An open house is a time for your house to shine! As the seller, it’s a time to showcase all that your house has to offer!
For the buyer, it’s time to get in there and see all the pros and cons. It’s a time to admire the upgrades, check all the switched, flush the toilets, run the water. An open house is more of a no pressure walkthrough for buyers. Others may be walking through at the same time and it just gives them time to do their own thing without feeling like the Realtor is waiting on just them. It’s time for them to picture them in their new home.
Below are some helpful tips to turn your Open House into a Sold House.
Set an Appropriate date & time
Typically, you will find Open Houses on the weekend, as that is when most people are free. Work with your Realtor to make sure this date is not set near a holiday or big community event that would keep them from attending. You will want to set a 2-4 hours window for people to stop by, usually, between the hours of 11 am and 5 pm work best for weekend traffic.
Food is Comfort
Who doesn’t like going to visit someone and being greeted by the smell of fresh baked goods (you can always set out a light smelling candle with a baked good scent if you don’t want to bake). This is an old trick but it’s one that works. Put out some cookies, brownies or something savory for buyers to munch on as well as something to drink. Keeps them around to finish their snack, feel relaxed and ask questions.
Staging Sets the Tone
Work with your Agent to see 1st what they recommend. Each area is different, and they may have an idea of what works better in your home. A clean and clear (free of clutter) home is one that is welcoming and lets the buyer imagine how they would fit into the house as their own. Set out fresh cut flowers, set your dining room table as if you were entertaining. Best to give an inviting feel and will allow them to feel they can host a family/friend gathering. Outside, trim bushes, cut the lawn, plant a few flowers to spruce things up a bit. Turning on the sprinklers (if no sprinklers, just a quick rinse of the grass with a hose), it will make the lawn sparkle as the buyers arrive.
Clean, Clean and more Cleaning – It’s worth it!
I mentioned cleaning in #2 but can I just say it again, clean! Keeping your home show ready is so important when your house is on the market. It not only needs to be show ready for your open house but also for any schedule appointments that may come up. If you are still living in your house and have pets or kids, it can seem overwhelming. Try donating things you know are just collecting dust, or box things up and put in storage just to give your home a clean, minimal/modern look. If you put away things you don’t see yourself using in the next month or so it’s much easier to stay on top of keeping your house in tip-top shape.
- If the words cleaning and keeping it show ready freak you out, don’t stress! Talk to your realtor about perhaps using a cleaning service and ask for some referrals. Sometimes a deep cleaning is all you need, and you can maintain the rest until it’s sold.
Let Your Light Shine
Think about it, do you want a dark small room to live in, neither do buyers. Open the blinds and window treatments, it will brighten up the space. Light makes the room feel more open and spacious. Replace any lights that may have burned out (inside and out) – the buyers need to see that all lights work properly.
6. Personal things are Personal – Put them away!
You want your home to be inviting but still somewhat of a blank canvas so they can picture it as their own. Keeping your home free of family photos, religious art etc. allows them to view it as their home.
Be smart and safe! While your Agent will be at the open house overseeing things it’s still smart to put away things such as mail, checks, jewelry, medication and other valuables. Have your agent have everyone sign in and show id so you have a record of who has toured your home (this also allows your agent to do a follow-up to see if they have questions they forgot to ask or if they are interested in making an offer).
- Make sure to always check that your windows are locked as well as doors once your open house has ended.
How Funky is Your Kitchen – or any other area
Let be honest, we are all use to our home smell, it’s home. Our home smell is not for everyone and you want it to be a blank canvas or at least a familiar smell (i.e. cookies). Talk to your agent/friends and tell them to be 100% honest with you on how your home smells (don’t be offended, you are trying to sell your house and they are helping you). You love your furbabies, I get it, but not everyone does. Clean the litter box (really clean it, wash it) and keep fresh liter in it. Have your carpets cleaned and treated for pet smells. Clean your kitchen drain and dishwasher (they have special cleaners for them). If you have an old house that tends to have a stale smell try using a dehumidifier.
Your Agent is the Leader
While you would love to stay at the open house, greet guest, tell them all the stories and how amazing your home is, DON’T. Your agent is there for you and wants to sell your home as much as you do. Their job is to look after your best interest, and they will work hard for you. Go take a break, after all, you just did all the steps above to rock this Open House! Make sure you are available to take calls just in case your agent needs to get in touch with you with questions (so, maybe not get a massage).
After the Open House is over your agent should share with you questions or concerns buyers had. Take emotions out of this part, take the advice that your agent may give on changes that should be made. The changes agents may ask are based on buyers’ comments and reactions to your home, you want to listen and make these changes to get your house sold.
Whew, you made it through your Open House!