Hosting an open house can be a big undertaking, but there’s no need to feel lost. From getting organized to getting your house picture-perfect, these tips can help you and your real estate agent get ready to find the perfect buyer.
Read on for some starter tips on how to get ready for an open house.
Make sure your house is listed on the major real estate portals, community sites and in your local newspaper. Your personal social media pages are also a good place to promote the open house—especially if there are popular Facebook groups or forums specific to your region. Hanging flyers on public bulletin boards at grocery stores and gyms helps get the word out to even more people. Tell your family and friends to spread the word that your house is on the market. Finally, make sure your real estate agent puts up open-house and for-sale signs in front of your house, in addition to directional signs along the route to drive foot traffic on the day of the open house.
You want your house to look as nice as possible. That might mean bringing in professional cleaners to do the job. Any and all surfaces should be spotless, so don’t forget to wash the windows, counters, even ceilings. Having the carpets cleaned before the open house is also a good idea. While you’re cleaning, take time to get rid of clutter. The more stuff in the house, the messier it’ll appear.
Remove Personal Items
When people are looking for a new home, they want to visualize what it’ll look like when they move in. Seeing pictures of your family or children’s drawings on the fridge might make it difficult for potential homebuyers to view your house as their new home. It’s also best to have your pets stay at a friend or family member’s house or a boarding service during the open house. Be sure to lock up or remove any valuables, as you likely won’t be present for the event itself.
Stage Your Home
Fix anything that’s broken, such as leaky faucets or loose handles. Emptying closets and repainting walls neutral colors are little things that can make a big difference in the appeal of your house. If it’s in your budget, replace lighting fixtures and update the front yard and entrance. Plant flowers, touch up paint flaws and maybe even set out a new doormat to make your house appear even more welcoming. When it comes to furniture, less is more. Place your furniture to maximize the space you have. If your home is empty, you can stage it digitally and share the images with your potential homebuyers. For that extra touch of hominess, set out vases of flowers and open curtains to let in natural light on the day of the open house. Serve appetizers, cookies or beverages to make the experience even more memorable.
Make a Property Description Sheet
A takeaway can help keep your property top of mind for potential buyers once they’ve left. The sheets should be given out to everyone who attends your open house. Make the design simple and clear and provide as much information as possible. The property description sheet might include:
- Asking price
- Total square footage
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Interior and exterior photos
- Appliances included
- Special features
- Recent upgrades
- Neighborhood amenities
- School information
- Real estate taxes
- Your contact information
Ask for Feedback and Follow-Up
Prepare a sign-in sheet for guests to give their name, phone number and email address. Allow guests to tour the home at their own pace, and offer to answer any questions they have. Ask for honest feedback, and listen to what potential buyers have to say. Focus on the things that most of the guests agree on and use that to make additional improvements for future open houses or viewings. Finally, after the open house ends, send each of the guests an email to thank them for looking at your house and offer to answer any further questions they may have.