5 Open House Tips for s Successful Sale
The excitement of your first open house! You want it to be perfect, and most all, drama free. But what happens when things go wrong? Or more importantly, what actually CAN go wrong at an open house inspection? We share 5 open house tips to ensure your open house goes smoothly.
As a selling agent in Brisbane’s inner south, I have conducted, and helped sellers prepare for literally hundreds of open house inspection over the years, and time and time again, the same things will come up.
Open house inspections allow buyers the freedom to physically inspect a property at their pace and leisure, without the hard sell of an agent breathing down their neck. Buyers can create a schedule to view similar types of homes on the same day, an essential step in their decision making process.
The primary goal of an open house inspection is to draw a large crowd of genuine buyers at a specific time allotment with the intent of showcasing the property at its best. This can create somewhat of a buying frenzy where buyers are stepping over each other to buy the property, particularly when a home seller has taken my advice and put their property in an appropriate price bracket. The end result is often a sale for the seller at a price that exceeds their expectations.
This is probably a BEST case scenario and I’ve often had the pleasure of seeing it in action. Keen buyers are usually fully aware of others who are equally interested in the property. Some become very determined to be the lucky buyer of your property and will try to be more strategic with their offers. They want to wipe out the competition so that the house can become all theirs.
For the seller, this usually means multiple offers, which is every agent’s (and seller’s) dream.
So what about the downside. What does a poor result look like and how can you as a seller avoid it?
Here are 5 steps you can take to put your property in the best light possible:
Remove Yourself. Just Leave.
Sellers who hang around at their own open home inspection do themselves a huge disservice. As I mentioned above, the purpose of an open home is to allow buyers to comfortably inspect the property, and I can tell you now that most buyers are put off by a Seller being present. They won’t want to reveal much which makes rapport building extremely difficult for the selling agent.
Music and Coffee.
Properties that remind buyers of home typically sell quicker and attract more dollars. Nothing says home like the smell of freshly brewed coffee. It leaves a positive association in the buyers mind even after they leave, and remember, buyers will often inspect several homes in one day so make yours memorable to them through the sense of smell. Speaking of senses, don’t underestimate sound. Subtle music can be a positive though loud music is a definite no no. Not having music can be a plus, particularly if the silence around your property is actually a desirable feature. It’s all about ambience so subtle background noise can help set the mood.
Pets and Kids.
From my real estate experience over the years, pets and kids at open homes don’t play well together. For sellers, having someone take care of your pet, or taking your pet for a walk during the open home is the best course of action on the day. Pets can become protective over their homes and become highly stressed if they see strangers in their home. Best to keep them away from the action, especially since it’s only for an hour or so.
De-Clutter and Light
You may not think your home is cluttered, but it’s easy to become immune to surroundings (especially personal effects) when it’s your own. When it comes to presenting a property, space can be your best friend or worst enemy. You see, it’s all in how you use it. The trick is whether to fill it or create it. I’m not a property stylist but over the years I’ve developed a good eye for what prospective buyers want (and don’t want) to see. Work off a less is best assumption to stay on the safe side. As a tip, fill your dishwasher to get dirty dishes out of the sink, place soiled clothes in the washing machine (but don’t turn it on) and never underestimate the art of cramming. That’s right, use those drawers wisely. It’s rare a buyer will open your drawers, dishwasher or washing machine. Open the curtains, pull up the blinds. The magic of light will add space to your rooms.
Signage and Parking.
Make it easy for buyers to find your home and inspect it. Consider that most buyers will arrive by car, so while you may not be able to make sure there’s a place for them to park, how accessible your home is will have an impact. Your agent will typically take care of the signage for the inspection but it’s always a good idea to work with an agent who believes in the value of good signage. These tools all play a part in creating the right effect and mood for your open day.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be on your way to a better result, minus the drama and who knows, maybe it will only take one go to attract the right buyer.
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