realtor open house

The 7 Deadly Sins of an Open House – Send this article to your clients

When it comes to selling your house, an open house is one of the time-tested strategies to get people into your home, generate buzz, and (hopefully) drive up the sales price by netting multiple offers at the same time. To ensure your open house goes off without a hitch, you’ll need to manage a lot of details and think like a home buyer. Here are seven things that should never be present at an open house.

  1. Bad smells – Your home should smell pleasant during an open house, or it should not smell at all. Bad smells from food, pets, mildew or anything else will ruin a potential buyer’s view of a home. If weather permits it, air out your home to eliminate odors. Introduce a pleasing scent such as a candle to lightly perfume the air during the open house.
  1. Pets – Pets do not belong at an open house for many reasons. From a safety perspective, your pets could become lost if they escape through a door that is accidentally left open. From a liability perspective, you do not want to get sued over a dog bite or a cat scratch. Finally, pets can get underfoot, leave fur on the furniture, track dirt into the home, and otherwise get the house dirty before open house attendees even arrive. Take your pets out of the house for the duration of the event for your peace of mind and the success of your open house.
  1. Home owners present – The last thing a potential buyer wants to see when touring a home is the current home owner relaxing on the sofa. Buyers want to view every room of the house and picture themselves living there. When you’re sitting there, it disrupts their fantasy. This can make some people rush through the house, because they don’t want to talk about making an offer in front of the owner. Plus, you might be uncomfortable if you hear a buyer criticizing your paint colors or wall-to-wall carpets. Bottom line: Leave to make your open house a success.
  1. Noise – Noise makes home buyers suspicious. They’re more likely to assume that soft music you’ve put on the stereo is masking an unpleasant sound, such as a noisy neighbor or a barking dog, than that it’s there for ambiance. Keep things quiet on the home front when you have an open house to prevent buyers from leaping to conclusions.
  1. Clutter – Even if you have to sell your home while you are still living there, you should not let the space get cluttered. Clutter can turn off a buyer as well as make your rooms look smaller than they are. Clean your home, assign everything a place, and put anything extra in a short-term storage unit to show your house off in its best light.
  1. Uncomfortable climate – If your home’s atmosphere is uncomfortable, potential buyers can hurry through the home because they are too hot or too cold. Your home should be pleasant in any season. Yes, it will cost you more to run the air conditioning or turn up the heat for the whole afternoon. However, it’s the price you pay if you want to sell your house.
  1. Locked doors – Open house attendees have a right to see all areas of your home. Even if it makes you uncomfortable to think about people peeking at your closet or rifling through your converted basement, you must let them do this if you are serious about selling your home.

Steer clear of these seven deadly sins to attract the broadest range of buyers, minimize your stress over selling your home, and bring the process to a successful resolution.

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