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Sometimes, selling a home is more about fostering an emotional connection between buyers and a potential property, rather than hammering home the square footage or the suitability of the school district. That can be hard to do over the internet, which is why open houses are still an important part of most real estate agents’ sales strategies. In fact, a recent article found that online listings followed immediately by an open house can actually result in multiple bids and a higher final sales price.

How can you bring in fresh eyes? These five strategies are designed to do just that.
Show the Home at Off-Peak Times

Showings on Saturday or Sunday afternoons don’t work for people who are already racing to soccer practice and birthday parties. Weekends are also troublesome for buyers with nontraditional work schedules, something that’s becoming more and more common. Give those home seekers another option by holding your open house at unconventional times. A midweek happy hour-themed open house gives people a chance to stop by on their way home from work for a cocktail and a look-see, while mid-morning showings are ideal for people who might have an hour to spare after dropping the kids at school.

 

Host a Benefit or Charity Event

Sometimes, the people who aren’t actively looking end up being the perfect buyers for your hard-to-sell property. By using a home that’s for sale to host an event supporting a local food bank, community organization or school music program, you’re combining savvy marketing and philanthropic spirit that helps out everyone involved.

 

Emphasize the Outdoor Space

 If outdoor space or private lakes are hard to come by in your neck of the woods, show off your home’s star feature by creating an event designed to highlight it. From fishing contests on the well-stocked stream nearby, to carnival games in the gargantuan backyard, to a catered BBQ on the sprawling deck, unique attention-getting events make your open house stand out in a sea of properties.

 

Bring the Home to Life

One complaint buyers sometimes have about open houses, is that they seem generic or cold. Use mood lighting, turn on some tunes (match the music to the space and the crowd — current hits for a contemporary loft or maybe classical for a sophisticated single-home property), pop some cookies in the oven and let your guests experience the home not just as it is, but how it can be.

 

Give Guests Something to Remember

 There were about 5,760,000 homes sold in the United States in 2015, over half a million of which were new constructions. In some neighborhoods, those numbers translate into quite a few homes that may look similar on one street. The key to edging out the competition is giving buyers something to remember. Invite local artists to show their work during your open house, or have circus performers do tricks by the pools. During the holidays, you could have carolers greeting guests at the door or Santa taking Polaroid pictures with happy house hunters in the living room. If it’s different, it’s memorable, and that’s what makes the offers start rolling in.

 

While each of these five ideas will likely draw attention, the best way to show off your property is to put together an open house that reflects both the home itself and the demographic most likely to buy it. Feel free to get creative — your competition is probably already brainstorming.