A Guide to Open House Days
PUBLISHED: 12:15 22 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:15 22 September 2014
Mark Davies, head of Strutt & Parker’s Chelmsford office, advises on planning a successful open house day
Mark Davies is head of Strutt & Parker’s Chelmsford office. Strutt & Parker has been a vital part of Essex since 1885, providing expertise in all property matters including residential estate agency and development, farm management, residential planning, commercial property management and development. Strutt & Parker now has more than 50 regional offices nationwide with a reputation for efficient teamwork and experience gained through local knowledge. It’s not the size or value of a property that matters, but delivering a great service and getting the best result for the client.
Open House Days
In the age of online house-hunting, don’t be lulled into thinking buyers won’t take up an Open House Day opportunity. From the dream of looking online, to viewing a property in the flesh and making an offer, Open House Days make the process of buying a home easier and more accessible. The ability to view a home without commitment is the secret to its success. Open House Days also save time for clients as they can organise their viewings into one day and reduces the preparation involved for multiple viewings on different days.
Earlier in the year Strutt & Parker staged a National Open House Day across our 50 offices nationwide, which allowed buyers to view at their leisure as many homes as they liked, in any region they wanted and at any time that suited them between 10am and 3pm. This winning formula saw more than 20 properties in Chelmsford open their doors to the public, generating a record breaking number of leads, second viewings and offers totalling over £2million. Nationally, the day created more than £80million worth of offers, reflecting the confidence and market activity in the property market. This should be a fantastic incentive for anyone who is currently selling their house and thinking of taking part in our upcoming Open House Day on October 11. The day itself can encourage new buyers and sellers to register too, prompting many to view properties they might have normally sidelined. Ultimately, it is a very 21st century way of buying a house and one that I actively encourage my sellers to do every year with successful results. (For further information please visit www.struttandparker.com/openday)
Prepare your house weeks in advance. De-clutter, put items in storage, clean and add personal touches like fresh flowers and scented candles. Keep décor neutral and lights on to ensure there are no awkward, dark corners.
Groom your garden. The front garden is often the first thing a potential viewer will see and one of the most underrated selling tools. Mow the lawn, keep plants looking fresh and colourful and in the back garden, put out any garden furniture for an added lifestyle touch.
Hide your pets on the day. Be respectful that many people might not be dog or cat lovers like you. What’s more, you don’t want to put off any potential buyers with a bad smell.
Get too involved with viewers. You are there to help potential buyers navigate their way around the house, offer tea and coffee and answer any questions they might have. Don’t tell them your life story, like how the cat died and where it’s now buried! Or when you are going on holiday.
Allow unregistered viewers entry. Security is paramount when you are holding Open House Days. Often buyers who are not currently registered with an agent may turn up on an Open House Day. We recommend that our clients do not allow entry to anyone who isn’t registered with us as we have no way of knowing who they are or their contact details in order to get their feedback on the property.
Leave viewers unattended. For the security of your home, it is important to ask viewers who may turn up at the same time to wait and show them through the house individually. This keeps your home and belongings safe and guarantees that each buyer feels that they have the time to see the house properly without being rushed.