Staging Tips: Prepare for an Open House!
Attracting buyers to an open house is not as easy as it seems. You cannot just open the doors to your house and expect potential buyers to flock in. Preparing for an open house requires effort. You have to ensure your open house looks presentable and entices potential buyers to make an offer..
First, coordinate your open house with your real estate agent to give visitors an opportunity to tour your home. Open houses are part of the portfolio of marketing tools employed by successful agents. They will know the best timing for your area to schedule your open house and will confirm these guidelines.
When is the Best Time to Hold an Open House?
- Hold an open house on a Sunday in the afternoon.
- Open your house to visitors for two hours to four hours max.
- Ask your agent about blitzes and trade off shifts where they host an open house, starting from early morning until late evening.
- Do not schedule your open house during the holiday season or special events, as you are less likely to get visitors.
- View the weather forecast for the days you are planning to hold an open house, as people will not show up if rain or snow is predicted that day.
Tips to Help You Prepare for an Open House
1. Rejuvenate the Exterior of Your House
When customers visit your house, the first thing they will encounter is the exterior of the house. If you have not paid attention to fixing the outside area of your home in some time, start paying attention now. Paint a fresh coat of paint, mow the grass, trim the bushes, decorate the landscape, clean the driveway and walkaways, park the cars out of the driveway and away from the front of the house, and fix anything you think will be a drawback to selling your home. Consult your agent for specific ideas.
2. Clean Your Home
Cleaning your home is a given, as chances of selling a messy home are quite less. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to clean one or two days before your open house. You should also open the windows before visitors are due to arrive and mildly scent the home with a warm and inviting aroma.
3. Stage Your Home
You need to stage your home with accessories and furniture. You do not have to invest in new furniture or accessories, but you can remove and rearrange some items in a room to give an illusion of more space. Some inexpensive décor ideas include adding vases with fresh flowers, repainting the walls and kitchen cabinets, and adding new bath towels on the day of the open house. If you can, consider changing some faucets and updating appliances. If something sticks out like a sore thumb, consider replacing or removing it.
4. Put Your Personal Items Away
You do not want potential buyers focused on your personal memories. You should remove all personal items such as family pictures, magnets and drawings on the fridge. When the buyer tours your home, you want them to imagine themselves living in the home, not you; seeing your memories scattered throughout the house will not help them visualize your home becoming their home.
5. Take Your Pets and Children on an Adventure
Your home should be vacant and easy for your agent and customers to tour freely and without apprehension.
6. Market Your Open House
Your agent will need to spread the word about your open house by listing it in a Multiple Listing Service and any real estate platforms that can help get the word out. Offer to help by doing things like passing out flyers around your neighborhood, sharing on social media, and putting an “Open House” sign with the day and time and your agent’s phone number on your front lawn. People driving through your neighborhood will be more likely to spot the sign if you tie balloons to it.
7. Turn on the Lights
You need to turn on the lights and open the blinds and curtains to let natural light flow into all of the rooms. You want to make each room as lively and cheery as you can. If a room has less light and not a lot of windows, consider installing lights or lamps you can turn on.
8. Lock Up Your Personal Belongings
Several people may visit your home during the open house and your real estate agent may not be able to keep track of everyone who enters, which means you need to take steps to protect your valuables. Either remove them from the property or lock them up somewhere safe and out of sight.
9. Remove Yourself from the House
You should not be present in the home when your real estate agent is showing others around. If you are there, it will prevent buyers from criticizing your home in your presence. If they do happen to say something bad about your home, you might feel bad and try to defend your house from their criticism. Let your Agent sell your home.
10. Hand Out Flyers
Your agent will hand out one or multi-page brochures, containing information about your home, to prospective buyers to take with them when they leave the open house. The brochure should include pictures of your home — be sure they are high resolution pictures — information about school and neighborhood — and may also include details on comparable home sales. Your agent will know the best content for marketing your home, both what should and per local regulations must be included.
Bonus: Listen to Feedback
One of the best reasons to hold an open house is that it allows you to listen to feedback that your agent will provide to you when you meet after the open house. You can hear helpful feedback regarding the price of the home and its features. The more people that provide the same feedback, the more informative the feedback can be regarding any pricing, any needed repairs or other topics that could facilitate a faster sale for a better price. Discuss everything with your agent.
Click here for another helpful article on open houses.
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