How to Host an Open for Inspection
Hosting an Open for Inspection is like going on a first date.
First impressions count!
Open for Inspections are designed to showcase your home at its best. They’re scheduled in advance, so you’ve got plenty of time to prepare and present your home well.
The cleaning standard for hosting an open house is equal to the standard you set for hosting your in-laws for the first time. Yeah, it’s that big of a deal. Your goal is to make potential buyers love what they see so they’re left wanting to know more about your property.
So, mop the floors, make sure the dishes are away, vacuum the dog’s fur off the carpets, air the house out, and open the curtains to let the sunshine in.
It’s not as scary as it seems.
We get why you might feel that way, we really do.
It’s natural to feel uncomfortable at the thought of having your home open to the public. Even if your property is tenanted, you risk unsettling your current tenants by having people come through the property.
But here’s the truth, trying to sell a property is a numbers game. The higher number of people who visit your property, the more likely you’ll to find ‘the one’ – ‘the one’ who falls in love with your property and says the 6 words we all want to hear – “I want to make an offer”.
What if they just want a “sticky beak”?
We’ll be honest with you, some of the people who attend your inspections will be ‘tyre kickers’, they’re just after a quick ‘sticky beak’. Having more people attend your inspections makes people assume your property is a hot commodity. You can definitely use that to your advantage to get the price you want – people love a good competition!
Showing multiple buyers through a property at the same time creates a sense of urgency, and it may influence potential buyers to act quickly to beat the competition.
Follow these five simple steps to host a successful Open for Inspection.
Step 1: Be prepared
You’re selling privately, but there is still the expectation that you will be professional.
Take down the name and contact details of everyone who comes through your place. You can also insist on seeing some form of ID, like a driver’s license, or take down their car’s license plate.
This gives you a list of people to follow up with, but more than that it’s a safety measure.
Step 2: Be ready to answer questions
Some people will ask simple questions like ‘what’s the walking distance to the shops?’, or ‘are there primary schools in the area?’ Others may ask more specific questions like ‘when was the last time the air conditioner was serviced?’
Common questions buyers ask include information on strata fees and rates costs.
Do some research and make sure you’ve got all your bases covered. If someone is looking to purchase for investment purposes, you’ll want to be able to give them an educated guide on what to expect.
Step 3: Be punctual and take the time to talk to your buyers
If you want potential buyers to respect your time, show them that you respect theirs.
You’re allowed to share what you like most about the property and point out the unique features your home has to offer. Remember that not everyone will want to engage with you, some might just want to take a moment to look at the property solo.
As buyers are leaving the inspection, think about asking them a few questions, such as:
- A conversation starter – ‘Do you have any other questions?’
- Find out how committed they are – ‘Have you looked at a few properties in the area?’
- Try understanding their motivation – ‘Are you buying a property to live in, or for an investment?’
- Work out if they’re a hot lead! – ‘Would you like me to email you a copy of the contract?’
Step 4: Review and reflect
Take a moment to read back over the notes you’ve taken about each of the buyers who came through the property.
If you said you would email someone the Contract of Sale, follow through. If someone posed questions you didn’t have an answer for, find out the answer and get back to them. They’ll appreciate the dedication and diligence put forth.
Step 5: Follow up
Just like real estate agents do, follow up with the buyers that visited your inspection. People are busy! It’s always worth finding out where they stand.
This will also help you figure out your next steps. If you’ve got some great leads, then maybe it’s worth allocating your time to chasing them up. If not, then seek feedback from the people who attended your inspection and adjust your game accordingly.
Your follow up questions might include:
- ‘What did you think of the property?’
- ‘Would you like me to send you a copy of the contract?’
- ‘Would you like me to inform you if we receive any offers?’
Some food for thought.
- Create or purchase property brochures – Having something people can hold onto when they leave reminds them about your property’s best features. It will help your property stand out when they review all the houses they’ve seen that day. Consider including information like property photos, potential rental income, rates etc.
- Be patient – A clever buyer won’t say much if anything at all. Life’s a game, and they’re playing. Don’t confuse silence or minimal feedback for lack of interest.
- Don’t go it alone – Never hold an open for inspection solo. Always have a trusted family member or friend with you for safety measures.
- Consider the playlist – Soft music can stop a home feeling a little empty. Nothing too loud or polarising, just enough to set the tone.
- Don’t distract from the home – Let the house do the talking by un-personalising your home. You’ll be moving soon anyway, right? Takedown family photos and neutralise the rooms in your home. Fresh, neutral colour pallet sheets always make a room more inviting (yes, even for the kid’s rooms).
- Make sure your property smells good – If you went on a date, you’d have breath mints handy. That doesn’t mean you have to have candles lit in every room, it can be as easy as airing the property out.
- Find a babysitter for your furry friends – If possible, have someone take care of your pets during your inspections. It might seem crazy, but not everyone is an animal lover. You want potential buyers to feel as comfortable as possible in what could be their new home.