I keep an â€œOpen House Bagâ€ that has everything I repeatedly use at an open house. Come prepared. You never know who you will meet.
A few days before, put out a sign rider that announces there will be an OH this â€œSunday 1-4"
CIS (Extremely important - Read notes later about recent spot checks on this!)
Open House Sign Up Cards or Sign Up Sheet
Extra Pens (They have a way of disappearing.)
Hagstroms Map (Even if I have notebook computer...I still bring a map.)
Blank Contract Forms
Lead Paint Booklets
General Community Info for the County or Recreation Areas
Pewter Dish to Hold Mints
To my prepared bag, I add....
Listings of similar properties, above and below the price point of the open house
Specific neighborhood info relative to the open house location
Grab signs, balloons, and perhaps fresh flowers and go..........
Use lots of directionals....Check the town ordinances as they all have different rules. Some allow no directionals; some have limitations. Signs are good and important, but follow the rules or you will find yourself paying fines, or losing signs. Put out as many directionals as you can.
Be knowledgeable about the area, and know the properties for sale in the immediate blocks surrounding the OH, even if the price point is quite a bit different. Recently there were a few instances in NJ, where spot checks on Ohouses caused a few licensees to be fined for failing to hand out a CIS. I was told about this from a few sources. Error on the side of caution and make sure you provide CISs, and soon.
If this is not your listing, arrive a bit early and really get to know the property. Expect that an OH Visitor may ask where the electrical panel is, where the crawl access is. Is it FHA? Where is the hot water heater? What are the taxes? Is this â€œXâ€ school? Where is the elementary school from here? Spend a few minutes so that you can answer most buyer questions. Sure, if you need to, you can always reference the listing. The more you can simply answer without reading or looking, the better.
I was surprised to hear in this thread that OH visitors were allowed to tour on their own. I take my visitors around, and will not allow them to tour a home unescorted. I remain concerned and responsible for the personal property items. If a home is vacant, I still take them on a tour. Exception: If an agent comes in w/ their client, I establish the fact it is a Realtor.
When touring, utilize that time to exchange information with the OH Visitor. Give a bit of info about the property, and then ask a question. Continue touring, give a bit more info about the property, and ask another question or two. (CIS is important.) This allows you to find out their reaction to the property, if they have a Buyer Agent, how long they have been looking. Your first purpose and obligation for being there is to promote the listed property (even if it is not your listing.) If you establish that the property does not meet their needs, you can then pursue discussions that may create a relationship with you as their Buyer Agent. The more knowledgeable you are about the local listings, the greater chance you will have of establishing yourself as a credible source. If the OH Visitor does not find your OH right for them, perhaps they will find you, as a Buyer Agent, good for them.
Best of Luck! Come back and tell us how it goes.