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5 ways to make your open home better than the rest

By Craig Catley

What's a sale without an open home? Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data shows that between May 2016 and May this year, the number of properties on the market in the Auckland region has increased by 47 per cent. 

That's 2,814 more homes your North Shore property might be competing against. But with the right open home tactics, you (and your real estate agent) can ensure your home is a cut above the rest and sticks in those buyers' memories for a long time. 

1) Appeal to all the senses

Simple enough, but it's easy to forget about the little things. Visually, your usual tasks like cleaning, decluttering and painting or landscaping can help a great deal. To appeal to touch, a thorough dusting and wiping down of your living areas and kitchen can be all it takes. 

Smell is one of the oldest tricks in the book – everybody knows about the method of making a home smell like freshly baked cookies. But what about a hot pot of coffee, or aromatic flowers? Appealing to the ears can be difficult if you live in a central location, but where possible, highlighting a home's tranquility is a must. 

Appealing to all the senses at an open home can help your property be memorable.

For taste, that means putting on a spread. Ray White Takapuna's agents know the way to someone's heart is through their stomach, and appealing to the taste buds can help an open home remain in a buyer's mind long after the session is closed. 

2) Get the buyers' details 

Communication is the most important part of any relationship. That's why good real estate agents don't just welcome buyers to an open home – they collect information that helps them follow up with people who may be interested.

As the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) points out, this requires a Privacy Statement, so buyers know what will happen with their contact details and who can see them. By building a database of contacts at an open home, the showing becomes a platform for maintaining communication with dozens of prospective buyers. 

3) Fix the foyer

Not every home has the features to make an astounding first impressions from the exterior – apartments and townhouses, for example, may have limited space to work with. But one area found in every home that can be highlighted is the entrance or foyer.

Illuminate this space, make it open, make it inviting. For sellers, this might just be where they hang their coat – but for buyers, it's their first true sight of a home. Make it count. 

4) Manage the maintenance

They'll see a home that's ready to move into – and that really sticks.

Under law, real estate agents have to tell buyers about any known issues with a property. Wouldn't being able to say there are none make your North Shore property stand out? 

This may require a minor spend, but quick DIY fixes (or hiring a building professional) can ensure when buyers come knocking at the open home, they don't have to focus on issues with the property. Instead of seeing a list of jobs they'll have to do, they'll see a home that's ready to move into – and that really sticks. 

5) Give buyers a ballpark

Don't leave buyers guessing. A real estate agent can do market research and analyse recent sales in your suburb, working out what people are willing to pay. This should be part and parcel of the marketing process, and letting interested open home visitors know can help them leave with a clear idea of whether it's in their range.

An open home isn't just a showcase for your property – it's a chance to give buyers a memorable experience. The further you go to making this happen, the more likely you are to have people come back with an offer. 

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