How To Prepare For An Open House

Signs, newspaper ads, and well-connected real estate agents used to be the only way to sell your home. Now the majority of home buyers start their search for homes online, through sources like Zillow and Trulia.

While this has changed the way homes are marketed, past elements of home presentation still ring true. One of these elements is the classic open house.

Below, we have the tips and tricks on how to do an open house that brings in the right buyers.

Open House Preparation Tasks to Complete

If you’re not working with a real estate agent, then you must take full responsibility for the marketing of your home, the showings, and closing on the house.

You want your home’s online presence and in-person appeal to reflect one another, thus drawing in more potential buyers.

This is why preparing your home is essential. Put your focus on the following:

Curb Appeal

First impressions are what people cling to. Feeling drawn to a home from the very start sets the tone for the entire viewing and determines whether a buyer takes the next step in the buying process.

So, put some effort into your curb appeal. Make sure that:

  • The lawn is mowed
  • There are no weeds in the landscaping, in the cracks of the driveway, or in the paving stones
  • The siding and rain gutters are clean and intact (power wash, if needed)
  • Windows are clean and updated, if needed
  • You have a few flowers to brighten the front
  • There are no paint chips on doors, windows, or exterior walls
  • Garage door is in good working condition
  • There are no debris or toys in the yard
  • The front entry is inviting

Clean and/or Update the Interior

Home buyers typically aren’t willing to walk into a messy, smelly, or cluttered home and claim it for themselves.

They want a home that looks clean and presentable—a bright, blank canvas for them to envision their life in. This means you should:

  • Scrub the walls or repaint
  • Clean out drawers and cabinets
  • Repair broken tiles
  • Replace carpet or get it professionally cleaned
  • Deep clean appliances such as ovens and microwaves
  • Add flowers
  • Remove personal photos and memorabilia
  • Remove pet and personal items

Stage Home

Think about the model rooms and furniture arrangements at furniture stores like Ikea. You want people to see not only the best qualities of the home but also what their life could look like there.

This often means updating the furniture and decor—it should not reflect your personal style but rather create a space that any person or family could enjoy.

There are consultants you can hire to stage your home, though some real estate agents will do this themselves.

You could also rent furniture from staging companies just for the open house, showings, and pictures you’ll put online.

Marketing

Put effort into your marketing only when the home is clean and in presentable condition. Once you’ve reached this point in the selling process, there are several things you can do to market your home:

  • Take a lot of photos or hire a professional to do so
  • Create a walk-through or 360-degree video of certain rooms
  • Do a drone flyover to capture pictures of the home and neighborhood
  • Put photos and videos on as many home finding websites and apps as you can
  • Social media news blast: Let your friends and family know you’re selling your home and encourage them to spread the word
  • Create professional quality signs and post them in the yard
  • Host an open house

How to Host an Open House

Getting people to come to the open house is the hardest part. Make sure to include your open house information on your online postings and physical signs.

Choose a day that will make it easy for people to attend the open house. This typically means the weekend, with Sundays being the best day for an open house.

Select a time of day in which most people will be out. Most open houses are held between noon and five, between meals and when most people are out around town.

Once you’ve pulled in the potential buyers, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Try to give homebuyers the chance to look around freely, without too much input from you. But remain available to answer any questions.
  • Open all blinds and curtains; bring in as much natural light as you can
  • Add flowers where it complements the space
  • Bake something
  • Create a flier with all the important property information, including details about the:
    • Neighborhood
    • Schools
    • Home price comparisons
    • Property tax mock-ups
    • House and property pictures
    • Contact information
  • Consider getting an inspection before the showing. It goes a long way with potential buyers.

Finding the Tools You Need for Your Open House

While letting the world know you’re selling your home is easier than ever, it’s still a challenge to get them to your front door.

Signs are still one of the best ways to capture potential buyers in your area and help the ones you caught online find your home.

Best of Signs has a design tool that lets you customize real estate signs, flags, decals, and more. You can choose from thousands of templates, or upload your own images, allowing you to create a sign that suits your needs.

Add to your curb appeal with a professional quality sign, from Best of Signs.

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