An open house is your first chance to make a great impression on potential buyers. Make sure your seller clients understand the importance of that first impression and prepare them with helpful tips to make the open house a success. While it’s a must that your clients are not present during the open house, there are some important things you can help them with before potential buyers arrive.
4 Tips to Ensure a Successful Open House
1. Let there be light!
Make sure you allow as much natural light into the home as possible. Open the curtains and blinds, and if they’re outdated or take away from the room – ditch them! In addition to natural lighting, turning on the lights in every room will also help with overall ambiance and mood. Remember, you’re showcasing a product for sale and not hosting a party, so don’t try to dim the lights and create a low-key atmosphere. If there are dark areas like a basement or corners of a room, use floor lamps to bring in extra light. Before the open house, you should also suggest a window cleaning to your clients – dusty or dirty windows can significantly impact how much light is able to shine through. Buyers will have a much more positive reaction to a home if it looks airy and bright.
2. Lose the clutter
Nothing is worse than walking into a house that feels much smaller than it truly is, due to the sheer amount of stuff. If there is too much furniture, ask sellers to put some in storage or keep it somewhere outside the home during the open house. Kitchen and bathroom countertops should be as clear as possible – unnecessary appliances or rarely-used items should be stored away. If your sellers think they can get away with just shoving everything into closets or drawers, think again! Many potential buyers will peak into these areas to see what type of storage space is available in the home. You should also instruct your clients to “depersonalize” the home as much as possible. It’s important for buyers to be able to visualize themselves living in the home and that’s often hard to do when there are photos and personal items of someone else’s family all over the house.
3. Show off the goods
What are the home’s most exciting features? Make sure the things you highlighted in the listing or in marketing materials are clearly marked at the open house. Susan Blackwell of Welcome Home Realty in New Mexico suggests providing a well-designed flyer when potential buyers arrive or using attractive place cards to highlight benefits such as upgraded kitchen appliances that will stay with the home once sold.
4. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes
Before you schedule an open house, put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. As you drive up to the property, imagine what buyers will be thinking when they are arriving at the home and do the same as you stand in the entrance way. Does anything stand out that might need a little extra attention? Walls that need paint touch ups, a broken door knob, an overgrown garden… make sure your seller clients take care of these items before you invite people onto the property. There’s always room for improvement and by addressing issues early on, it will be easier for you to get their home sold!
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