After preparing your home for showing, an Open House is a great way to kick off your fsbo sales campaign.
You might get lucky and find a buyer, but the main objective of your open house is to inform your neighbors and enlist them in your home selling campaign. Remember: "Over 50% of homes are bought by friends and relatives of people who already live or work in the neighborhood." Make sure everyone who attends the open house leaves with a flyer that lists your price and describes the property.
Hold your Open House on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon. Sundays are better and 2 - 5 PM is the best time. Check the calendar to make sure your Open House is not competing with Football Playoffs, the World Series, college basketball's Final Four, or major religious observances. Be sure to have:
- A guest book: get the name and address of everyone who attends. Make notes, jot down positive impressions and comments and make sure you can get back to people who show interest. This becomes especially important if you lower your price or change terms later on.
- Blank sales contracts in case someone wants to buy your home. Real estate sales contracts can be purchased at Office Depot, Staples and other major office supply stores, or downloaded to your computer from our real estate contract package.
- 8 1/2 x 11 inch Flyers: Fact-sheets describing your home, listing your price and how to reach you. Every guest should leave with an 8 1/2 x 11 inch real estate flyer. If you have a web page advertisement with pictures of your home (such as our photo tour) make sure your flyers feature the web address. Your flyer and Internet photo tour lets Buyers "revisit" your house and gives you an edge over other homes they might have visited.
- Be prepared to discuss local schools: Consider a homeowner's report that includes an analysis of your school system. Lienfax offers a downloadable report for $14.95.
Advertise the sale of your home in the real estate section of your local paper,
but make a special effort to tell the neighborhood. Neighbors are the best promoters of living in the area, and some of their friends are possible home buyers. Put flyers in mail boxes for blocks around your house.
- Attach open-house announcement flyers to a hundred neighborhood mail boxes.
- Stick announcement flyers under windshield wipers of a hundred cars in the supermarket parking lot.
- Put up an Open House sign in your front yard.
- Attach balloons to draw special attention to your yard sign.
- If you are on an extra-quiet street, place directional signs at intersections leading in from the main streets.
Don't go overboard with the refreshments.
Cookies and punch are fine. Freshly baked cookies or bread is a good improvement - the aroma fills the house and creates a wonderful atmosphere.
A simple, spiral notebook will do just fine. Place a heading on the first few pages: NAME, ADDRESS, E-mail (type A personalities can add vertical lines between NAME, ADDRESS, and E-mail, but that's not necessary). Use back pages to scribble impressions and positive comments. .
Anyone can show his or her home, but if you are truly reclusive, hire a gregarious relative or friend to help host your Open House.
Slip these into the conversation while showing the house:
- "Are you planning on buying within the next two or three months ?"
- "Have you applied for a mortgage ?"
- For the neighbors: "Do you know anyone interested in buying in our neighborhood ?"
Enter into your guest book the names of anyone planning to buy soon, or who show an interest in your home. If they have not applied for a mortgage suggest a mortgage broker or tell them about applying to multiple lenders at LoanApp.com
. Explain that they will need a mortgage commitment if they find a house they love and want to move fast.