In a perfect world you would find a buyer within hours of listing your home. Unfortunately, anyone who has ever sold a home knows this is more of a dream than reality. The starting point for selling your home is typically the open house. This is the first time that your home is displayed to the masses and it is essential to generate interest. The more visitors at the open house and the stronger the word of mouth, the more likely you will be presented with an offer before you know it. As a seller it is not enough to list your home and wait for buyers to pour in. You need to make sure the property is ready for the open house and it shows in the best possible light. Here are four things you can do to ensure a successful open house.
Appealing Exterior.First impressions are vital to any potential home sale. The first impression of your home will be formed as buyers approach the property. You need to make sure that the exterior is warm, inviting and updated. The inside may look like a million bucks, but if the exterior is a mess it probably won’t matter. Start by picking up and organizing exterior clutter. If you have kids there is a good chance that bikes, toys and balls are all over the place. Spend the 48 hours prior to the open house cleaning and organizing all your child’s exterior items. Next, walk into your home and recognize the first thing you notice. This is the same thing buyers will notice as well. Everything from the front door, gutters, doormat, shutters, hand railing and mulch will be scrutinized. On open house day you want everything about the exterior to be perfect.
Create Space.As a seller you want the buyer to be able to envision themselves in the property. The more personal items and clutter you have, the more difficult this is to achieve. Prior to listing you should commit to getting rid of as many old items as possible. This could mean throwing a tag sale, getting a dumpster, renting a storage unit or simply making a few trips to salvation army. This is going to have to be done at some point during the transaction, so you might as well do it before the open house. With reduced clutter buyers can see the attic, basement and closets without having boxes of items all over the place.
Complete Maintenance Tasks.As we stated, buyers will notice everything about your home. Something as seemingly minor as a cracked wall plate in the basement is something they will pick up on. If you have been putting off the minor items on your household to-do list, you should consider getting them done asap. In every home there are a handful of minor items that don’t take much time, money or even effort but can make or break the appearance of the home. Spent a little time prior to listing your home to knock these off your list. Doing so could mean the difference between a buyer making an offer or holding off and moving on to another listing.
Let Your Realtor Do Their Job.It doesn’t do you any good to hang around the property on open house day. In most cases your presence does more harm than good. You must trust that your realtor knows how to present the property without you adding your two cents. As soon as the open house is over, they will call with whatever update they have. By hanging around the property you create an uneasy feeling for buyers. They don’t want to be bombarded with information as they are trying to view the home. You may be a control freak, but on open house day you must let go and let your real estate agent do their job.
A positive open house can help drive appeal which directly leads to a bidding war. Do everything in your power to help make the open house as successful as possible.