Although real estate professionals have mixed feelings about the effectiveness of Open Houses, many believe they’re efficient marketing tools. Since most homebuyers won't buy a house without viewing it first, a well-planned Open House can attract more buyers to your property. Your agent will want to schedule one soon after you list your home for sale, so refrain from listing until you’re ready to put your best foot forward. The success of your Open House greatly hinges on how well you present your home. Little things make a big difference, so ensure every area inside and out is inviting with a lived-in, but not messy appearance.
Deep Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize
Before scheduling an Open House, it's crucial to deep clean, declutter and depersonalize every inch of your home. An untidy house is a big turn off and too much stuff easily distracts viewers. Clear your home of clutter and highly personal effects, such as family photos, children’s artwork or anything that makes it difficult for potential buyers to picture their own belongings there. Make sure closets and storage areas are clean and well-organized, so they look spacious. If necessary, hire a professional cleaning service to ensure your home sparkles.
Fix Obvious Problems
While you’re cleaning and decluttering, look for things needing repair. Buyers look for flaws, so even the littlest things get noticed. Check for leaky faucets, drains that run slow, flickering lights, burned-out light bulbs, cracked windowpanes, broken blinds, squeaky floorboards or any readily apparent issues. Ask your real estate agent or someone less familiar with your home to do a walk-through and point out imperfections you might miss.
Stage for Success
Proper staging impacts the buyer’s view of your home. Furniture arrangement is a key element and there’s a fine line between rooms feeling sparse or cramped. Bare rooms feel smaller and don't sufficiently convey how each space can be used. Choose your best pieces of furniture and remove excess items to create a good traffic flow that enhances a focal point in each room. Strike an ideal balance by choosing a few core pieces, then add minimal accessories to create an artful arrangement. Small touches like centerpieces made of fresh flowers make a lasting impression.
While showcasing your home through staging, keep things neutral. Avoid decor with any religious, political, sexual or otherwise offensive tone. Color schemes should include soft hues, not garish embellishments. Neutrality also includes odors, so minimize your scents to prevent fragrance overload. Although you should eradicate noxious odors like cigarette smoke and pet smells, don’t just mask them with highly perfumed air fresheners, candles or incense. Air out your home and utilize odor neutralizing products several days before an Open House. Then, use subtle scents the day of your event or bake a batch of cookies for a tantalizing aroma that almost no one can resist.
Enhance Curb Appeal
When prospective buyers pull up to your home, the first thing they see is the exterior. This first impression must be a good one that sets the tone for the rest of the property. Windows should sparkle and the roof and all outside surfaces should be free of dirt and debris. The lawn should be freshly mowed, flower beds weeded and driveway and walkways cleaned. Clear the yard of children’s toys and lawn equipment and move any vehicles from the driveway and garage, if applicable.
Advertise & They Will Come
Once your home is prepared and the Open House date has been set, spread the word. Advertise your event with the multiple service listing service, and online through all the major real estate portals and social media sites. Strategically use Open House signage to draw the most traffic by using multiple types of signs in various locations. Adding balloons to your signs helps make them even more visible.
It's a good idea if you, your children, and pets aren't at the Open House. Children and pets are a distraction and prospective buyers are often uncomfortable asking homeowners any questions they might find offensive. Allow viewers to freely tour your home and ask your agent questions. Keep your cell phone handy, in case you're needed for consultation, but otherwise, realtors should be unencumbered to do the job they’re paid to do -- sell your home! Your agent collects names and contact information from attendees to gather opinions about your home. This can assist in receiving much-needed feedback about specific features and the price you listed.
Contact Call It Home to Represent You
Are you looking to sell your home? Our caring agents at Call It Home are ready to help you every step of the way! We are a one stop shop for all of your real estate needs, whether you are selling, buying, or renting. To learn more about setting up your home for success, and getting the maximum amount, Contact Call It Home today! Call us at (801) 532-7000 for any questions!