Have you noticed it yet? The days are getting longer. The sun is starting to shine again. And, as the temps slowly begin to rise, people are venturing outside once more. The time is right to take advantage of Open Houses. Here, we discuss tips a successful open house experience for both sellers and buyers.
Open Houses are beneficial for sellers and buyers. It’s a great way for sellers to showcase their home. It’s also a stress-free way for buyers to learn more about a neighborhood, as well as determine what they like and don’t like in a home.
When done correctly, open houses can often help sell properties faster and sometimes for more money. Depending on the condition of your home, this might mean simply sprucing a few things up. Or, it may mean a major overhaul with staging. My goal is to help sellers successfully prepare their home for viewing and get buyers to see potential opportunities.
Prepare for a Successful Open House
I’ve put together a list of tips to help sellers and buyers make the most of Open Houses. From townhomes and single-family homes to condos and lofts, you’ll be prepared to either sell or find your dream home.
1. Sellers Need to Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
Spend a few days getting rid of your clutter. Clear off the hall table, the dining room table, and your kitchen and bathroom counters. To make your space seem larger, consider moving some of your furniture to storage, the basement, or the garage. Now would also be a good time to remove personal and expensive items throughout the house, including prescription medicines and financial documents. You want buyers to feel welcome with the freedom to imagine their own items in the home.
2. Focus On Detailed Cleaning For Your Open House
Before you set a date for your open house, do a major cleaning. You may even want to hire a service initially. No corner should be left untouched. This includes baseboards, windows (inside and out), window screens, windowsills, ceiling fans, lamps and lampshades, fireplaces, floors, walls, and appliances. In addition, make sure to clean bedding, towels, rugs and carpets, etc. Scour all of your bathrooms. Wash shower curtains and make sure tubs and toilets sparkle. Sweep your front porch or balcony, as well as your garage. Make sure your lawn is well maintained and clear of any toys or debris.
Keeping your home clean throughout the week is the hardest part. To avoid major housework, do your best to tidy up every day. On the day of your Open House, if the weather allows, open your windows to get fresh air circulating.
Just as sellers focus on every detail, buyers should do the same. Carefully look at baseboards, walls, and ceilings for signs of leaks, cracks, mold, or mildew.
3. Set the Mood for Your Successful Open House
Set the tone for a pleasant experience by creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Place flowers and plants on your porch or deck. Hang a wreath on your front door. Replace your outdoor mat with something fun for spring. If you have a driveway, move your car to the street for a better, unobstructed view.
As the homeowner, you may not realize your home harbors certain odors. Ask a friend or your realtor for their opinion. House odors are a major turnoff. However, rather than use air fresheners or highly scented candles, take time to thoroughly clean carpets, drapes, and other soft surfaces that may retain odors. It’s easy to rent carpet cleaners from Home Depot or your local grocery store. Add fresh scents and a burst of color with a few beautiful bouquets of flowers. Place them in your dining room, the kitchen, or the bathroom. Also, consider some sort of refreshments for visitors to enjoy.
Adjust your temperature depending on the weather. If it’s cold outside, make sure your home is warm and cozy. In warmer months, keep it cooler. This will also let potential buyers know your heating and cooling systems work.
Let the light in to make your home bright and cheery. Open the blinds, shutters, and drapes. Turn on all the lights and lamps. If certain rooms are dark, consider adding a table or floor lamp to improve your lighting.
If you have a yard, deck, or balcony, put out photos showcasing your outdoor space during warmer months so buyers can envision enjoying summer activities.
4. Repairs and Staging
Go through your home and make a list of all the things that need to be repaired or replaced. Many of these can be quick fixes that will improve the appearance of your home. One of the easiest things you can do to freshen up your home is to paint it. Replacing cabinet doors and fixtures, rusty faucets, wall outlets, or scratched toilet seats won’t break the bank, but could potentially increase the value of your home. If some repairs, like leaks or electrical issues, are beyond your expertise, consider hiring a handyman.
While staging can make a home look better and diminish some superficial flaws, buyers should still pay close attention to every detail. What specific imperfections are deal breakers?
Open Houses can help buyers figure out their priorities when purchasing a home.
5.What About Pets?
It’s best to remove your pet from your home on the day of the open house. With buyers coming and going, removing pets ensures their safety. You don’t want them to escape without anyone noticing. Take your dog for a walk, go to the dog park, or ask a friend if Fido can hang out at their place. Put your kitty in the carrier and head to a friend’s home. Before you go, it’s a good idea to remove all pet toys, food, and water bowls, beds, litter box, etc. Make sure to clean any pet stains and vacuum up pet hair.
While we love our pets, they can also be a source of stains and odors. Buyers should be wary of heavily scented homes, as well as carpet and flooring stains. This may not affect your decision to purchase a home, but it should be considered, especially if you have allergies.
6. Setting a Date for Your Open House
Most open houses are scheduled on the weekends, but check the calendar before you set the date. While you don’t want to compete with major events or holidays, you may want to take advantage of neighborhood activities. Also, check the weather. If a snowstorm or frigid temperatures are predicted, not many will want to leave the comfort of their own home.
7. Marketing and Social Media for Your Open House
Discuss advertising options with your realtor. Work together to create dynamic flyers with photos and pertinent information about your home. Promote your open house on your personal social media and don’t forget bulletin boards at your local grocery or coffee shop.
Sellers and Buyers: Make the Best Of Open Houses and Get the Results you Want
While getting your home ready for an Open House may seem overwhelming at first, once everything is in order, it’s just a matter of maintaining your hard work.
Whether you’re selling or buying a single-family home, townhome, condo, or loft, the basics are the same. As a seller, your goal is to create a welcoming atmosphere that will assist potential buyers in seeing themselves as the next homeowner! For buyers, it’s your opportunity to see what’s out there and determine what is most important when purchasing a new home. For more information about selling your home or finding a new home, visit my website.