For people interested in selling their properties, one of the most important aspects to consider is the open house. An open house allows your prospective buyers to take a look at the property. It also shows them how much you as the owner care about them. A dirty, unprepared home will leave a lasting impression on a client, so much so that even if they like the house, they will not buy it.
Also, open houses mean lower marketing costs for sellers and a new, untapped list of possible buyers. An example is neighbors, people who at first might not be interested but can do so after popping in for a look.
So what is the best way to prepare? How can sellers give themselves the best chance to succeed? It starts with interiors, exteriors, and yourself.
Home is Where the Heart Is
Customers will always look at the outside first. This is common sense. However, during an open house, they will usually spend most of their time inside, looking at rooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen. As such, this is where the focus should be.
The most important thing is for the house to exude a sense of hospitality, a place where people see themselves living. If it doesn’t, it won’t be sold. After all, why would someone buy a place they don’t see themselves living in?
To achieve this, there are several things home-owners can do.
- Make sure the house is clean. A clean house is attractive, but it also shows the seller’s personality, whether he is careful, meticulous, and attentive to detail.
- Create an intimate, cozy atmosphere. A home should look like a home, not just four walls and a roof. For bare windows, a great idea is to invest in custom-built window coverings. They give the house a sense of style and make it welcoming and friendly. For tables, you can include a few books or decorative items.
- Add pictures, trophies, kids’ drawings, and other family-related memorabilia. You want to create a “family” environment, one in which your buyers will project their futures and special moments with their families.
- Do not include everyday living items. A picture of your family is great. A basket full of dirty clothes or piled-up dishes in the sink aren’t. The key is to give the impression a family lives inside without making it too personal.
A Great First Impression
Once the inside is ready, look at what you can do outside. Among other things, sweep the porch, trim the grass, and put out a few furniture items. Furniture represents living spaces where people like to spend time relaxing or playing with their kids. A few chairs or a couch will also allow your visitors to sit down and take a break on the day itself.
Aside from the house, focus on its surroundings. If you can, speak to some of your neighbors, at least the next door ones. Time permitting, offer to clean their porches a bit or mow their lawns. This extra work will serve the overall purpose of providing potential clients with a glimpse of their futures. Potential buyers don’t only base their decisions on the house. They look at the neighboring properties as well.
It Starts With You
There are plenty of things you can do to prepare your property for an open house. A clean, cozy inside will have a positive impact on visitors. So will tidy, well-kept exteriors. But the most important thing is you. Do you look clean and presentable? Will you provide a few snacks and some drinks to visitors? Will you supply them with business cards, brochures, and other useful information? Do you have the patience to speak to each one of them?
If the answers to these questions are yes, you will boost your chances of selling dramatically. Remember, they are looking at your house, inside and out. But they are doing business with you. If they like you, who knows, they might even help you sell even if they’re not interested in buying themselves.