Is the time. Your children are getting old. You just got a big promotion. Maybe you are an empty nester. But one way or another it’s time for a new home.

So you put your house on the market. You have an ad in the newspaper and a sign in your garden. What else can you do?

Have you considered holding an open house?

If you get the word out and have a plan for when prospective buyers walk in the door, you’ll have a great chance of meeting lots of potential buyers.

An owner-for-sale open house is a great, low-cost way to help you sell your home. Holding an open house is a great opportunity to create foot traffic through your home without having to wait for buyers to call and schedule a visit.

One of the biggest hassles of an open house run by a real estate agent is that you’ll have to go somewhere else while it’s taking place. Also, if there are multiple open houses going on, your frustration with the whole process may start to grow. Being away from home for a few hours over the weekend can become very frustrating.

But, because you’re hosting the open house, you’ll stay home throughout the process, which can lower your stress level.

Ok, an open house sounds like a good idea. How does the word spread?

  • Tell everyone you know. Friends, family, neighbors, co-workers. Have I forgotten someone? Use every tactic you can think of to let people know you’re hosting an open house. Email is a very useful tool. Call everyone you know. Even the family. Let your neighbors know by visiting them or sending them a quick note.
  • Advertise your open house wherever you are currently advertising your home. Buyer’s guide, newspaper, etc. This will ‘cast your net’ further by letting all other potential buyers know about your open house. It is also important write a killer description so buyers want to come see your house in person.

To really help get people in the door, offer snacks and refreshments. Believe it or not, this is a great way to help convince people to attend.

Here are some tips to help you run a successful open house:

  • To make your home look more spacious, bring as much light into your home as possible. You can accomplish this by opening all the blinds and shades and turning on all the lights. Pay close attention to the lighting in your entryway, dining room, and living rooms.
  • Allow buyers to visualize themselves living in your home. This can be done by removing any personal items you may have around the house. This would include family photos, children’s artwork, etc.
  • Create a welcoming scent in your home. You can do this by baking cookies or bread. Adding potpourri bowls to bathrooms and bedrooms are also easy ways to add a welcoming smell. If you have pets, work hard to neutralize odors, especially litter boxes, and keep pets away from guests.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Arrange for your children to visit a neighbor or friend so you can give your full attention to showing off your home. Keep the television and radio off. Never apologize for anything in your home and never make negative comments about your home. You don’t know what a buyer is looking for, so what you see as a defect may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Before the open house begins, you need to gather a couple of items.

  1. Blank sales contracts. Make it easy for buyers to bid.
  2. Frills. Have flyers ready for shoppers to take away. These should contain as much information as possible, as well as photos of your home. Brochures can be printed directly from your online listing on most national for sale by owner websites.

Above all, it makes it easy for a buyer to make an offer or contact you later.

Remember that an open house is an effective and inexpensive way to attract many people to your home. Even if the person who stops by doesn’t make you an offer, you never know who they’ll talk to about your house.