Open houses can be a great way to appeal to potential buyers, but it can be cringe-worthy having strangers scrutinize your space. While the basics of throwing an open house are commonly known (clean your home, pick up snacks, etc.) there’s more that you can do to ensure a successful event. Here are a few tips that you may not have thought of:
1. Air Out Your Space
Making your home smell nice is always recommended, but try to go beyond just covering its scent. Air it out! Before lighting a candle or putting on a simmer pot, open your windows and doors to let the stale air out and the fresh air in.
Similarly, cleaning your home is Open House 101, but it’s still easy to forget those hidden-away places like closets and cupboards. Tidy these up and allow their doors to stay open for a few hours to air out. It’s best to assume that every inch of your home will be examined so clean it accordingly.
2. Take Care of Small Repairs First
Taking care of small repairs before an open house is often an overlooked step. Tasks like replacing light bulbs, cleaning wall scuffs, or fixing a loose ceiling fan can make a big difference with minimal effort. While these little annoyances are easy for homeowners to ignore on a day-to-day basis, they can really stand out negatively at an open house. Take care of these ASAP.
3. Stage Your Home For Broad Appeal
We talk about this a lot, and it’s worth mentioning again. Stage your home broadly! You want buyers to picture themselves living in your home – imagining their books, mementos, and decor adorning the space. Keep your decorative pieces out, but consider putting away some of your family’s pictures, religious pieces, and collections to create an inclusive canvas for an array of guests.
4. Know the Neighborhood Well
You never know where a prospective buyer is visiting from. You’re bound to get questions about the neighborhood ranging from safety to shopping and restaurants, etc. How are the parks? Is your neighborhood walkable? Are there hike and bike trails? How far are you from the mountains/beach/downtown, etc.? What is crime like? Best pizza delivery? Nearest post office?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions look online or physically get out into your neighborhood and take notes. You can also join websites like Nextdoor which can give you a great overview of what goes on in your neighborhood.
5. Promote it Online
Advertising open houses has gone beyond newspaper ads and yard signs. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 99% of Millennials and 89% of Baby Boomers in 2016-2017 conducted home searches online. If your real estate agent has an online presence, they should post your event. Additionally, you can promote your open house on popular websites like Zillow. Those sites are huge resources for people looking for homes whether they’re working with an agent or not. If you want people at your open house, you need to be advertising it where people will see it.
6. Be Friendly and Very Patient
This is more to ensure that YOU have a good time at your open house if you’ll be in attendance. It’s natural to feel stressed when there are strangers judging every crack and crevice of your home. Just remember that their comments and concerns aren’t about you, they’re about them. Put on a smile, answer their questions, and don’t take anything too personally.
Open houses are an incredible way to get people interested in your property. Your realtor will walk you through the best steps to make yours successful in your area. By heeding their advice, staying involved, and considering the steps we’ve mentioned here, you’ll be well on your way.