Hosting an Open House

  • Gene Keyser
  • 01/29/20
A New York City seller will almost always meet their eventual buyer during an open house. That’s why it’s so important to think carefully about how you prepare your property—and yourself.
Remember that your home is the star of the show. The best way to let it shine is to step back and let your home’s charm speak for itself. Don’t forget that visitors may tend to see you as an overeager salesperson if you hover, try to lead them around, or shadow them too closely.
You can usually achieve the right image by waiting unobtrusively until visitors look like they need help. It’s best not to offer personal opinions, but be prepared for questions about appliances, paint colors, or other issues for which your experience with your property could be a valuable resource.
Your visitors are thinking about making your property their home, and any help you give should be geared towards helping them make their vision real. When a potential buyer asks about making changes or improvements to a home, smile and tell them how you might make those changes (even if you think it’s a terrible idea). It’s even more helpful if you have already discussed the most likely upgrades and renovations with a contractor and can provide estimates at your open house. By helping buyers feel at home, you can make it more comfortable for them to make the next step with you.
One veteran agent with decades of experience once advised me never to show at night, and never after work, unless the buyer is coming back for a second showing after attending an open house. That’s because you want to limit all showings to situations that serve to help your sale, such as weekend days when your home is filled with light (and with other potential buyers). On the other hand, when a buyer who hasn’t seen your home is willing to leave work during lunch, they are clearly very interested, so make every effort to accomodate them.

Schedule frequent open houses, especially in the beginning, and do your best to make sure everyone knows that they will be welcome.
For even more information about how to make your property ready for buyers who are ready to close, download our free comprehensive guide to selling your home.

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