Your real estate agent has suggested it’s a great idea, so you’ve agreed; your house is going to become the venue for an Open House. So, as per their suggestion you’ve packed away the loose valuables, done a major clean and created a space that is as appealing as possible to as many potential buyers as possible.
And yet, even at this late stage, many open house ‘first timers’ are still a little nervous; what can they really expect from throwing open their home to a bunch of strangers? Here are five of the most important things we can tell you in response to this oft- asked question.
1. You can expect to leave
It’s important that you let your Realtor handle the open house. The whole point of the event is to allow prospective buyers an extended time period to explore the home and to envision themselves living there. This can be very hard to do comfortably when the current owner is at their heels the whole time or, perhaps worse still, lurking and watching from a corner of the kitchen.
2. You can expect a few nosy neighbours to show up
How unusual is it for several of the visitors to an open house to be ‘nosy neighbours’ who just want a look at what you’ve done with the place recently? Not very, let’s just say that. On the bright side, they’ll be able to talk up the advantages of the neighbourhood to potential buyers, so they may be helpful after all.
3. You can expect to need to keep your cell on
Even though your Realtor will prefer you physically leave the premises during an open house, they will need to be able to reach you easily, in case there’s a question they can’t answer. So keep that cell phone on, just in case.
4. You can expect some valuable feedback
Your Realtor will actively solicit comments and questions from the potential buyers and agents who visit (yes, agents go to open houses too) and compile it into their report back to you after the event is over.
This feedback can be extremely helpful when it comes to perhaps needing to adjust your expectations, your listing price, or even discovering small improvements buyers would want that you may have overlooked previously so that they can be completed before the next open house.
5. You can expect to need to be patient
Just because your agent hasn’t called you with an offer by the time you go to bed on the night of your open house doesn’t mean the event wasn’t a success.
Most of the time, when people attend an open house and find they really like the place, they still, rightly, need to take some time to think and talk things over. It often takes 24 to 48 hours for foot traffic at an open house to translate into phone calls, so you do need to be prepared to exercise a little patience.