Gearing up for an open house this weekend or next? Here’s what you need to know.
An open house is a traditional sales tactic that allows a number of interested buyers to stop by and tour your home. It brings the real estate foot traffic you will need to sell your house straight to your doorsteps.
Your real estate agent will most likely schedule your open house for a three- or four-hour window on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Hosting an open house on the weekend allows for more homebuyers to attend and gives them extra time to spend in your home than during a typical showing.
Your listing agent may promote your open house through a variety of channels including directional yard signs, newspaper and online advertisements, and outreach among their own real estate agent and buyer networks. It is your agent’s goal to draw in a strong pool of potential homebuyers that will take a serious look at your home and property.
On the day of your open house, your agent will add some final touches. She may tie balloons to your mailbox, set up snacks for guests to enjoy, display fresh flowers or light pleasant smelling candles to appeal to prospective buyers. She also will have prepared informational sheets that highlight your home, offer comparable sales and tout your neighborhood and community.
She’ll kindly ask you and your pets to leave during the duration of the open house. Then, your agent gets down to work. She’ll meet and greet the crowd, offer tours of the home and answer questions pertaining to your house and property. It is her job to sell your listing and score follow up appointments or, even better, an offer.
Home Seller Homework
While your agent will handle all of the marketing and coordination of your open house event, it is your job to prep and primp your home.
Take time to stage to ensure your home makes a good impression with the open house attendees. You’ll want to:
- Create curb appeal with a freshly mowed yard and some colorful flowers.
- Cut the clutter by clearing out closets, cabinets and storage spaces.
- Deep clean your home—mop floors, scrub bathrooms, dust high and low, and clean your carpets and rugs.
- Go neutral with your interior décor. If time permits, add a fresh coat of neutral paint. Tone down bold design choices.
On the day before and day of your open house, be mindful of the food you cook or bring home to eat. Some foods leave behind pungent smells that may linger in your home and be off-putting to buyers. You want to put your best foot forward and that includes all aspects of your home from sight to smell.
Remember, you and your family will not be at home for your open house, so make sure to grab everything you may need—snacks, diapers, a dog leash, extra clothes—while you are gone. It will be best to avoid having to run back to the house for any reason, as potential homebuyers prefer to view a home without the owner onsite.