In the age of virtual tours planning an open house might seem too retro, but we’re here to tell you overall it is still worth the time and effort. It’s important to make the most of the event. An open house is a valuable opportunity to show your home dozens of times in just a few hours. The setting is more casual – for some buyers the ability to see several homes in a day without having to schedule a showing is a big bonus. You want to make sure that your home leaves a good impression in their minds.
To have a successful open house you need to be ready to present your home at its best. Remove all the normal clutter that lived in homes have. This isn’t because your buyers need to think you have never had clutter – it’s because it’s important for them to have as much of a blank canvas as possible to allow your prospective buyers to be able to imagine all their own stuff in place more easily. Personal items like photographs should be removed for the same reason.
Freshen up your home’s curb appeal. Potential buyers will pass up your open house entirely if it doesn’t offer a good impression from the outside. We’re not usually for keeping up with the Joneses for keeping-up’s sake, but in this case making your home the most attractive on the block provides a good return. If your front door is looking a little dull (and you have about a week before your open house) this is a good time for a coat of paint. Trees, hedges, and other landscaping should be freshly trimmed. Add some brightly colored flowers to front flowerbeds and along walkways – or add containers filled with fresh flowers if you don’t have prominent flowerbeds.
Your home should also be thoroughly cleaned the day before your open house. Whether you do this on your own or hire a service it should pass a white glove inspection.
Create a welcoming atmosphere. It’s important to do everything possible to encourage potential buyers to take their time looking through your home. Turn on lights throughout the house. You don’t need to turn on every single light – especially if your home gets good natural light – but there should be at least one light on in each room. Well-lit rooms come across as inviting while rooms without lights give an off-limits feel. Using lamps can look cozier than overhead lighting.
Turn the a/c down as well – depending on how many people see your home, your doors could be open a good deal and getting a head start on keeping your home cool is a must (no one enjoys looking at a home when it’s 85 inside).
Fresh flowers and live plants in a few rooms looks cheerful. It’s also good to make your home smell fresh, but don’t do it with a bunch of air fresheners. A simmer pot in the kitchen before the start of your event is a good idea and will last long enough to not need to keep it simmering.
This is an important must-do– get your family and your pets out of the house at least an hour before your start time, and stay away until an hour after the end time.
Maximizing the positive impact of your open house is the best way to get some competitive offers on the table before the end of the day. Have questions about how to get your home listed for sale? The Kern Team is here to help – give us a call.