Open Houses are an excellent way to showcase your home, but only if it’s done right and when it’s done right it can ignite interest in your home and it gets people talking.
Truth is after the neighbors, people who saw the sign and stopped and the professional ‘open housers” there are only a couple of potential buyers in there, so put your best foot forward because you only get one shot to impress them. Once a potential buyer makes up their mind that this home isn’t for them, it is practically impossible to change it. Potential buyers are picky and odds are they will be visiting a few homes on the same day, so yours needs to stand out.
Following these simple steps will help insure your open house is a success:
- Make sure your home is clean, I mean you could eat of the floor clean
- Get rid of clutter, put everything in its place and if it doesn’t have a place put it in storage.
- Don’t overload your closets when tidying up. A too full closet says you don’t have enough storage in the home. Likewise a too empty one says your trying to hide that you have no storage.. nicely full is the best way to go.
- Don’t keep valuable items around, not for the open house or for showings, jewelry, expensive knick knacks, priceless collectables should all be in a locked safe or out of the house whenever possible
- Any documents you wish to display, home inspection, information or major work done and warranties, brochures should be easily accessible and well displayed in an area that allows for conversation
- No vehicles should be left if the driveway including trailers or boats, the driveway should be clear and clean, allowing visitors to park there and or walk up to the home without obstacle
- Check your curb appeal, walk across the street and look at your home, what draws your eye, if it isn’t the welcoming front door or the gorgeous landscaping, remove it
- Listen to your Realtor and do what they say about tidying, organizing and repairs don’t take suggestions personal we are looking at your home as a buyer would see it and we want to remove any negative impression.
- Talk to your Realtor about his/her job during an open house. They should keep an open house controlled, talk to and watch everyone attending, have lots of signs around the neighbourhood. Lots of flyers with pictures for people to take with them.
- While it’s true the smell of cookies baking is a wonderful smell, cookies bake in 10 mins it isn’t practical. However, if you have a crock pot, a roast or stew slow cooking thru out the day is a very welcoming, comfortable scent, fresh flowers in the kitchen or by the door are inviting. Don’t overdo it on the air freshener that always seems like something is being covered up, but a scented candle in a safe place can be nice, or scented oils.
I personally only allow two sets of people at a time into a home or one larger family, I put a sign on the door saying there is a showing and to please wait a minute. That way I can stay with people, answer their questions and tell them about your home. Providing a treat is a great way to make people pause and chat for a moment too, a cookie or a chocolate that needs to be unwrapped gives me those few extra seconds to tell them the benefits of the neighbourhood. A good open house gets people back for another appointment and finally an offer in the table.
Keep in mind too that open houses don’t always get you a buyer, but at the very least it will get word of mouth going about your home, make sure it’s good comments that are circulating.