You’re opening the doors to your home to let curious buyers have a gander at your place, which will hopefully peak someone’s interest enough to put in an offer. After all, the more eyes that see your home, the better. That’s the point of an open house.
But how your open house is conducted can make all the difference in attracting the right people and presenting your home in the right light.
To make your event a true success, keep these pointers in mind.
Neutralize Your Home
Anything that would turn buyers off and cause even the slightest bit of controversy should be eliminated before you throw the doors open. Aside from obviously getting rid of clutter, you also want to take some time to evaluate the components of your home that not everyone would necessarily appreciate.
Any fuzzy toilet lid covers, fuschia-colored walls, or worn-down area rugs should be swapped for things that visitors would likely appreciate more. Sometimes getting rid of the carpeting and repainting the walls can go a long way at pleasing other people’s tastes.
If you’ve got any political posters or religious figures on the walls, you may want to consider taking those down too, as not everyone will share the same beliefs. We all know how much region and politics can polarize people.
Stage Your Space
In addition to cleaning up your home and neutralizing its colors and accessories, you might want to take some steps to properly stage the place to boost the odds of impressing prospective buyers. For starters, take measures to enhance your home’s curb appeal by ensuring that the lawn is mowed, the bushes are trimmed, and your driveway is cleaned up. You might even go so far as to plant some colorful flowers or even repaint your front door.
From an interior standpoint, make sure your home’s furniture is arranged in such a way that it clearly defines how the rooms can be used, and maximizes flow. If your home is vacant, consider having a professional stager come in to furnish your home so that buyers aren’t left guessing what the space is used for, and what type of furniture can fit well within the space. Add some touches including fresh flowers in vases and clean towels in bathroom. A little can certainly go a long way in presenting your home in the best light possible.
Don’t Be There
Much like regularly scheduled showings, it doesn’t help to have the seller present when prospective buyers are trying to check out the place. They need to be able to freely picture themselves living in the house, and if you’re lingering around, that’ll be hard to do. There’s simply no reason for you to be there if your real estate agent is already there managing the open house on your behalf.
It doesn’t do much for the sellers and buyers to meet before an offer is even considered. When buyers are meandering through the home, they really just want to be left alone, and feel as though they can make comments on the house liberally without having to fear that the owner will overhear.
Don’t forget to take your pets along with you – if you have any – as well as all the items that go along with them, including their litter boxes, toys, and food bowls.
Invite the Neighbors to Show Up
Many times sellers are concerned about the number of neighbors who may show up at open houses just out of curiosity about how they live. While some sellers may want to shun their neighbors from attending their open houses, many agents actually encourage them to come. After all, the more people see your home, the better.
While your neighbors themselves may not necessarily be interested in buying your home, perhaps they have friends, family members or acquaintances that are looking in your neighbourhood. Consider handing out some flyers to your neighbors to advertise your open house, which can increase the odds of word-of-mouth spreading faster.
Put Up Signs All Over the Neighborhood
You’re obviously going to have an open house sign on your front lawn, but you should also expand this idea and place signs advertising the open house in other spots around the area, especially at major intersections and mailboxes. You can attract more attention to these signs by tying helium-filled balloons to the signs. The more you can help direct interested buyers to your home, the better.
Protect Your Stuff
Your real estate agent will be present during the open house, but it’s impossible to have eyes on every room when there are multiple buyers in the home at once. Do yourself a favor and secure belongings before the open house starts, or else remove them from the home altogether.
Provide as Much Information as Possible
Brochures should always be part of an open house, which outlines all the details that buyers will want to know about the place. Be as detailed as you can, aside from the price and number of bedrooms. Include specs such as square footage, lot size, recent upgrades, and so forth. You might even want to include information from a local mortgage broker with information about mortgage payments and loan options. Give buyers something to take home with them so that they have something to refer back to.
You don’t have to serve soups and sandwiches, but some light refreshments may be a nice touch to your open house. Even freshly baked cookies can help to treat visitors when filling the house with a lovely aroma.
Having an open house involves a lot more than just plopping a sign in front of your home and hoping that people will show up. Not only is there are a lot of work involved in getting the word out, there’s also work that needs to be done to prep your home to be shown. Make the most of your open house with these tips to help get it off the market sooner rather than later.