In the age of internet shopping, are open houses still relevant? Real estate agents report that around 20 percent of their sales are the result of open houses, so it’s no wonder that many sellers believe open houses are valuable tools. However, prepping for an open house can also create a lot of stress and work for sellers. How can you get the most return on your investment of time, money, and energy? For help, check out our open house tips for sellers.
Open House Tips for Sellers
When staging a property for an open house, your goal is to create an inviting space that encourages other people to envision it as their perfect home. It’s a careful balance. You’ll need to keep it neutral enough to appeal to a wide variety of styles and tastes without creating an image that’s so bland it’s forgettable. Implementing a few of the following open house tips for sellers can help you stay on track as your prepare your house for an influx of curious spectators and interested buyers.
View Your Home as a Targeted Buyer
When preparing your home for potential buyers, the first step involves taking a mental step back. Instead of seeing your home with the familiar eyes of a homeowner, try to view it through the eyes of a potential buyer. HGTV suggests that you think about the types of people who are likely to buy the property. Is your neighborhood full of young families and in a great school district? Is it close to nearby businesses that employ professionals? Is it a senior-friendly structure with lots of appeal for those looking for a place to retire? Identify what features your likely buyers are looking for and highlight them.
You want potential buyers to see your house at its best, so a deep clean is a necessity. This includes shampooing carpets, washing windows, and thinning out the contents of closets so that they appear to provide ample storage space. U.S. News & World Reports recommends bringing in professionals if you lack the time or energy to get your home into pristine condition before an open house.
Remove Clutter and Personal Touches
You want people who are shopping for a home to see your property’s best features and picture themselves living there. To facilitate that, you’ll need to remove any clutter or personal items that might block their view, give the impression that the space is crowded, or make it hard for them to forget that the house is currently belongs to someone else (source).
Light It Right
Light the way for interested buyers. Open curtains to let natural light fill the rooms. It’s also a good idea to have attractive light fixtures that delight the eye while also illuminating the space (source).
Control Odor the Right Way
If you’re aiming for your house to smell fresh and pleasant, you’re on the right track. However, The Balance offers an important reminder: Many people have allergies or sensitivities to the synthetic smells put out by air fresheners and candles. If you want your house to be filled with appealing scents that won’t cause discomfort, consider baking something shortly before the open house. Alternately, you can boil orange peels with a dash of cinnamon for a natural air freshener.
Spread the Word
While your real estate agent should publicize your open house, it doesn’t hurt if you help spread the word. After all, a crowded open house makes it seem like a property is drawing lots of interest, which can motivate potential buyers to make their best offer. HomeLight suggests using social media, physical signage, and the neighborhood grapevine to get the word out about your event.
What should you do during the open house? Go somewhere else. Take your family and any pets off to another location for the duration of the open house. The Washington Post indicates that many potential buyers are uncomfortable if the home’s seller is hanging about. While would-be home buyers are touring the property, it’s best to leave the situation in your real estate agent’s professional hands.
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