Despite popular belief, an open house is more than an open invitation for your nosy neighbors to get an up close and personal look at your home. If done right, an open house carefully planned and organized by a Real Estate Agent can help you quickly and successfully sell your home. While it’s understandable that you may feel weird about letting strangers into your home, there are some do’s and don’ts you should follow so you’re one step closer to proudly display the sold sign on your front lawn. We’ve listed some of the top concerns to account for before your open house.
“What is that smell?” This question in a negative context will have potential buyers running for the door. Whether it was a bad decision on the previous night’s dinner recipe, or some poorly located hockey equipment, this is a question you want to avoid hearing unless it is in regards to your freshly baked cookies.
DO: Create pleasant odors
DO: Be conscious of things like pets, sports equipment, and food choices around the time of your open house. Regularly lighting lightly scented candles, using air fresheners, and opening the windows are great ways to clear the air and increase the circulation in your home. Ask your real estate agent to take a walk through before the open house to ensure there aren’t any hidden smells you may have missed or become used to.
DON’T: Don’t cook things like fish, fried foods, onion, or garlic to avoid scents that may linger and offend the people viewing your home. Try and keep pets off the furniture if that is something they are used to doing, and make sure any sports equipment is stored in a well circulated area to avoid unpleasant smells.
DO: Keep your pets out of the way
Your dog may be adorable, but when it is running around and barking, it could distract buyers from the desirable characteristics of your home.
DO: Even though pets are a part of your family, sometimes it is wise to keep them away from buyers during an open house. Do you have friends or family who would be able to pet-sit, or a property that allows you to keep them outside (keeping in mind weather conditions and the safety of your pet). If those are not options for you, consider keeping them in an area of your home that buyers won’t need to spend as much time in (such as a guest bedroom).
DON’T: Avoid allowing your pets to roam freely while guests are looking at your home. You want potential buyers to feel comfortable in the space and have to keep in mind possible fears, allergies, and unpleasant situations that can be caused by pets.
DO: Organize and store belongings
The goal of an open house is to allow buyers to see your home, but if there is too much mess and clutter in the way, they won’t be able to!
DO: Spend time doing a thorough cleaning and de-cluttering of your home before your open house. This will not only help your home show better, but it will help when it comes time to pack up your belongings during your move.
DON’T: Don’t overlook anything, or assume disorganization won’t make or break the sale of your home. Buyers want to picture themselves in the home, and if it is dirty, it won’t be somewhere they will feel comfortable calling home.
DO: Keep distracting sounds to a minimum
While you may think the 80’s is the only era of music worth listening to, your guests may not agree. The sounds present in your open house may hurt or prolong the amount of time your home stays on the market.
DO: Turn off anything that will create a distraction during the open house. Whether it’s a radio, television, or noisy appliance, it’s best to keep the noise level at a minimum.
DON’T: If you still insist on having music playing, make sure it’s not too loud. Play something that is soft and generic and will be background noise rather than the only noise your guests can hear.
Last but not least, avoid staying in your home during the open house. While it’s completely understandable that you want to make sure no one is pocketing your belongings, your presence could overwhelm people and make them uncomfortable while looking at your home. Luckily, your RE/MAX Agent will be there the entire time to ensure a smooth and successful open house. They will also be there to answer any questions people may have about the home leaving you with nothing to worry about.
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