How-To Tuesday: Hold a Successful Open House

Contrary to what some real estate agents and home sellers believe, open houses are not a thing of the past. Many agents have come to this conclusion based on either their experiences or statistics presented by others. While it's true that 92% of buyers use Internet searches as their main resource when shopping for a new home, smart sellers and agents understand how to use that fact to their advantage. Read on to see how modern real estate agents and sellers hold successful open houses.

Organize an Internet marketing campaign. You don't have to be particularly tech-savvy to appeal to those buyers who primarily conduct their home searches online. Grab their attention by organizing an Internet marketing campaign. Most home search websites like, Zillow, and Trulia allow you to post open houses to listings. When a prospective buyer finds a home they like, that open house invite could bring them in for a closer look. Post the invitation on social media and websites, and the odds of people showing up to your open house increase dramatically. 

Don't forget traditional advertising. Postcards, letters, newspaper listings, yard signs, and agent invites don't have as far of a reach as Internet advertising does, but they can still be effective. 

Go high-tech. It's always a good idea to have information packets ready for open house attendees. Usually, these packets consist of MLS printouts, more specific information about the house and neighborhood, maybe some extra photos of the house, loan information, and some business cards. In order to save trees and the cost of paper, think about going virtual. QR (Quick Response) Codes are a great way to provide information without handing over tons of handouts and forms. You've probably seen QR Codes here and there—little black and white square barcodes that you can scan with your smart phone. A QR Code might lead you to a website, a digital flyer, an online store, etc. In this case, use one to direct prospective buyers to information they can refer back to later—your home's website or listing, a floor plan, pictures, etc. You can also put them on any mailouts or invitations you send out in advance with information about the open house itself.


Prepare your home in advance. Once you and your Realtor have your marketing campaign down, it's time to tidy up for the open house. Clear clutter and do a good cleaning job before the big day. Pay attention to the products you use to clean; don't use products that have strong or clinical smells. Odors, whether noxious or pleasant, are one of the first things buyers notice when they walk in the front door, so take care not to use especially harsh cleansers or candles with overpowering scents. 

Keep things neutral. Allow prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. If you have a lot of personal or taste-specific items in your home, think about putting them away for the time being. Instead of looking at it as an inconvenience, take it as an opportunity to start packing for your upcoming move. 

Shed a little light on things. Pull back the curtains, and open the blinds. Let in as much natural light as you can. It's the most flattering. If it's a nice day, open the windows and let in a little fresh air as well. 

Amp up the curb appeal. You already know the inside of the house needs to be spotless and welcoming, but did you remember the outside? Don't forget that your lawn and exterior details will be the very first things open house attendees see. Make sure the lawn is mowed, the windows and any glass doors are clean, and the flower beds are weeded. If you need a punch of color, put a couple of potted flowers or plants out on the porch and a nice wreath on the front door.

Serve refreshments. You don't have to go all-out on this, and your real estate agent will usually take care of it. There are different degrees to which you can take this. If the open house is in a high-end home, you can certainly serve champagne and hors d'eouvres or have an espresso bar. But if you have a mid-priced suburban home, it's best to stick to small snacks and water or sodas. Make it as elegant or as homey as you like.

Stay away! If you're the owner of the home, it's best that you stay away from home during the open house. You don't want to be in the way or cause any awkard situations. Buyers might not be as comfortable looking around and giving their opinions when they know the owner is standing in the next room. Likewise, you might not appreciate any negative comments buyers have. 

As you can see, successful open houses these days blend traditional details with modern technology and innovation. Get together with your Realtor and think of some creative ideas to attract prospective buyers. Just don't let him or her immediately dismiss it or refuse to hold an open house. The odds aren't incredibly likely that your home's next owner will happen to be driving by on the day of your open house...but stranger things have happened.


What's New To Summerville? // Part Two

Yesterday we started to answer the question, "What are these new building sites popping up around Summerville?" 

