Open houses are an exciting opportunity to market your home. For buyers, viewing a home at an open house is a chance to see a home with your listing agent present to answer questions, highlight features and offer insights. Many homes sell after just one or two weekends of effectively marketed open houses.
Open houses invite many people into your home, whether or not they are serious buyers. It is important to practice basic security during your open house events in order to protect your belongings. Most people who come through the home will have genuine interest in seeing it, either as a buyer or a curious passerby. Security issues come up rarely and a seasoned agent already has a basic plan for dealing with any potential problems.
Here are 6 Best Practices for you and your agent to employ during open houses.
Sign In Sheets
Sign in sheets allow agents to follow up with potential buyers and their agents. They also create a paper trail of who was in your home. Your agent should be ensuring that everyone who walks into your home puts at least their name and email down, if not phone number. People can be reluctant to leave their full information, but having something down is important. Most people will be truthful when they leave their name, and for people looking to harm, it is usually a deterrent.
Lock Away and Remove Some Things
The most commonly pilfered items at open houses are medications and small valuables, such as jewelry. It is best to either lock these up, hide them, or take them out of the home during showing times. This is a safe practice for both open houses and for private showings. People tend to open every cabinet and closet when they are considering purchasing a home, so no one will question a person looking in the medicine chest at a showing. It is best to have it be empty.
Inventory Small Items that Are Present
If you are unable to remove some items during a showing, keep a detailed inventory of what and where the item is. Keep track of what it is worth. Maybe keep a photo album showing where exactly the item generally is kept. This way, if something does go missing, you have plenty of evidence for the police and/or insurance company.
If your agent is expecting an especially busy turn out, have them enlist a colleague. Some open houses can have 30 or more people in them at a time! One agent would be hard pressed to meaningfully interact with each of these people. Teaming up with a showing partner can be a good way of ensuring that all visitors are signed in, and that any suspicious behaviour is tracked.
Open Lines of Communication
Make sure that your agent can reach you, if needed. An open house is most likely going to be a few hours of leisure outside the home for you, but don’t head to the mountains with no cell service. If something does happen, your agent will need to get ahold of you.
The Underground Information Network
A good and trustworthy agent will be following trends and news inside the real estate community she belongs to. If suspicious characters are showing up at open houses throughout the neighborhood, your agent should already know about them and have a strategy for handling that person if they show up. Seasoned agents are also good at reading people, and will be able to confront or diffuse an odd situation.
Allow Us to Market your Open House
At Coastal Point Properties, we have decades of combined experience effectively marketing and selling through open house opportunities. If you have any concerns about the safety of your home, we are ready to help you overcome them. Call today for a free custom Comparative Market Analysis. We are ready to help you sell your home!