The home selling process has many steps involved before the actual sale of your house takes place. First, you must decide whether you want to list with an agent or go the for sale by owner route. Next, you must have your home appraised. Then, you may need to stage your home and complete renovations before putting your house on the market. At this point, you may have already conducted a home inspection to avoid having buyers bring their own inspectors to parade through your house. So now your home is on the market and you’re probably starting to think about when you will have your first open house. Having an open house is a great way to attract prospective buyer and increase the chances of selling your house.
While having an open house can be very helpful when selling your house, there are certain things that you must keep in mind to have a successful open house. Some of the following tips may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people overlook these simple things. Generally buyers will look at multiple houses before reaching a decision, so you want to make sure that the experience that they had viewing your home is as positive as possible. By following these steps, you should be able to make your home stand out from the other houses in your area and give you a better idea of how to sell your house.
- Lighten up!
Something as simple as lighting up your home can make all the difference in the world. Make sure that all of your blinds and drapes are open so that natural sunlight can enter your home. Additionally, turn on all the lights (even if it’s daytime). Make sure those windows are sparkling clean on the inside and outside. The more light you have in your home, the bigger it looks! If you have low levels of lighting in some areas of your home, considering putting a lamp or 2 in those rooms to brighten up the space.
- Stage your home
Set the dining room table as if you were having Christmas dinner. This really adds a homely feel when a buyer is viewing your home. The goal here is to make them feel like it is their home, so make sure your home looks welcoming to all. What I mean by this, is that there shouldn’t be graduation pictures or sports achievements covering the walls. You don’t want the prospective buyer to feel like he or she is in your house, you want them to think that it is their house.
- Don’t hang around during the open house
Buyers will feel less comfortable viewing a home if the home owner is lurking around every corner. They may feel rushed and leave without getting a good enough look at your home. Additionally, they may not feel comfortable asking the agent certain questions if you are in the house at the time. So go out for lunch, go to a friend’s house or go for a walk. This all comes back to wanting the buyer to feel like it is his or her house; seeing you there will make it difficult for them to picture themselves living in your house. This applies to pets as well! Don’t leave your dog or cat in the house during an open house. While they may be extremely cute, there is no reason to have them around. Having pets is seen as a negative thing when someone is viewing your home because they assume there will be scratched floors and walls (not to mention the smell that you may have gone nose blind to!).
- Clean and declutter!
This one may sound obvious, but many people overlook this when preparing for an open house. I have heard stories about open houses where the beds were not made, the bathroom was not cleaned and the grass was not cut. Don’t assume that potential buyers will be able to look past the mess to view your home’s potential. This could cost you a sale so make sure your kitchen and bathroom(s) are spotless. These are the most used rooms in the house so it makes sense why buyers will pay so much attention to them. Clear everything off of your kitchen counters except for the odd decorative item such as a vase or plant pots. Clear everything off your fridge! No one wants to see your daughter’s finger paintings when they are in an open house. Not only does having a fridge full of shopping lists and magnets make the kitchen look messy, it also makes the home feel too personalized. At some point during the open house, buyers and/or agents will likely use the bathroom so make sure they are stocked with toilet paper, soap, towels, and air fresheners. You should also pay attention to how your home looks from the outside. Make sure that the grass has been cut and everything looks neat and tidy. I heard a story once about someone finding a dead squirrel floating in the home owner’s pool! Be sure to take some time to tidy up outside because for some people, the yard is equally important as the home itself.
Having an open house is a great idea for a number of reasons. It allows you to have multiple viewings simultaneously which is much more convenient than scheduling individual viewings. An open house may also put pressure on buyers to make an offer because seeing other buyers in your home may influence them into acting quickly. With that being said, an open house will only be worth your while if you have a large number of people in attendance. A good way to ensure that you will have a good turnout is if you purchase a flat fee MLS listing. The amount of traffic that you will receive from this will help you increase the number of people who show up to your open house.
Following these steps should ensure that you have a successful open house. When you’re selling your house, you should be willing to go to great lengths to make your home stand out from the others. These tips are very simple to follow and won’t take a lot of time or cost you any money! Hopefully now you will be one step closer to selling your home!