more modern advertising methods such as digital and social media advertising.
One of the worst things you can do is sell your home vacant – but what’s even worse is when you conduct staging poorly.
Staging your house properly will allow prospective buyers to see the potential of their future home. If you want to be fielding multiple offers, achieve maximum exposure, and get your home sold, you’ll have to put in some effort to make it look its absolute best.
Ensure your floors are washed, the furniture and beds are made up nicely, and there’s no dirty dishes laying around in the sink. Make sure your lawn is nicely mowed (or make sure it’s free of snow and ice in the winter), there’s no dog waste in the backyard, and the litter box is clean.
Also make sure you put away any valuable items in a safe, secure place. Expect potential buyers to be opening up cupboards, snooping around in closets, and generally getting into places you normally wouldn’t want a guest to be looking in. Your agent or realtor won’t be able to keep track of everyone, so don’t risk your valuables by leaving them in plain sight.
An Experienced Agent is the Key to Successful Open Houses
We give every opportunity to our sellers to sell their home, and open houses are one tool that works. Many calls after the open house come from top realtors stating that their buyer loved the home and wishes to make an offer.
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or seasoned investor, it truly pays to have someone looking out for you every step of the way.
So, if you’re ready to get your open house ready, reach out today; we’d love to help you get your home sold.