When the housing market gets tight, home sellers need to start thinking way outside the box. Nothing new about that. However, plenty of real estate agents or those trying to sell their homes themselves are using the same tired techniques to try and make a home seem appealing. Extremes in the housing market call for extreme open houses.
If you are trying to sell that house of yours, you might have seen my article on using open houses to up your knowledge here:
www.associatedcontent.com/article/811879/selling_your_home_dont_miss_out_on.html But if you are having an open house, you might need to get a bit extreme as well, out on the cutting edge when it comes to enticing potential buyer and getting them to remember your home. While curb appeal is important, so is buyer perception of your home and the type of person who could live there.
While the aroma of freshly baked cookies is often appealing to potential buyers (and a plate of warm ones on the counter is even more tempting), even the best gourmet cookies won’t make up for cracked foundations, maintenance issues or outdated decor and wallpaper. Also, I’ve also got enough free pens and magnets from various agents to open a small store. Cookies, pens and magnets actually seem a bit….trite. They’re old gimmicks.
Welcome to the world of extreme open houses
Smart real estate agents and home sellers are making certain open houses stand out from the crowd, possibly luring home buyers. Maybe one – or more of the following ideas – will be just the ticket you need to close that home sale (be sure to read my tips at the end of the article to help you pick the best tips for your home.
Outdated open house technique : the smell of baked cookies or serving cookies to potential home buyers
Yes, they smell good. However, even freshly baked cookies don’t cover up the smell of cat urine and may even get people into a kitchen which isn’t updated. Cookies taste good but won’t necessarily get people to spend thousands on a home.I won’t go too far out on a limb when suggesting that people give up serving cookies, however, because buyers have come to expect them. So if you want to serve them, go ahead but consider adding an updated idea such as….
Updated open house technique: gas cards
I think this is brilliant. Home buyers often feel a bit grumpy about the gas they are spending to go to various open houses, anyway (since everyone feels grumpy about paying for gas these days) Some agents take the sting out of some of that that driving by giving gas cards that help pay for the cost of getting to and from the open house. If the home price warrants it, consider spending the extra money to lure prospective clients and create good will.
Best for these potential home buyers: those on a budget, worried about paying for gas and looking for the average to slightly above average home.
Outdated open house technique – pens, pencils and magnets
They get stuck on refrigerators or thrown into the bottom of purses. But how often does the recipient remember the home – or the agent – who gave those magnets or pens to them?
Updated way to use an open house to sell a home: free gallon of ice cream
Yes, some agents use this technique . Why is this a smart move? Because many buyers will go right home to get that ice cream in the freezer, bypassing other open houses and upping the chances that they’ll recall the last open house. Besides, ice cream doesn’t generally get lost in the bottom of someone’s purse, as a pen or pencil might. Other home sellers simply offer free ice cream, a nice break on a hot day. Here is an example of an open house where someone did just that: cosprings.craigslist.org/rfs/712108870.html
Think about it: you are hot, tired and grumpy from driving around in hot weather looking at homes. Would you rather eat a freshly baked hot cookie or a cool bowl of ice cream? You’d probably linger a bit longer over that ice cream, not eager to go out in the hot sun. To make sure the home is remembered, consider using a rubber stamp or address label to add the home address or real estate agency name to the outside of the ice cream container. Simple, memorable and tasty, too!
Best for these potential home buyers: anyone shopping for a home in hot weather and likely to be used and remembered better than a pen or magnet. The home address can be put on the ice cream container with address labels.
Outdated way to sell a home with an open house: forbid all pets from entering the home
Unless the home’s owner is allergic to animals, restricting animals from the premises is not a good idea.
Updated way to sell a home: have dog biscuits on hand and be sure to note the pet friendly features of the home, broadening appeal to potential home buyers.
Best for these potential home buyers: pet owners who are looking for a neighborhood that welcomes dogs and cats. Neighborhoods with dog parks , walking paths and/or sidewalks as well as a range of age groups.
Outdated open house technique : give the buyers a general spec sheet, one that lists room sizes, etc.
These used to be enough, especially when homes sold quickly.
Updated way to sell a house during an open house:
Give them a detailed list of schools, shopping malls, fitness centers and other neighborhood attractions, from parks to repair services. Sell the neighborhood, not just the home.
These are just a few suggestions that can turn your open house from average to extreme.
A quick caution about these techniques
Pick the right technique for the right home buyer. Also, no technique should smack of desperation. Find the fine line between pleasing potential home buyers and turning them off.