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  • Trish Bouldin

Why An Open House?

In the wide world of real estate, an "open house" by definition is a scheduled period of time in which a house/building is designated to be open for viewing by potential buyers and other real estate agents acting on behalf of their clients. So, how does an open house work? Well, today's article is going to answer any questions you may have about this amazing way to get your house sale moving in the right direction!

#itworkslikethis - How does an open house work?

Imagine a market where most products are dissimilar, each item being different from the next....even though they are in the same aisle and in the same section of the store. Now take that imagery and think about housing neighborhoods in the same manner. Every house is going to be a little different than the next, even if they are on the same street or in the same neighborhood. You want YOUR house to stand out in the middle of all of this, and an open house is just the opportunity you can use to attract many potential interested parties at one time.

In an open house event a seller (or seller's agent) allows possible buyers to come on in and do a thorough walk through of the property. This gives them the opportunity to take their time and stroll through, or they can even head in guided by their dedicated agent. The entire goal of an open house is to lock in some serious interest from buyers, to get all eyes on your home!

Typically, most open houses occur on weekends. Agents will spend weeks in advance pushing the advertisement and working it up big time in their circles! Owners go all out in keeping the house in immaculate condition and putting their best foot forward. To make it inviting and to draw a crowd some owners or agents even serve hors d'oeuvres, snack trays, and may even have activities to keep little ones occupied. Now, this is the general overview, let's take a look at some specifics that will help ensure YOUR open house will be a phenomenal success!

#setthestageyourway - How to make your open house your own!

Making your open house stand out from the rest is entirely up to you and your agent! An open house has a different feel than your typical "traditional" showing. With traditional showings there is usually very short notice, therefore you are keeping your house in a constant state of readiness. Wastebaskets always empty, laundry piles absent, zero house clutter, floors shiny, etc. An open house allows you more flexibility and less stress overall. You will be able to prepare for the event with plenty of advance notice and have the house ready to shine in one full swoop. Knowing when people will be visiting makes it much easier to get in there and use that elbow grease to leave a spotless house!

Picking the right date can make or break your open house venture. The weekend of any major holiday? Not always a good bet. People are out of town, busy with bustling to and from holiday activities, there won't be as much expendable time in their schedules. Per real estate professionals Susan Gatlin and Charlie Sullivan, of Team Gatlin - Leading Edge Real Estate Group, the best time to plan an open house depends on your specific area. Your agents will know what will traffic well and be the best possible timing based off their detailed knowledge of the local market. Susan and Charlie agree that weekends offer the best days possible and Sundays can be equally as marketable as Saturdays! Make sure the date you pick is wide open without any big community plans going on that could effect the traffic flow for you. Once that date is locked in, then start making the big plans!

How else can you "make the open house your own?" Well, make it unique! Make it stand out against any other open house people have ever seen! Scheduling one for early February? Add a flair offsetting Valentine's or the Oscars. Roll out the red carpet, literally even, and accent your home with gimmicks that match the theme! Have some showtunes playing softly in the background and wrap your water bottles in matching award labels. The possibilities are endless!

Food is the way to many peoples hearts! If you have any time of theme match up some snack foods to carry it a step further. Finger foods are a great way to have potential buyers stop and chat with the agent for a few moments. They can meander at will through the property and return time and again to the food, each time asking more questions and seeking more info!

#marketingmatters - How are you going to get the word out?

Your real estate agent comes in very handy when it comes to marketing! They have resources at the tips of their fingers that can spread your open house news like wildfire! In this day and age of social media, this can be every Open House's best friend. Create an engaging link with all the info then flood it to FB, Instagram, Snapchat...whatever source you use! Real Estate agents will have a vast source of email contacts they can reach, including other agents and lenders who are searching for their own clients. Working together with your real estate agent come up with a marketing scheme that will stand out and can be widely distributed. The more eyes and ears reached, the better the outcome of your open house! One more tip on this front: make sure you do your strategic marketing well enough in advance to get people's calendars lined up, but not so far out that they forget about it!

#dontdothislist - Here's a few tips on what NOT to incorporate into your Open House. Did you know that a high percentage of people have strong aversions to overwhelming scents? One thing most experts will tell you is to stay away from strong odors. Even deep cleaning scents need to have time to air out before the big day arrives. Candles? A soft scent strategically placed would be efficient, but steer clear of anything that could trigger a negative reaction in your visitors! Clutter and a lot of personal touches can be a deterrent to buyers. You want buyers to focus on the home itself, and not be swayed one way or the other simply by your choice of personal decor. Rooms that are full to the brim of "stuff" can take away from the structure of the room, and you don't want people to focus on anything other than the house itself! This is the less-is-more approach, leaving buyers plenty of room to imagine what their own furniture and personal touches would look like in the home. Clean those closets prior to the Open House! Closets are a big selling point in homes, rest assured that people will absolutely want to open and check out the closets in the home. A word of advice is do NOT stuff things in them! Have them cleaned out, organized, and set up in a way to show their optimal usage. Word to the wise, no pets!! If you have pets, send them to Grandma's or a friends to visit for the day! People may have allergies or simply aversions to particular animals. Best to have them safely tucked away so they are not underfoot and not a focal point in the Open House process. Simple things like leaving the toilet sets down and having blinds open and lights on can help set a positive tone in your Open House experience. These things often get overlooked and in actuality can really set a tone....good or bad! As the owner, make yourself scarce! The last thing a future buyer wants to see is an owner of a property hovering in the background with an eagle eye. Let your trusted real estate agent take the reigns on the big day itself. This is what they are trained for, this is what they know, this is the world they live in, let them shine!

#attheendoftheday - Wrapping it all up.

Nothing is written in stone, there is not one "perfect" way to do an Open House. That's why it can be such an open ended experience that you can make your own! An Open House can be a positive way to get your house seen and known in the community. Work with your agent to come up with the right plan for you and just see what comes out of the process! Our Team Gatlin agents have years of experience making Open Houses a personal and unique experience for each of their clients. Let them work with you to make a splash into the housing market and make your Open House work for you!

Team Gatlin Leading Edge Real Estate Group 1423 Huntsville Highway Fayetteville, TN 37334 Susan Gatlin - Team Leader/Agent - (256) 424-5378 Charlie Sullivan - Agent - (931) 308-5309 Vivian Fisher - Agent - (931) 224-1928 Office - (931) 433-4070

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