Do Open Houses Work?

Posted on December 6, 2011 by

Open House SignOne of the most effective marketing tools we use to quickly sell a property is an Open House.  Most realtors are quick to say that Open Houses are a BIG waste of time.  I disagree.  We’ve found Open Houses to be very effective and profitable!  After all, when you stop at a house that’s for sale, what are the first two questions you ask?  I bet they are: 1) How much is it? 2) What’s the inside look like?  

We normally hold our Open Houses on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  To maximize attendance, here are a few of the things we do to prepare for, and then conduct, a successful Open House.

First, we make sure the property is ready to be shown to prospective buyers.  Outside, we mow the yard, rake the leaves, trim the shrubs, plant bright, cheerful flowers and put a fresh coat of paint on the house (or at least pressure wash the exterior, including the driveway and sidewalks.)

Inside, we make sure the property is spotless and move-in ready.  Oftentimes this means new paint, carpet, fixtures and appliances.  We also clean the house from top to bottom and, wash the windows, inside and out. 

We stage our houses, too.  This means pretty towels in the towel racks, flower arrangements throughout, and a small table with chairs in the den.  On the table, we place a sign-in book and information fliers about the property.  Going a step further, we make sure there’s hand soap and paper towels next to each sink, as well as toilet paper by each toilet.

On the day of the Open House, we put out directional signs.  These signs not only let folks know there’s an Open House in the area, but also point the way to the house.  In addition, we stick two or three Open House signs in the property’s front yard.  We often hang colorful streamers from the front roof gutter down to the yard – there’s no mistaking that we’re doing an Open House!

Here’s something you may not have thought of: We place a sign in the yard with the sale price on it.  This quickly answers the potential buyer’s question about the asking price.  I’ve always wondered why more sellers don’t do this.  After all, when you go to the store, don’t you hate it when the prices aren’t clearly marked?  Isn’t it the same with a house that’s for sale?  

Here are a couple of things we do that you may want o try at your next Open House:  First, we have a cooler full of drinks – water and soda – for our prospective buyers.  On the kitchen counter, is a plate of cookies for our buyers to munch on while they wander around the house.  If you’re really smart, you’ll bake some cookies in the oven throughout the day.  Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than the aroma of cookies in the oven.  YUM!!!

Now here’s something most real estate investors don’t realize: Open Houses aren’t just a great way to find someone to BUY a property; there’re also a great way to find folks who desperately need to SELL one!  Run this thought through the ol’ noggin a few times and see what opportunities you come up with!

Bill & Kim CookBill & Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. They live in Adairsville, Georgia and have been investing in real estate since 1995. They specialize in buying single-family homes, mobile homes and mobile home parks. They also run North Georgia REIA and teach folks how to successfully invest in real estate.


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