An open house is a great way to start your house-selling journey on the right foot. An open house isn’t right for all homes, but for those that are, it’s usually held shortly after the house is listed for sale. A good real estate agent will help you set up your property for an open house, but there are a few extras you can do yourself. Here are a few tips to a successful open house that you can take into your own hands to bring in the best potential buyers.
9 Tips to a Successful Open House
1. Make Your House Inviting
This may seem like a no-brainer tip for an open house, but it’s an important detail that’s easily overlooked. The more inviting your house appears, the more visitors you will get, and the better each visitor will feel as they walk in the door. Good curb appeal is one of the easiest ways to increase your home valu and sell your home faster.
Here are a few things you can do to make your home more inviting to potential buyers;
- Put a wreath on the door. Remember that wreaths can be made for any season.
- Clear off walkways and make sure there are no tripping hazards
- Put cars in the garage or move them so potential buyers can park nearby
- Place flowers in pots or gardens
- Make repairs to visible siding, the porch, front door, or other immediately visible elements
2. Use Natural Good Smells
A home that smells stale won’t create a good first impression when prospective buyers walk in. However, a dozen air fresheners might make buyers suspicious. Artificial scents can also upset others’ allergies or breathing problems. A good tip to a successful open house is to use natural ways to air out and freshen up the rooms. Here are a few:
- Open up windows to let fresh air in
- Get rid of sources of bad scents, like trash, an old bath mat, or dirty shoes
- Start a pot of coffee
- Place potted flowers, herbs or bouquets inside
- Put out a bowl of potpourri with cinnamon sticks or cloves
- Serve cookies for your visitors, and bake them at home
- Use an unscented room freshener to get rid of bad smells without overpowering
- Use an essential oil diffuser
- Clean surfaces with a lemon and vinegar mixture
3. Post to Social Media
Your realtor will advertise your open house online and with signs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise too. In the modern media age, this is a helpful tip to a successful open house no matter how many followers you have. Post to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts (a nice picture of the front of the house with the “open house” sign can do the trick) with the details. Send direct messages to friends and neighbors. If you’re a part of any local groups, post there as well. Even if your followers aren’t looking to move, they might know someone who is. Social media makes it easy for them to tag someone else or share the information.
4. Place Fliers Around the Neighborhood
This may redundant—after all, why would your neighbors want to move down the street? However, inviting your neighbors to your open house serves two purposes. First, it gets more people in the door and shows that your house is popular, which piques the interest of other potential buyers. Second, similar to the open house tip above, your neighbors might know someone else who is hoping to move, and may spread the word.
5. Keep the Temperature Comfortable
Like a home’s scent, the temperature has a significant impact on how visitors’ first impressions. If you’re following the ideal real estate calendar, your open house will probably take place near the start of summer. In this case, the weather may be on your side. However, if it’s unseasonably warm (or cold) turn up the AC or the heat. If you don’t have central air, open up windows and even doors to get a breeze moving through the house.
6. Let the Light In
Natural light is your ally. While you’re opening windows for a breeze, open up drapes and let the sun in. Of course, not every room has large windows. Turn on lamps and overhead lights as well. Shadows and dark spaces are gloomy, depressing, and foreboding. With some gentle light, whether natural or artificial, you can make the space cozy, warm, and inviting.
7. Remove Pets
Dogs, cats and other pets are great additions to your family, but not great additions to your open house. Even the friendliest pet will have a poor impact on people who are allergic to pets or afraid of them. Take your pets to a friend or family member’s house for the day, or check them into a kennel. Vacuum up pet hair, put away pet beds, cat trees, litter boxes, toys, and other items.
8. Show Visitors the Way
If your house is on a main road, one sign will probably be sufficient to show visitors to your open house. But most houses aren’t, so it’s a good idea to use several signs starting from the nearest busy road. Make sure your signs are clearly marked, so they aren’t confused with graduation party signs or other events. Be sure the date and time is clear on each sign, and put them up a few days before the event.
9. Take a Vacation
Your realtor will probably mention that you don’t have to be present for the open house. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t there. It will be difficult for potential buyers to ask the questions they need to if they know the owner is listening. It can also be difficult to hear criticism of your home. Take a vacation, go visit a friend or family member, schedule a spa day or another activity to get out of the house during the event.
These tips to a successful open house will help to make your event a success. Even if your open house doesn’t bring in the right buyer, it will generate immediate interest for your house when it first hits the market.
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