Eight Tips to Conduct a FSBO Open House

Dear Monty: How do we conduct an FSBO open house? We are first-time home sellers. Our friend just sold their home FSBO and told us it was not complicated. We want to start the process with an open house, but we want to avoid mistakes without having done this before. How would you conduct an open house?

Monty’s Answer: Open houses can be a valuable tool in the home-selling process. The trick is to mimic a good real estate agent’s tactics. These are the second-nature tactics they likely don’t mention. Here is an article on DearMonty about open houses that will be helpful. The tips below are for a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO).

Preparation Considerations

No. 1: Inform Your Neighbors. Your neighbors can be great lead generators. They may know of someone that is looking for a home right now. It could be a relative, co-worker, friend, or someone they know in a service club.

No. 2: Data Sheets. Print up to 25, 50, or 100 data sheets with the date and time of the open house and have a neighborhood kid hang them on neighborhood front doors, mailboxes, or porches. Be sure that no HOA or municipal ordinances prohibit it.

No. 3: Yard Signs. On the Monday before the open house, put a sign in your front yard that says “Open House, Next Sunday — 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m..” On Friday, put out several open house signs on corners with an arrow pointing in the right direction if you are on a lightly traveled street. The PropBox sign has a unique QR code that takes a customer to your PropBox ad page on their mobile phone.

No. 4: Promote, Promote, Promote. Social media has become a good source of leads. Facebook, Instagram, and many others will advertise FSBO homes for free. Zillow will allow FBSOs to advertise for free and Zillow feeds to Trulia, Redfin, and other websites. Craigslist will also run your ad for free. Because those ads are free to FSBOs, if you wish, you can also buy an ad in your local paper or the newspaper where agents promote their open houses. Make sure you include the open house information in all the ads.

No. 5: The Sign-Up Form and Datasheet. Greet your guests near the front door. Ask them to sign in. Make a data sheet like the ones agents hand out containing all the information about the house. Leave them in a visible spot, such as the kitchen counter. If they see them but don’t take one, they may not be a prospect.

No. 6: Safety. Have another person or two with you. Besides having others with you in the house to help, they serve as deterrents in the unlikely event someone is there to raid your medicine cabinet. In the rare instances where an incident has occurred, it has been at a private showing in a vacant home. Real estate agents showing a home in a secluded area or rural property secure a photo ID before the showing and bring someone along.

No. 7: The Open House. When they have signed in, ask them if they would like to walk through independently or if they would like you to point out the features and answer questions. Many people will opt to wander around on their own. But some will enjoy a guided tour. Be friendly but make friends at the closing. Remove your pets from the house, as they can be a distraction.

No. 8: The Follow-Up. Anecdotally, sales and purchases are often lost because neither party acted. Following up to learn if there are additional questions does not mean you are anxious to sell, but a courtesy. A seller should contact prospects within a day or two and ask the candidate if they have questions. PropBox features built-in tools, one of which is direct communication between a seller and a buyer on the platform. You can have a conversation in real time.

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