3 open house mistakes that great agents never make

by Peter Thomas Ricci

These open house blunders are rookie mistakes


Open houses present real estate agents with considerable opportunities for their business. In addition to the obvious benefit of showcasing the listing, they can also introduce the agent to dozens of potential clients for future business.

However, open houses also feature many moving parts, and there is considerable room for error. Read below to learn about the three common open house mistakes that great agents never make, and how to avoid them.

1. Neglecting the Seller – The owner of the listing must be on board with whatever you are planning for the open house, and it is a big mistake not to clue them in on the process.

Not only will the seller feel more involved in the sale of their home, but they can also help out with handling some of the prep work, such as: removing the small appliances, fixtures and other items that are not included in the sale; securing all valuables; and cleaning up the home.

2. Not Preparing Adequately – Considerable preparation goes into an open house, and it is a major oversight to skip any of your due diligence. For one, there is the staging process. Before opening a listing to the public, it must be properly staged, which can entail anything from repainting bright colors, to removing unnecessary furniture, to emphasizing a home’s spaciousness and storage capacities by removing unneeded items like seasonal clothing.

Additionally, agents must be prepared to offer each attendee of the open house a complete, top-down sales tour. Along with discussing and demonstrating the listing’s many qualities – show off how impressive that counter space is in the kitchen! – memorize all the listing’s particular details, from its square footage, to its room sizes, to any homeowner association/condo fees that buyers can expect.

Finally, the schematics of the open house must also be set. Sign-in tables, refreshments, signage around the neighborhood – every minute detail must be fine-tuned for open house success.

3. Fumbling the Takeaway – All the signage was set up around the neighborhood. Delicious cookies were served. And you provided fun, detailed tours to everyone who attended the open house. However, when it was all said and done, did you really seal the deal and provide any takeaways?

This is the most tragic of the open house mistakes: not offering prospective buyers with anything to take with them when they leave (and remember the property by!) There are a number of ways agents can accomplish that, including:

•Takeaway materials – How do you expect home shoppers to remember your listing if they don’t have anything to bring home and share with their loved ones? Position yourself as a neighborhood expert by providing brochures or glossy handouts about the property and the area’s many amenities.

•Consumer reviews – Sure, all the attendees appeared to love your tour, but how can you really be sure? Ask everyone to fill out a short survey about their experience and their impressions of the house; the truth hurts sometimes, but the information can help refine your approach if needed, ultimately leading to the home’s sale.

•Lasting Contact – Whenever we talk to agents who host successful open houses, they always emphasize what a goldmine they are for meeting new clients. Do you have a follow-up system in place to add attendees to your database and maintain contact with them? They may not buy the listing you’re showing that day, but if you impress them, they may think of you when they’re ready to buy or sell a home.

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