An open house is a great way to show your house to potential buyers. In most cases, the open house is the first time a buyer will physically see and tour the space.
Realtors usually schedule an open house during a specific time or date for several days. The host of the open house is usually the real estate agent. He or she must be prepared to show the house anytime during the scheduled time frame.
So how do you make your house open-house ready? Depending on its current condition, it can be an overwhelming job. This is why it’s best to stay organized. Here is a step-by step guide for open house hosting.
Always clean your house. A clean house is a basic requirement for staging an open house. Use a cleaner that has a neutral odor. Remove stains if you can. If it can’t be removed, cover it with a decorative object like a picture frame or rug for example. Pay special attention to removing pet hair, stains and odor.
De-clutter your house. Take off any personal items like photo frames, memorabilia and souvenirs. You want to create a lot of space and putting extra accessories in storage will make rooms appear brighter, cleaner and bigger.
Select furniture that is clean and in good condition. Arrange them so that they create space for people to walk around. Use stylish furniture that has neutral color. If your furniture is old and you don’t want to purchase new ones, check out furniture rental places so you can accessorize your house in an attractive way.
Advertise your open house. Let everybody in your contact list, friends list and family know about your big event. You can also post flyers in public spaces, post on social media, send targeted emails and advertise on real estate websites. Include descriptions and good quality photos of the house. If you can’t take decent pictures, consider hiring a professional photographer. Remember, first impressions last.
Serve refreshments for your open house. Providing foods such as baked cookies to make buyers feel at home is also a good idea. Finger foods are also ideal because you won’t need to bring out plates or cutlery. Place napkins and trash cans nearby so that crumbs and garbage can be disposed quickly.
Greet all your guests with a smile. First impressions last so you want your visitors to think that you are approachable and open. Aside from greeting them politely, make sure you can answer basic questions like square footage, acreage, age of the house, number of bathrooms/bedrooms and other potential information that a buyer would like to know.
Offer guests a guided tour of the house. This is a good time to showcase your house’s highlights like brand new appliances, hardwood floors, open floor plan or lighting. When you are with them, it is also a good time to answer any questions they might have regarding the house.
Leave sign in sheets at the door or a bowl where they can leave their calling cards. You can ask them to leave their contact information on a log sheet so that you will know how to reach them if they have questions or an offer.
The key to a successful open house is to provide a potential buyer good reasons why they should purchase your house. This is why it is important to stage your house so buyers can imagine living in your house.
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