Hello, friends, my name is Clinton Paquette. If you're willing to do what's required of you, and do it repeatedly, holding open houses can be the answer to selling your home. Now, to help you better understand that statement, I want to make an analogy to it. And though some of you may think of my analogy as being too simplistic, I could not disagree with you more. Having said that, let us begin.
The Kool-Aid stand of our youth is probably the first business venture that most of us embarked on. Around my childhood home, and on a hot summer day, there were usually three or more Kool-Aid stands setup within close proximity to one another. For the most part, each stand consisted of a folding table, Kool-Aid jug and cups, a small container for coins, and a handwritten sign which read: Kool-Aid 5 cents. How business was conducted after the setups were complete, however, determined how successful each one of the Kool-Aid stands would be.
Now, for those of you that can still remember, while our Kool-Aid stands may have gotten off to a slow start, they did eventually take off. But it was only because of our determination to stick with it that finally got us to the point where we began to make a few sales. After those few initial sales, our Kool-Aid stands soon prospered. And at the end of that long hot day, our cups were full of change.
In my opinion, the Kool-Aid stand analogy is a good comparison to today's real estate open house in that both the Kool-Aid stand and the open house require the persistence of a determined person who will accept nothing less than positive results.
So, while a well-prepared open house can bring the same results as our profitable Kool-Aid stand did, it will take the same persistence and the I-can-win attitude.
Now, because of time constraints, or just plain laziness, most of us have stopped doing the things that we need to be doing in order to be successful. And when it comes to selling a house, most of us are not holding open houses. What's more, since many real estate agents have all but given up on open houses, their shortsightedness has opened a big opportunity for the FSBO seller.
So, if you're ready to do what's required of you, we have some great ideas that will get you to the real estate closing table.
Open House Tips 1. After making copies of your seller and lead disclosure forms, display them on your kitchen table. To initiate small-talk, putting a big plate of cookies on that table would also be a good idea. You see, since a search for the right home can be a long and tedious one, a small act of hospitality can go a long way with some people. It could even start the negotiation process! 2. Design a home-for-sale flyer, stating that the house will be open on Sundays, 1-4, until sold! Then place those flyers in your information box, which is on the front lawn sign. Keep the box full at all times. 3. Place directional signs at street-ends that lead into your subdivision. For weekend open houses, affix balloons to them. Dollar signs can be purchased at the Dollar Tree stores. When there, also look for a FSBO lawn sign, and a plastic display box for your flyers. 4. For house aroma, bake a cake before 1pm. If preferred, house fragrances are also effective. These items can also be purchased at the Dollar Tree stores. 5. Allow daylight to fill your rooms. Few things are more uplifting than natural sunlight. All rooms should also be accessible to your open house guests. Inaccessible rooms can create tension and anxiety. It could also lessen your ability to negotiate. 6. Because cluttered spaces can appear to be smaller than they actually are, it's a good idea to store some of your things in your garage, or maybe in a small storage unit. If it becomes necessary to do the latter, don't fret about the cost. Getting a better price for your home will more than pay for that storage unit. 7. Hide all items that can easily be stolen -- watches, rings, etc. 8. Keep the house at a comfortable temperature (not too cold or too hot). 9. Be polite, and don't follow people too closely. This will allow them to talk among themselves -- very important! 10. Learn how to listen, instead of talking too much. This tip, alone, could get you to the closing table! 11. When it comes to stating your lot size on your flyer, don't state it as square feet. Square feet is used for living space, only. If under one acre of land, a lot size should always be stated as a frontage by depth dimension. If stated this way, the buyer can now envision the shape of the property. Since one can't determine the shape of a square footage number, it should not be used for lot size. 12. Since the improper use of square feet is still on my mind, let us now address the misrepresentation of living space square feet. In short, unless your basement is a walk-out basement that is finished, you should not include it in your overall square footage calculation. This is a common mistake made by many homeowners. And if discovered by the buyer, it could be a costly one! 13. Craigslist and other free websites are very good advertising venues. So, if you choose to hold your house open on Sundays, 1-4, and until sold, make the house hunters aware of this. If you keep your focus on these 1-4 open houses, you will find a buyer!