Friday I touched on why I felt open houses worked if done right... the keywords here being 'done right'. This is where most people fail. If time, effort and work are not put into your open house (by the realtor AND the homeowner) , forget about it... you might as well just not have one. Here are my top 3 ways to have a kick a$$ open house...

1) Clean!

We hear it all the time yet some people still don't do it! If your home is brand spankin' new or 50 years old, have it cleaned! Inside and out. It makes a huge a difference. Windows, floors, bathrooms , etc..! Clean it all. If you suck at cleaning, spend the $200 to have it professionally cleaned (some full service realtors will pay for to get this done for you). Look at car dealerships, You go to any of them and you can practically eat off these cars...some dealerships have dedicated employees that simply go around the lot, and keep all the cars clean all day long. First impressions are everything, invest time and money into it, you will reap the rewards.

2) Advertise!

This one has more to do with your agent but all your time spent cleaning for the open house is useless if no one knows about it! Advertise, advertise, advertise. Four open house signs put out ten minutes before the open house starts is not going to garner the attention you need. I was driving in the west end Sunday on my way to an appointment and saw a couple of open house signs. I kept going... next street over, same two signs, and the next and again.. This agent covered a massive radius with her signs (to which I still have her image in my head). If I had a client looking in the area or was a home buyer myself interested in the area, 100% I am going to check out this home. Open house signs are just one way of advertising... any great realtor will make sure he or she exhausts all their resources to drive traffic to the home.

3) Engage and Educate!

How many times do you walk into an open house to find the realtor sitting at the table reading a book or surfing the net? Too often in my books. The tone needs to be set early.. just like the home's first impression, the realtor needs to put their best foot forward. An engaging agent will ask more questions, answer more questions and qualify visitors much better, because in the end, the agent is working for the sellers and as such he should be spending more time with visitors that have a genuine interest in the home. The agent is the advocate for the home and should know the place and all the details inside and out. As a buyer I want to know how old the roof is, if there's any knob and tube wiring, what the size of the lot is. The agent needs to be able to fire off these answers.

If you think back on the open houses you visited, I am certain the ones you enjoyed had these 3 things present.