Today, we would like to talk a bit about a new building that is estimated to be completed in the Fall of 2014. Located at 315 Sigma Dr. (right down the road from the Nexton Office Building) will be the SCRA Office. SCRA of North Charleston was recently aquired by Boeing, and now SCRA's applied research and commercialization operations are being relocated to the Nexton community in Summerville, bringing more jobs to the Lowcountry. It will be a great addition to our community. 

Nexton Rendering 2Rendering of the SCRA office expected the Fall of 2014

What's New To Summerville?

Lately, here in Summerville, we have seen a lot of construction and new, unfamilar buildings being built. Awareness has been raised, questions have been asked, and we are here to let you in on the scoop. 

Located at 201 Sigma Drive in Summerville is the Nexton Office Building. What is this building, and what puropose does it serve? Well, this energy-effeicent, 103,221 sq. ft. office facility is the first anchor property that will eventually be a part of a future community full of shops, resturaunts, and of course, homes. According to the Charleston Business Journal, "Mulitiple tenants are expected to locate in the four-story building, including MeadWestvaco Community Developement and Land Management." 

For more information on Nexton and their upcoming plans, please check out:


Friday Five // Local Events Edition

There are so many things going on around the Lowcountry this weekend that we thought we'd do a local edition of the Friday Five. From St. Patrick's Day shindigs to musem perusing and walks in the park, here are our top five things to do in Charleston this weekend.

Park Circle hosts its 11th Annual St. Paddy's Day Block Party and Parade this Saturday, March 15, 2014. The parade begins at noon, originating at Park Place East, and proceeds down East Montague. Get out and celebrate with live music, drink and food specials, and giveaways. This family-friendly celebration is free to the public. 

Dine your way through the Holy City in 72 hours. presents the Two Fork Safari, a guide to the best eats in Charleston. Start with breakfast, have a leisurely lunch, enjoy a posh dinner, and wind down with cocktails each night.

To gear up for next week's Charleston Fashion Week, visit the Charleston Museum this weekend and explore the current exhibits in the Historic Textiles Gallery, which includee Fashion Accessories: PursesFashion Flashback: The 1970s, and Fashion in Fiction.

If you're looking for an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, Charleston County Parks and Recreation is offering free admission to all Charleston County Parks this Sunday. Get out and do some fishing, explore the beaches, or have a family picnic.

The Cole Brothers Circus of the Stars takes the stage at the Exchange Park in Ladson this weekend, with two shows on Friday, and three on Saturday and Sunday.

With so many events and celebrations happening this weekend, you're sure to find something you love.  No matter what your plans are, we at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy weekend!


12 Interior Design Secrets


12 interior design secrets 


1.Pile On the Pillows





















One pair of pillows always looks skimpy. Use two pairs, in contrasting patterns, colors, and textures.


2. Buy a Bigger Bed


















Small-scale furniture only makes a small bedroom look smaller. Try a high bed and a tall headboard. Your room will grow.


3. Leave Cabinets Open

An open armoire is more interesting than a closed one. Let people into your secret world.


4. Go Dark


Dark walls do the opposite of what you’d expect: They make a small room feel bigger.


5. Large Collections Need Order

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Wall brackets can bring order to a large collection or odd shapes.


6. Use a Real Rug in the Bathroom

Use a rug instead of a bath mat. It was made to withstand a lot more wear than the occasional wet foot.


7.Layer Your Lighting

Four lamps are better than two. You need ambient light for mood and direct light for reading.


8. Tuck In Your Throws


Keep throws under control. Fold them lengthwise, then in half, then tuck them into cushions.


9. Kick Your Traditional Coffee Table to the Curb

The most versatile coffee table you’ll ever own is an ottoman topped with a tray.


10. Skirted Furniture Finishes a Room

Too many chair and table legs can make a room “nervous.”  A skirted piece or two will make it feel “grounded.


11. Switch Up Your Seating

Mix up the seating at your dining table. You wouldn’t have eight identical chairs in your living area.


12. Refinish Vintage Finds


Don’t be afraid to paint a vintage piece. Every piece of furniture can’t be brown.



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