An open house can be an effective way to get some interest going in a property and generate leads. The best open house events are memorable, interesting and exciting for attendees.

Try these 10 tips to take your event to the next level and help secure interest in the home from eager buyers.

1. Use a theme

You can get creative and have a theme for your open house. This tip can sound a little cheesy, but it doesn’t have to be.

A theme can be as simple as serving Tex-Mex food in an adobe home or playing music to match the home’s style. It’s all about making the stressful process of buying a home more exciting for your potential buyers.

 2. Offer food and drink

Go simple, and offer champagne, some finger foods or cookies, or go all out and cater lunch for your guests — it really depends on your budget and clientele.

Either way, this addition can make guests feel more welcome. Even better, it might be enough to entice on-the-fence visitors to come check out the house.

3. Invest in a thorough staging

First impressions can make or break a sale, so staging is crucial. Focus on the little details. Subtle things like fresh folded towels in bathrooms, a smart layout of furniture and simple flower arrangements can really add up and leave a lasting impression.

 4. Provide plenty of handouts

Have info sheets printed up and ready to go on nice paper. Make sure to include some information for less-savvy buyers, like mortgage breakdowns, a glossary of real estate terms or a checklist of questions to ask real estate agents about any home they’re looking at.

Try to be as non-salesy and helpful as possible — it can go a long way. Neighborhood information is also always nice to have on hand. Anything that takes care of a step for the buyer makes your property more appealing.

5. Place signs to drive traffic

Signs can be an important part of attracting attention and funneling people to your open house, so don’t neglect them.

In fact, if the signs are adequately spaced, this might be a case of “the more, the merrier.” And, if you really want to attract attention and make an impression, you can even hire drones to hover a banner above the home. 

6. Demonstrate home automation features

Smart home features, like those found in a modern security system, are a big selling point for younger buyers.

If the home has these features, make sure to talk about them!

Even if your open house has an older crowd, showing off some fancy technology or useful security features can help showcase the convenience and security benefits the property offers.

Consider demonstrating how the smart lighting or smart locks work as they allow potential buyers to visibly see how they work.

7. Set the mood with smart lighting

A common piece of open house advice is to have every light in the home on for an open house. You can take this idea a step further by installing smart bulbs and using the fine-tuning features to create interesting lighting.

You could also use the lighting to highlight certain parts of the house, while drawing attention away from others, and guide your guests as they wander through the property.

 8. Show off seasonal photos of the home

Set up a board or projection with shots of the house and yard during each season so buyers can see what to expect.

These images can add a nice extra touch, especially if a lot of seasonal landscaping changes with the weather. Potential buyers will want to see what the house will look like with a blanket of snow in winter or flowers blooming in spring.

9. Hold a giveaway or raffle

Another idea to entice people who may be on the fence about attending is to offer a raffle or giveaway of some sort for attendees. It can also help liven things up, especially if you hold your open house toward the end of the day.

Many buyers will have spent the entire day going around to different homes and may be exhausted, so a little something to liven things up and show appreciation can go a long way.

10. Keep the scent neutral

Roughly 30 percent of people find scented products like candles and air fresheners to be irritating, and they might even have physical reactions to them.

Rather than lighting up candles to try and make the house smell nice, have it thoroughly cleaned and the carpets shampooed before the open house. If the weather is right, consider opening windows.

Don’t let your next open house fall flat. Try these tips out, and be sure to take the time to highlight the property’s benefits and show potential buyers they’re appreciated.

Allie Shaw is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and tech in Salt Lake City, Utah. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter.

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