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What Should I Do Before An Open House?

When you are ready to sell your home, you'll need to get it in its best condition, especially in today's environment. An open house presents an opportunity to showcase the best features and allow potential buyers to get a feel for a property. However, many home sellers looking into how many homes that actually sell at open houses might think this marketing exercise to be a waste of time, but that's really a misconception, and, a mistake. Though only about 1 percent of open houses result in a sale, these are still a necessary part of the selling process. Real estate professionals report that 3 to 7 percent of their sales come from open houses.

Buyers and their agents do a lot of research and open houses are definitely involved. Approximately 4 percent of all buyers state that attending open houses is their first step in the home buying process and 45 percent of all buyers use open houses as information portals in their searches. What's more, 92 percent of homebuyers report that open houses were useful in their house hunting, and all of these figures are according to the National Association of Realtors.

These statistics make it clear that holding an open house is quite important to selling a home. While it's true that few homes do sell at open houses, it's not necessarily because buyers aren't impressed or even interested, it's just because they are careful. After all, a home purchase is a very large investment and one that is accompanied by a lot of emotion. Careful buyers will take caution and take time to weigh the pros and cons of each property they tour.

Open House Mistakes You ought to Avoid


What you don't want to do is turn a selling opportunity into an outright objection that leads to a rejection of your property as a new home for buyers. Just cleaning and organizing isn't nearly enough to ready a home for an open house--you have to go the extra mile. Firstly, you should put yourself in a buyer's state of mind. One spec of dirt, one stain, or one broken item is a gateway to more unpleasant finds. In fact, professional stagers point out that even a few dishes in the kitchen sink makes the whole space look dirty and unorganized.
Prospective buyers won’t ignore even minor problems in a house, from broken light switches to leaky faucets, so you’ll want to have your home in tip-top shape before holding an open house. To get the best results, allocate about a month’s worth of time and enlist the aid of a Realtor to guide you through the process of maintenance and repairs. Not only will buyers remember these small things, but minor repairs can add up for a buyer, so getting those out of the way early can make your home more appealing. --Realtor.com

In addition to the interior, the outside of a home has a tremendous impact as buyers form an impression of properties in only 7 to 10 seconds of seeing it. That means curb appeal is a big deal and doing a little to make it look appealing is imperative. Things you ought to avoid most are shadowing people who tour your property and having your pets and children stay during open houses. Both are turnoffs to buyers and might be the things that cause them to take your property off their list.

Things to Do before an Open House


Now, what you should do before an open house is an important part of being ready to show your home. Start with decluttering every single bit of storage space that's easily accessible, such as closets, vanities, and the garage. Your goal is to reduce them to about thirty percent full to give the impression of more space. Depersonalize every room because buyers aren't interested in purchasing your personal life, they are interested in finding their new home. Here are some other things you should do before an open house:

  • Get the home professionally cleaned. Dusting, running a vacuum over the floors, and cleaning the windows isn't going to be nearly enough. Hire a professional service to do an in-depth job and clean every nook and cranny.

  • Let in plenty of light. Dark spaces look small and aren't welcoming, plain and simple. Open the window coverings and let plenty of sunlight inside to make it bright, cheery, and welcoming. This will also allow you to easily detect anything that needs a little extra attention.

  • Fix everything that's broken. No matter how small it is, it's a big deal. It might be a nickel and dime item, but it won't go unnoticed by people who tour the property. If you don't do this, you're sending a message that you don't care enough about maintaining the home and that will leave buyers wondering what else needs repair.

  • Buy new kitchen and bath towels. Just washing the towels you already have won't do. Buy new bath and kitchen towels and fold them neatly. Of course, you ought to pick colors and textures that best compliment their spaces.


Another thing you should do is to set the dining room table. Put out your best China and flatware, along with cloth napkins wrapped in fancy rings. You can also paint your front door to give it a fresh look and make it an accent piece.