OPEN HOUSE ETIQUETTE
People have mixed feelings about open houses, some want them, some don't. Well, realtors, too, have mixed emotions. When our sellers ask if they're productive the answer is, "It depends." Kind of vague, I know, the reason is, if everyone follows the rules, open houses can most definitely be useful. If the rules aren't followed, open houses can be a waste of time and source of frustration. Here are the rules for everyone concerned:
Seller: Your role is to polish the place, pull back the drapes (unless there's a used car lot next door), turn on all the lights, turn off the TV and the dishwasher, get rid of the kids and the dog, and above all… Get out of the house and leave it to your sales rep. You'll only inhibit prospects who, want to look the place over carefully.
Buyers: Don't hesitate to visit, even if you're not yet ready to buy. You will begin to educate yourself and see what is available. Stay within your price range. Don't be worried if you're asked to sign in, if you're already working with a sales rep., say so. If it were your home, wouldn't you want people to identify themselves before they entered? And, of course, take your shoes off and, restrain your children.
Neighbours: You needn't be embarassed about entering. Neighbours are often instrumental in assisting in the sale. You may know a friend or relative who loves the area and street. By previewing the home for them early, you may give them advanced feedback on the benefits and features.
Sales Reps: Come prepared. Do you have enough information sheets? Are you fully aware of recent activity in the area? Are you prepared to describe this home's benefits over the competition? Show the home, point out benefits of the property and area. Don't stay in one room just waving the people through. When you leave, turn lights off, check the doors and leave some feedback for the sellers advising how the open house went.