When selling your home, you are in a unique position to hold highly effective open houses. When done right, it’s one of your most powerful home seller marketing tools. When done wrong, it can be a fruitless, all consuming emotional drain. I want to share some strategies that can help you avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve seen over the years.
Whenever I’m helping home sellers set up a do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing plan, I make three key points.
Hovering over your potential home buyer
Don’t hover. It makes me uncomfortable. And if you have to, just give me some space. Whenever I walk into a For Sale By Owner’s home, this is one of the most common pitfalls sellers get into. You’re telling me you don’t trust me. If you’re worried about a stranger walking through your home, be subtle by being non-intrusively hospitable. Check on them after they’ve walked into a room and make sure they don’t have any questions, ask them if I’d like a cup of water or coffee, hell even a beer. Just don’t follow them around like they’re a criminal. It’s just not going to get you more offers.
Step-by-step seller commentating
Related to hovering, play-by-play commenting on every little detail about the house as they walk through is a bad sign. It’s a symptom of both the nervously over-eager seller and the prideful homeowner. We call this type of seller the “announcer” or “commentator.” You, the DIY marketing home seller with your play-by-play commenting, have shifted walkthrough homebuyers’ attention from themselves and the home to you. Additionally, if you did not mention something that you later disclose in the seller disclosure, that incongruity can hurt how buyer’s see your integrity.
Consciously or not, the buyer is now paying attention to your personality and your personal relationship with the home you want to sell. If they want to know something, believe me, they will ask you. When a buyer prospect, either in a walkthrough or seller hosted open house, comes through your home, you need to be doing one thing: helping them ask themselves, “how can I make this home my own?” and, “what would it be like for me and my family to live here?”
Revealing too much of your seller personality
Maybe being a likeable house seller might work to your advantage in some cases or at some point. But it probably won’t. The vast majority of the time, getting your prospect to know you off the bat you will not help you. It won’t increase your chances of getting an offer and it can be harmful. Think about it, if I don’t like you, I might not want to deal with you. If I really like you, I might not want to deal with you. It’s much better if I think you seem like a decent person that wouldn’t be hard to deal with. So let me have a chance to like your home, imagine myself in it, and not focus on you, your opinions, or your irrelevant life style.