Open house inspections are one of the best chances you have to sell your property and when done well - they can bring about a fast result. The question is - how do you know if you’re doing it well? Fortunately, it’s not all about luck. Similar to our guide for attending an open home, there’s a few things you can do as a seller that will vastly improve your chances of a sale. Here’s our top 10 pro tips for hosting the perfect open house:
1. Prep your home
This is basically code for ‘clean up.’ Pay close attention to things like dust on ceiling fans, dirt in sliding door tracks, cobwebs and marks on walls. People will be checking your closets and cupboards for space, so make sure you clear as much clutter as possible. It’s the little things that count! But don’t neglect the more obvious details, like making beds, mopping floors, or even repair jobs as well.
Nobody wants to see all of your personal items out on display, especially when a potential buyer is trying to imagine themselves living in the home. The last thing you want is for a buyer to feel like the space belongs to someone else. Instead, remove as much of ‘you’ from the home as possible, so that they can visualise more of ‘them.’
3. Map your open house signs
Make your home easy to find by putting up signs. Find the busiest intersection closest to your home and put an open house sign on the corner pointing buyers in the right direction, and do the same every few blocks until you arrive at your house. A string of balloons is also an eye-catching way to grab the attention of passers-by.
4. Remove all vehicles from the driveway
Cars in the driveway detracts from the overall presentation of the house. It’s better for a buyer to be able to visualise pulling into the empty driveway than to have to dodge around your car to get to the front door. You might also like to ask your neighbours to not park in front of your house on the day as well.
5. Open all the blinds and curtains
Let in as much natural sunlight as possible. It makes a room look bigger and more inviting, and will show off your home at its full potential and allow buyers to see your home in the ‘best light possible’ - so to speak.
6. Keep the scent neutral
Skip the potpourri, scented candles, incense, or oils. Air freshener isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, and smells are the kind of things that people remember. Instead, give your carpet a shampoo and air the house out for a few days prior. This will ensure any unwelcome lingering odours are taken care of on the day.
7. Turn on all lights
Even though you’ve opened all the blinds, it’s still a good idea to switch the lights on for full effect. Not every room will be illuminated with natural light, and well-lit rooms appear much more welcoming and warmer than a dark, dingy space.
8. Have flyers available
Buyers attend open homes looking for as much tangible information as possible. Provide property fact sheets or flyers with good quality photos and reasons for a buyer to purchase your home.
9. Remove all evidence of pets
Most of us are animal people to some degree, but when hosting an open house, it’s best not to flaunt the fact right in people’s faces. Some people are allergic to animal hair or are just not ‘pet people’ in general, so it’s a good idea to get rid of all pet dishes and beds to cover all bases.
10. Don’t hover
And finally, don’t stick around! Leave the house while your potential buyers are scrutinising every detail of your living space. They may feel uncomfortable or self-conscious knowing the owner is within earshot of their opinions and are likely to feel like an intrusion in your home. If you must stay, dress nicely, greet them politely, and for the most part remain unseen and out of the way.
On a final note, if you don’t receive an offer directly after the open house, don’t feel discouraged. As most open houses are on a weekend, it’s possible a buyer is waiting until Monday to discuss finance arrangements and could make an offer that week. Otherwise, talk with your agent and find out what feedback they have for you and together you can plan the next step.