Will your open house be a hit or a miss?
We’ve all seen open houses on our favorite lifestyle television channels. You know the ones- people lined up to get in, multiple buyers, bidding wars, a sale over asking price! Everything seems practically perfect. So, when it comes time for your open house, it should be a breeze! Right?
Ah, the power of TV!
It’s time for a dose of reality vs. reality TV!
For many, the idea of an open house congers a floodgate of apprehension. This is going to be work and your best weapon is a carefully crafted plan of attack. Make a list of the following questions and make sure you and your agent are on the same page.
- How will the open house be promoted?
- Will the neighbors be invited?
- What are the hours and how were they chosen?
- Is my home priced to sell or will this open house turn into a place for the agent to sit and pick up buyers for other properties? There is an important distinction…and this does happen.
- What end-result does the agent expect?
- What is expected of you?
With a plan in place, it is almost certain your agent will require your home to be “show ready.” This means a well-manicured yard. The kitchen and bathroom should be spotless, the living areas barely lived in with toys and pet goodies out of sight. Speaking of pets, you’ll want to remove then, not only for their safety but to allow your home to smell as fresh as possible. You’ll want to remove yourself as well. Sellers always want to know what potential buyers think, but please leave. Buyers will not be candid in front of owners or take the time to truly appreciate your home.
Try to plan your open house around neighborhood activities and keep your agent abreast of community open houses, garage sales and other events that draw traffic to your neighborhood. Ask your agent to try different days of the week or other times.
In the end, your house will be presented in the best light possible. Don’t despair if the attendance is low or if contracts didn’t exchange hands. Yes, even with stellar promotion, this is sometimes the reality. The upside is your house is amazingly clean, your yard looks great and you are all ready for the first showing of the week!