Most sales representatives will suggest a number of ways to market your home, if your agent has decided an open house would be advantageous; here are some suggestions to help make your open house successful.
As with most things in real estate, planning is crucial to your success. Your goal is to attract buyers for your home. Pick a date that won’t conflict with other events that could divert potential visitors. The more people you have touring your home, the better the chances of one of them being an interested buyer.
The open house should only be scheduled after all the clean-up and repairs jobs have been completed. Most of these tasks should have already been completed before putting your home up for sale, but if not here are a few things you might want to do:
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out. So clean everything, especially your windows and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors and entry ways, clean light fixtures and the fireplace. Don’t forget the laundry room.
Clear Your Clutter
Everyone has a place where the day’s paperwork collects. It might be several places where children’s artwork, memos from school, take-out menus, envelopes with friends’ addresses, or even old holiday cards. Or, perhaps it’s a junk drawer that’s grown out of control.
Find a new home for valuable items that you know you want to keep. When going through items, use the mantra “When in doubt, throw it out”. Challenge yourself to keep only the items you absolutely love or need. Other than certain financial and legal documents, there are very few papers we need to hang onto.
Organize Your Closets
Remove half the items from each closet, and reorganize. The one thing about home buyers is they like to poke about. They’re not really being nosy. What they’re trying to do is gauge how easy it will be to fit their stuff into your home.
Having ample closet space can be a huge selling point when it comes to a home. Most people aren’t that organized, and having a large closet is a big plus and every buyer thinks the right home has is a lot of closets.
You can’t actually build additional closets in your home, but you can show the buyer that you have enough closet space for your stuff. Go around to each closet and systematically remove half of everything inside the closet, particularly if the closet is overstuffed. Once you’ve removed half your clothes, half the linens and towels, and half the toys from the kids toy closet, refold and reorganize what’s left. Your closets should look neat and spacious.
Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously if your home-improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.
Water stains on ceilings or in the basement alert buyers to potential problems. Don’t try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by leaks. If you’ve fixed the water problem, repair the damage and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.
Make sure the grass is cut and the sidewalks and driveway are shovelled depending on the season. Walk around outside to make sure no one has left any garbage lying around and don’t forget to clean up any pet mess.
Now it’s time to start promoting. Whether its advertising in Real Estate Magazines, the newspaper, or website promotion, your agent will effectively promote your event.
For your Open House day, your agent will also advise you on how to present your home to its best advantage. Leaving on all the lights, open the curtains, wipe off any recent dust or dirt, add a vase of flowers to a dark corner and cookies just out of the oven all add to the ambiance and make a welcoming impression. But as any real estate professional will tell you, the best thing that you can do to make your open house a success is to not be present. You’ll get better results when your visitors feel free to poke about, linger, and ask very direct questions of your real estate agent. If you’re present, they’ll feel more constrained, and your sales representative may not even get an opportunity to identify any concerns they may have, and attempt to offer those options and solutions.