Tips for Your First Open House
While some real estate agents say open houses are a waste of time, there are still a good number of homes that do sell at these events. In fact, about 20 percent of all homes on the market sell at an open house, which definitely makes it worth the time. However, don't make the mistake of assuming that your agent is going to handle everything. In fact, you'll have to put in some work for the open house, yourself. If you're not working with an agent, this task will be all on you.
When Will You Have Your Open House?
Most open houses are held on Sunday afternoon for a few hours. Two hours are generally considered the minimum amount of time, but some are three or four hours long. Some real estate agents even work together to have a house open for most of the day. Generally, open houses are not held on holidays or other dates when something major is going on. Cold days or days with terrible weather are usually bad days, too.
You have to remember that if you're still living in the house, you need to vacate during the open house. People don't want to critically look at a property when the owners are standing right there. Make sure you have something to do or some place to go during your open house.
Preparing for the Big Day
Before the open house, you'll want to make sure the house looks great. While you may want to have the open house as soon as possible, remember that the better your home looks, the more likely it will sell. That means you want to take a little bit of time to work on the home.
First, you might want to have a broker preview. This is where you invite various real estate agents over to look at your home. They will give you feedback and can help you determine if your home is priced right and what you might need to change.
Next, you need to de-clutter your home. You may want to move some of your furniture into storage so the rooms look bigger. You may also want to work with a professional stager to make each room look as attractive as possible.
In addition to you being gone during an open house, you also need to make sure your pets aren't there. Just knowing that you have animals in the house can be a turn-off to some potential buyers, especially those who may be allergic.
Finally, if there's anything such as appliances or built-in items that you're not including with the home, remove them before the open house. This includes ceiling fans, light fixtures, and anything else that you want to take with you. Otherwise, a potential buyer will assume they're included and may be annoyed when you tell them that the items are not.
A Few Days Before the Open House
A couple of days before your open house, you have to go to work cleaning. You want to make sure that the home is as spotless as you can make it. Vacuum, sweep, and do everything else you can to make your house look amazing. Organize everything you can, put away laundry, and generally tidy everything up as much as you can.
You also want to complete your staging of the home. Much of this will have to be done the day of the open house. Make all of the beds, put fresh towels out in the bathroom, and empty all of the garbage cans. Make sure everything looks perfect.
Also, be sure to take into account more than just looks. How does your house smell? You may want to open up the windows for a few hours to get fresh air to circulate through the house. You could also burn candles up until the point you need to leave.
Finally, remember to relax. Don’t continually call or text your agent during the open house. If you get an offer, they will let you know. You have to trust your agent to do their job. This is why it’s important that you’re working with someone you really feel a connection with. For those in the LGBT community, this may mean finding a real estate agent who also identifies as LGBT. That’s actually quite easy to do. The website www.GayRealEstate.com lists many real estate experts who can assist you with finding a new home and with selling your current one.