“I remember when my parents would set up an open house. We moved a lot, but the chaos never seemed to get any less organized. Our mom was always anxious about making the house look its best. If another family saw that we hadn’t dusted, or folded the laundry, would the other family really want to buy our house?”
- A quote from Elli Francis, a former client
Yes, open houses can be hectic. They cause even the most organized families to scramble and stress over the houses’ appearance. But why do we have them? And if they’re so important, how can you make sure your agent hosts a great one for your house?
Here are some great tips to help you support your listing agent as they host an open house for your property in Louisville, KY or elsewhere. Even though your agent will do the majority of the work, there are many things you, as the homeowner, can do to make sure your open house is a huge success!
While it is true that some of our open house anxiety is excessive, presenting a property in the best way possible is one of the best ways to get the house sold, and QUICKLY at that. Why are open houses so great? Here are a few reasons:
- It gives prospective buyers a chance to fully examine the house and ask questions.
- If the house is staged, it gives prospective buyers an idea of what it would be like to own the house and have people in it. Familiarity with the house will produce more excitement and confidence within the buyer.
- Prospective buyers are forced to acknowledge the competition (competing offers can help drive up your selling price).
- Visiting a property can give prospective buyers the opportunity to check out the neighborhood and other nearby areas, which can give them more confidence in their decision to place an offer (if they decide to make an offer, it will likely be a serious one; if not, they weren’t a motivated buyer anyways).
- It gives you (the home seller) the chance to get away on a Sunday afternoon and do something fun, leaving the realtor to deal with all the questioning and picky home buyers. (Or you may get stuck simply driving around town for three hours with your whining, loud children, so I guess this one could go either way).
Now that we’ve established that having an open house IS indeed important, let’s discuss how to help your agent have an awesome open house that will leave you with offers and the possibility of never having to clean that house ever again.
Here are some other tips on having a great open house:
- Clean your house (if this isn’t obvious enough already). Get rid of your clutter. Put away your laundry. Make your beds. Vacuum.
- Spruce up your curb appeal (trim the bushes, spray off your driveway, pick up your dog’s poop, etc.)
- Speaking of dogs…take them with you. A barking dog at an open house is not a good thing.
- Don’t restrict any area of your house. Yes, we know you have 27 loads of laundry that need folded that are stuffed in the upstairs closet, but if you restrict access to that closet, people will assume the worst.
- Set the table.
- Get a doormat.
- Use Febreze. No one wants to live in a smelly house. You may even want to bake cookies before you leave to create a welcoming aroma for the open house guests.
- Open all the blinds and turn on all the lights—the more natural light, the better.
- Leave the thermostat around 70.
- Make your house generic. Take down any photos, art, or posters that people may not agree with or that may hinder someone from imagining the house as “theirs.”
- Make sure that you are accessible during the time of the open house. Your agent might have questions asked that only you can answer. If someone is truly interested and has serious questions, you want to be able to answer those as soon as possible.
At the end of the day, a successful open house will not only be beneficial to you, but also to the neighbors and prospective buyers. These few tips will help you help your listing agent represent your house in the best way possible. Yes, it may be a hassle, and it may take every ounce of your energy to get the kids and the dog out the door for three hours on a Sunday afternoon; just rest assured knowing it will be well worth the effort.
For more questions about selling your house, keep reading our blog, or contact LST Properties directly on our Contact Us page.