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Successful Open Houses: Attracting Buyers in Northwest Arkansas

Novice and experienced home sellers alike know that open houses are a common way to draw in possible buyers. That idea holds whether you're in Orange County, California, Northwest Arkansas, or anywhere in between. An open house is always an exciting opportunity to show what you have to offer and attract the attention of qualified buyers.

But how do you run an open house that interests buyers without wasting time, money, and energy? Below are some of the fundamental steps to follow as you host a top-notch open house.

Start by Getting a Handle on the NWA Real Estate Market

Before you go overboard planning for the ultimate open house, make sure that now is the right time to sell. Spend some time evaluating the current state of the Northwest Arkansas housing market. Are you planning to relocate or interested in remaining within the NWA metro area?

You should know that as of early 2024, Northwest Arkansas continues to be a seller's market. This is because NWA is experiencing a fantastic population boom (which means strong housing demand) coupled with an inventory that has been struggling to keep up. Currently, the market has only three months of housing supply.

Active homes are spending about the same amount of time on the market (a median amount of 52 days) compared to 2023, and the average home prices of houses for sale continue to be competitive, with 14.7% of Arkansas homes selling above the list price in early 2024. Three of Redfin's top 10 metros with the fastest-growing purchase prices are in the Northwest Arkansas region (Farmington, Bentonville, and Centerton).

Armed with this information about general NWA trends, you can then work with a seasoned professional with experience in the home-selling process. An agent can use his or her real estate platforms to perform a comparative market analysis for your specific region before embarking on an open house.

Pick the Right Date for Your Open House

It's a cliche (yet true nonetheless) that the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, and location. When it comes to scheduling an event, including an open house, you might say that the three most important things are timing, timing, and timing.

Your open house needs to fall on a date and time when the greatest number of prospective buyers will be available. As you might imagine, weekends tend to be preferred. Times from noon to midafternoon (i.e. about 12 pm-4 pm) are convenient for most people. If the afternoon timing and/or a weekend date doesn't work, then you might settle for an evening open house.

This isn't to say that an open house scheduled on a weekday or at a time other than the afternoon can't work. It's just that experience suggests that such an open house won't cast the widest net for potential buyers.

Lastly, make sure that whatever date you pick gives you at least a week's worth of lead time so that you can promote your listing and prepare your property for visitors.

Essential Preparations for an Open House

Hosting an open house shares some similarities with hosting other events, such as parties and family get-togethers. You want your home to be not only presentable but downright enticing to people who might make a purchase.

That means that the open house should be pleasant for visitors, who are essentially your guests for the duration of the event. Everything from making obvious repairs and aesthetic fixes to offering food and beverages to open-house attendees goes a long way toward keeping potential buyers interested in your home sale.

A successful real estate transaction requires a delta of several attributes, including the location of your home, list price, curb appeal, and a smart negotiation process. Curb appeal is one of the features that you have the greatest amount of control over, and it's something that you can showcase to great effect during an open house.

Staging Best Practices

Since open houses are all about catching the eye of buyers, you'll need your home to look its very best. That's how you convert would-be buyers and foot traffic into prospects who submit formal offers and make it to closing, after all!

A big part of preparing your home for an open house is a step you'll probably already be familiar with from preparing to list your house for sale through the major listing services: staging. This is where a knowledge of your local market can be especially handy. This kind of data can give you a better handle on what kind of aesthetic people are looking for in your particular area.

Speaking of aesthetics, a major principle of staging is walking the tightrope between, on the one hand, making your home attractive while, on the other hand, depersonalizing it enough so that prospective buyers can visualize themselves living in the house.

In addition to rearranging furniture, setting up or taking down decor as appropriate, and similar staging concerns, you should also make sure you have added the improvements to your home that will give you the biggest bang for your buck at the time of sale.

Market Your Home

Even though we're living In the modern digital world, your house marketing strategy for your open house event shouldn’t be done purely online (though we'll talk more about social media and online marketing down below!).

The tried and true marketing methods of the past can also help raise awareness of your upcoming open house. That means that door hangers, house signs, real estate postcards, taking out newspaper ad space, and other analog techniques are still viable ways to fill potential homebuyers in on your event.

Find out what marketing techniques your real estate broker is comfortable with and lean into those methods, while also being unafraid to suggest other marketing tools that you think could be effective.

Generating leads either digitally or through old-school means (even with something as simple as a sign-in sheet at the open house itself) is essential for making contact with qualified buyers interested in your home.

Social Media and Online Marketing

We mentioned above how important the pre-digital marketing methods are for raising maximum exposure for your open house. Still, it can't be denied that advanced technology in the realm of social media has taken real estate marketing to the next level. You and your realtor should be using several online platforms to spread the word about your open house.

Social media advertising is a great way to get eyes on the date and time of your event, from paid Facebook adverts to Instagram story ads. Real estate teams can also advertise your home through Pinterest, Google, the Nextdoor neighborhood app, and other online platforms that are likely to be used by individuals in your target buying demographic.

Other ways to create online exposure for your home include video tours (also known as 3D walkthroughs), virtual staging, and Facebook or YouTube live streams. If your real estate team has a blog (such as the helpful blog here at The Summit Home Team's website!), they can also advertise your open house through that medium.

Creative Open House Marketing Ideas

So, we've covered the most essential parts of a solid marketing plan, from the classics like home signs and door hangers to trendier digital options like Pinterest adverts and online live streams. There are other ways that you and/or your real estate agent can go above and beyond in attracting buyers and building decent exposure for your open house.

Door hangers are a must, but why not mix helpful information with a sweet treat by ordering foldable candy boxes? Order candy boxes online, include a few candies with the information for your open house, and leave them around the neighborhood.

Not only can you invite your block to the event through these leave-behinds, but you can also start a conversation with neighbors and learn from them what they think is most attractive about your neighborhood to potential buyers.

When it comes to the sign in front of your house, you don't just want a plain Jane yard sign or sandwich board. You need something that will turn heads and make passersby, drivers, or other forms of traffic want to stop and check your place out.

A cute, crafty sign with a unique shape (such as a diamond), branding or symbols, colors that pop, directionals, a headshot of your agent, or even glitter can draw attention. Just make sure that the way you design your sign attracts the right kind of crowd (i.e. an older buyer may be turned off by over-the-top colors, while the younger set might be bored by too much white space).

Running a Successful Open House

Every agent probably has a slightly different methodology for running an open house, but some of the vital steps include greeting visitors with warmth, engaging guests with the right level of conversation (e.g. some people prefer loads of small talk while others like to "get down to brass tacks").

As the homeowner, you should be principally concerned with hosting a fun open house while your agent engages prospects with deft conversation. Focus on creating a memorable experience that plays to your home's best features, such as centering the party around the living room to show off your gorgeous picture window and natural light or making sure there's plenty to see in your spacious backyard.

After the open house, stay in contact with your real estate team to make sure they adequately follow up with any visitors who leave their contact information. You never want to lose out on a prospect because someone forgot to circle back!

Contact a Top-Rated Home Team Today!

Hosting an open house can be both exciting and daunting. You don't have to go it alone! Contact the real estate professionals at The Summit Home Team to find out how we can turn your home sale dream into reality!

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Welcome to The Summit Home team, your personal guides to Northwest Arkansas's vibrant real estate market. Whether you're buying, selling, or investing, our experienced team is here to offer tailored solutions that meet your needs. Connect with us today.