Here’s a handy checklist for homeowners getting ready for an open house.
An open house is a great way to showcase your home, generate interest, and get many potential buyers to see what your home has to offer them. Your REALTOR should take care of the planning and hosting of the event, but there are a few tips that we have found helpful for homeowners. Follow these suggestions to make your open house as successful and stress-free as possible.
Make a great first impression
You want potential buyers to be drawn in as they approach your home and have the best possible first impression. Make sure your front porch is neat and inviting. Spruce up the plants, get rid of any clutter, and make sure everything is bright and clean. Sometimes simply scrubbing the front door and polishing up the porch light is enough to take your front porch up a notch.
Create a warm, bright atmosphere
Make sure your home smells inviting by baking cookies right before the event. Buyers are attracted by the homey smells of baking, which will cover up any lingering scents from the dinner you cooked last night. Also, turn on all the lights and open the blinds to provide a better experience for buyers walking through the home. Light, bright, and airy show off your home’s features best.
Try to look through the buyer’s eyes
Walk through your house before the event and try to look around with the critical eye of a buyer. Try to spot things that a buyer would notice and fix, or tidy up the things that you can. It’s also a good idea to depersonalize your home by packing up family pictures and personal memorabilia. You want open house guests to picture themselves living in your home rather than feeling like they are visiting someone else’s home.
Create space by removing unnecessary items
This tip especially applies to furniture. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, move it out of the house. This opens up the space, allowing potential buyers to experience how roomy and open the house can feel.
Think safety and security — for you and for buyers
Remove any high-priced or irreplaceable items such as jewelry from your home on the day of the the open house and keep them with you. We always recommend sellers also remove all prescription drugs and firearms from the home as well.
Let your REALTOR handle the open house
Take the day off and let your REALTOR do the hosting. This allows potential buyers to freely express how they feel about the home so they can make their best decision. We all think that our home is the best one, but everyone has their own opinions, so it’s best not to be there when buyers are touring.
Bonus tip: Host a special open house for your neighbors!
This is something we have been doing for a while at Better Homes and Garden Real Estate – Steinborn & Associates, and we have experienced how much the neighbors love this! Hosting a special open house and inviting all your neighbors makes them feel like they are welcome to come and not just being nosey by coming to a regular open house. Neighbors often know someone who is looking and can refer them as a potential buyer. If you aren’t currently working with us, suggest to your REALTOR that you’d like to plan a special time for your neighbors to come tour your home.