Being creative to sell

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There are many ways to get your home noticed and in a competitive field, being able to market it creatively could be the difference between selling and your property remaining untouched for months on end.

Big in America and becoming more and more popular in the UK, an Open House is one way to attract a lot of interest with little effort.

Open Houses can be a valuable addition to your armoury, whatever the state of the property market – but probably even more so at the moment, when sellers and their agents are having to work that much harder to generate buyer interest.

And generating buyer interest is what Open Houses are very good at.

Unlike the more traditional viewing procedure, where potential buyers first have to register with the agent and then book an appointment to view, they give house-hunters the opportunity to take a really good, long look at a property, both inside and out, without having either the owner or the agent constantly at their elbow.

In other words, it’s a bit like visiting a stately home and taking your own time over it, rather than having to take a guided tour.

Property expert, Kerry Applin, director of Chapplins in Havant, feels an Open House could even bump up the value of your home.

He said: ‘Research in the USA, where Open Houses have been used for years, shows that when more than one group of buyers look at a property simultaneously, it can help to create a sense of competition – so prices achieved are often actually higher than they might otherwise have been.’

The idea of throwing your home open on a particular day between set times, so that it can be viewed by a whole bunch of complete strangers, can sound a bit scary. But it needn’t be, because a good agent will help you with all the arrangements.

Those arrangements can vary according to your own preferences, from having the whole thing handled relatively discreetly, to putting an “Open House” sign in the window and hanging balloons out front so that no-one is left in any doubt about what is going on.

But the condition of the home is up to you to ensure it appeals.

‘You need to make sure your home is looking its best, and that any items of value are safely locked away,’ added Kerry. ‘Then, it’s just a matter of waiting to see who turns up on the day, making a note of their names and contact details, and leaving them to look round at their leisure. Being creative could just be the key to helping create enough interest to sell your home.’