A Realtor open house is an important event. It woos buyers, confirms the price is right, and shows how hot the property is going to be. The event might even directly result in a “Sold” sign in the front yard.

With so much riding on an open house’s success, a Knoxville real estate agent must plan carefully. Being prepared helps you get the price. That means being in control. Use these helpful tips for how to handle buyers and sellers effectively at your next open house.

Planning the Event

Choose a day and time that’s convenient for buyers to stop in. These generally mean the weekend when more people are off work and have free time. Sunday afternoon is a popular time for a real estate agent to schedule an open house, but Saturday events receive a good share of traffic, too.

  • Handle sellers by: Work with their schedules and set the open house for a day that works for them. Don’t try to fit it in on a day when they have other obligations that could take their focus away from preparing the home for the event.
  • Handle buyers by:A successful Realtor open house is all about reaching as many interested buyers as possible and enticing them to visit. Take to the internet and advertise across your social media channels, including all your real estate agent groups. Make sure the place, time, and date are clear in all marketing. Ask your sellers to tell their neighbors, family, and friends, and share it on their social media, too.

Before the Open House

The night before the event, check the weather. Rainstorms or extremely cold weather can ruin the foot traffic. If it looks good, rise early the morning of the open house and post another reminder on your social media. Pack your car with your business cards, note pad, contracts, flyers, and extra pens, and head to the house an hour before.

  • Handle sellers by: Verbalize the goal of finding a buyer during the event. Make sure they understand the importance of leaving the home pristinely clean and neat. Ask them to open all the blinds and curtains, and put away books, newspapers, and other clutter. They also need to give attention to curb appeal. Suggest they plant flowers, mow the lawn, and make sure the house number shows prominently.
  • Handle buyers by: Don’t let a single buyer drive past the home because they couldn’t find it. An easy-to-see sign in the front yard is essential for house hunters to know they’re in the right place. Before the open house, set it up with an arrow pointing to the front door. Consider tying balloons on it for extra visibility.

During the Realtor Open House

It’s showtime! The events of the next couple of hours could decide whether the house gets multiple contracts or little interest.

  • Handle sellers by: Send them away. While they may be tempted to stay to see your expertise first-hand and be there to answer questions about the home, it’s an all-around bad idea. Potential buyers who are interested might have negative feedback on the home or feel uncomfortable talking about it with the sellers present. Urge the sellers to trust you to act in their best interest during the open house, without them being there.
  • Handle buyers by:Create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Greet them at the door, introduce yourself, and ask them to add their information to your guest book. Yes, you want to capture their information early in the process. Offer them cookies and a drink. Avoid jumping directly into selling the features of the home, but encourage them to look around on their own. Offer to answer any questions about the property. Stay accessible but don’t follow the buyers into every room. Your place is at the front door greeting visitors or in the kitchen talking with those who just arrived.

At the End of the Open House Event

As your open house winds down, make sure all interested parties leave with your business card and information flyer about the property. Answer all questions that arise, and take note of them. Questions tell you the features or drawbacks of the house that may be a concern or deterrent to writing an offer.

  • Handle buyers by:Answer all their questions and encourage the ones who seem interested to schedule another showing or put in an offer. Plan to follow up with everyone who attended the open house with a thank-you note and a phone call.
  • Handle sellers by: Connect with the sellers either in person or by phone. Update them on the traffic the open house received and the number of buyers who seemed interested. Lay out the next steps you’re planning to take to get their home sold.

Knoxville real estate is hot, but it still pays to do everything possible to attract buyers to your listing. Open houses are great ways to accomplish this. If you’re going to put the time into planning and executing such an event, maximize its chance of success by following the tips above. Methodically handling the buyers and sellers helps the process run smoothly and hopefully results in a quick sale.

At The Real Estate Firm, our agents are experienced in creating the right atmosphere for a successful open house. If you are a seller in need of assistance, call 865-770-4030 or fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.