When you’re selling your home, your open house is a large part of making sure your sale is a success. Anyone who shows up to your open house is a viable option as a buyer and a lot of times buyers won’t bother showing up somewhere unless they are already interested.
They are looking for your property to validate the interest they already have. That being said, here are 10 ways to prepare for an upcoming open house and make sure you have completely validated any buyers’ interest.
Clear as much space as possible
Think of it this way: you’re scheduling and hosting an open house so you are going to have a number of guests coming in. Consider that when you are making space. They need room to move about, see everything, etc.
It’s important to clear as much space as possible so any potential buyers, even ones who are walking around with other buyers, feel as though there is space in the home for them to make their own. If it’s too crowded not only will it be awkward but also it will definitely create a difficult atmosphere for a potential buyer to find potential in your home for them.
Check all appliances
Checking all appliances before an open house is important. Make sure everything is working – vents, doorknobs, doors and door hinges, light switches, the garage door, the stove, all outlets and switch pads are covered properly, A/C or heat, washer/dryer, water in the bathroom and kitchen.
Some potential buyers may request to turn on the water in the bathroom to check the water pressure or may flick on some lights. You want to make sure everything is working. If it isn’t, of course, it can be fixed, but you’re setting yourself up to give a potential buyer a reason to not be validated by your home, as mentioned above. They are arriving looking for validation. Making sure all appliances work helps supply that.
Make sure everything is clean
One step further from creating space and checking all appliances is then making sure the space you created and the items in it are all clean. Clean around all nooks, corners, crannies, anything – this is a deep clean situation.
You’ve seen your house for years and probably can only look at certain spots at this point, but a potential home buyer will be seeing your home for the first time and will absolutely be looking at everything (and probably a lot of spots you barely address on a regular basis). Now is a time to address all spots, corners, and crevices to make sure everything is sparkling clean.
Leave a sign-in book by the door
In good open house form, leaving a sign-in book by the door helps facilitate sufficient follow-ups with interested buyers.
This is critical for making your open house effective! If you aren’t sure who came through and saw your home, you won’t be able to follow up with them and therefore may lose their interest or the sale.
Leave a nice notebook out with a nice pen and a little sign that says “Sign In”. The sheet should require their name, telephone number, and email address.
An open house with no marketing behind it is sort of like a tree falling in the middle of the forest. You need to market your open house effectively. Consider enlisting online support from a flat-fee MLS service. There are plenty of these available and they facilitate your marketing tactics for your open house as well as help provide you with sufficient and effective marketing materials. A good company for this is beycome, which started in South Florida with the homes for sale in Miami market, and has grown since to many other regions.
Put signs up at the ends of your street. Create Eventbrite pages and other social media events and groups. You want social media to spark word of mouth. A lot of times, people are looking to buy themselves or, more than likely, one of their close friends or family members are. The more visible your open house is the more word of mouth will go around and the more likely you will have attendees at your open house.
Prep and plan refreshments
Refreshments at the door (like a small bowl of candy next to the sign-in book) and some in the kitchen as well will take your open house to the next level.
Providing refreshments (perhaps cookies, as they make your house smell great!) will create a positive and sense-based experience for potential buyers that will make it difficult for them to forget.
When choosing refreshments or finger foods, choose things that are easy to carry around as buyers will be milling about and more than likely won’t want to be tied to the kitchen.
Tend to the garden
Don’t forget your outdoor scenery as well. It’s important to tend to your garden and grass before an open house. Make everything as clean and presentable as possible and if you have certain areas of the outside of your home that offer specific experiences (hammock, firepit, general patio area, or pool) highlight these areas as much as you can.
Experiences offer a lot of value to a home and you don’t want anyone coming to your open house to miss out on what the outside of your home has to offer as well.
Make parking available
An often overlooked part of an open house is the parking situation. Make parking available in your driveway as much as you can. Or make signs that make it clear where people can park. This will be greatly appreciated as many times people aren’t sure where the appropriate place to put their car is when they are visiting a new spot.
Don’t schedule on a day that most people are working or on a holiday. Pay attention to the neighborhood happenings as they will also dictate when a good time to schedule your open house is. You want to be competing with events on the same day as little as possible.
Plan your whereabouts
It’s probably a good idea to either not make an appearanace at all at your home during your open house, or, plan when you will show up and when you will leave.
Many potential buyers find it uncomfortable to be looking at a home while the current homeowner is there. Consider planning this well and if you do decide to show up, make sure it is only for a short time frame or simply to grab the sign-in book and say a quick hello at the end of the day.
With proper planning and preparation, an open house can garner the attention of the perfect buyer and fast track you to closing. Preparing for an open house requires a bit of planning and foresight but with these 10 tips you are well on your way to being wildly prepared for your open house and making sure it is a success.