When selling your home, it is ALWAYS a good idea to be as prepared as possible for your open house! The funny picture here says a lot, but the reality is, preparation never can start TOO early!

 

Here are some great ideas from the HGTV blog on how to prepare for an Open House.

 

  1. Eliminate half of your belongings as clutter can cost a sale. Rent a storage unit or portable pod for extraneous pieces of furniture or knickknacks. Another idea is to ask a friend if you can borrow some space in his or her garage.
  2. Use "home wash" (hose attachment available at home improvement stores) to clean the outside of the house.
  3. Clean rain gutters as well as outside windows and screens.
  4. Make sure the front door is inviting. Paint the door if needed. Also, replace any outdated outdoor lighting fixtures.
  5. Buy new house numbers if the old ones are dated or faded. Be sure buyers can see the new ones from the curb.
  6. Buy a new welcome mat.
  7. Organize all closets and drawers. Buyers might look there.
  8. Make any necessary repairs so that buyers don't have to add that to their list of expenses.

For a more detailed list, along with some other goodies that you'll want to prepare for your Open House click here.

 

As a Realtor I've seen GREAT ones, and I've seen not so great ones. I'd love to help you prepare for your next Open House so feel free to get in touch with me any time.

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best ...

 

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Open houses are the gold standard in real estate. They’ve been around for decades and will be ingrained in the buying and selling of homes for years to come. But as a buyer, are you making the most of your open house visits?

 

Here are some best practices for buyers at all ends of the home-buying spectrum.

Use the open house to learn the market without committing

Couple Looking at home

 

For the most part, open houses are just that — open. They make it possible for anyone to see a property in a certain time period, without an appointment or even being a very serious buyer.

 

New buyers should leverage the open house opportunity to get a feel for the market. In today’s world, using online search tools, mobile apps and the open house, a buyer can start to get a feel for pricing and the market before committing to an agent. Most importantly, open houses are some of the best ways for buyer and agent relationships to start.

You don’t have to sign in (but don’t be rude)

The biggest fear of some newer buyers is that a real estate agent at an open house will be all over them, ask for their contact information and then start harassing them for the next three weeks. It does happen, but it’s also common courtesy to at least recognize and say hello to the agent at the open house.  Don’t forget, in addition to trying to sell the home for her client, for safety reasons, the agent is keeping a look out for who is coming and going. It’s polite to say hello and introduce yourself to the agent, but you can also politely decline to sign in.

 

If you’re an active buyer, you should make yourself known to the agent. Let the seller’s agent know who your agent is and don’t be afraid to express interest. When it comes time to review an offer with a seller, listing agents like to put a face to a name.

Watch the other buyers

You can tell a lot about the activity and marketability of a home by watching the other buyers. If you observe a lot of people walking in and out quickly, the home probably has some issues. Are the buyers hanging around, asking questions of the listing agent and huddling in the corner talking to their spouses or partners? If so, it could be a sign this is a well-priced and “hot” listing. If you’re interested too, observing other buyers at the open house could help you learn about the competition.

Ask the agent questions

The real estate agent is there for a reason. It’s his job. If he is the listing agent, ask him questions. He is a direct line to the seller. He should know more than anyone about the property and the seller. Your agent can funnel your questions to the listing agent. But if you’re there, ask away. Watch the agent’s facial expression and reaction to your questions. If it’s a competitive market, ask questions such as: “Why is the seller selling?” “Is there a certain day to review offers or have you had a lot of showings?” In a slow market, ask how long the property has been on the market and what the seller’s motivations are. A good agent will engage you because it’s good for his seller.

Be open to meeting your future agent

When considering a new doctor, lawyer or CPA, you don’t get the chance to see them in their element until you’ve decided to work with them. Not true for real estate agents. Some of the best buyer/seller/real estate relationships begin at open houses.

 

A good agent is wearing two hats at the open house. In addition to watching the serious buyers and getting feedback for the seller, an active agent is also looking to interact with future clients.

 

Face to face, informal and relevant, the interaction with an agent at an open house is important. You can get a feel for a person just from a brief meeting. If you sense the agent could be someone you could work with, ask some open-ended questions, such as “How’s the market?” and “What areas do you cover?”

Why open houses have been around for decades

At any open house, there are people at every stage of the home-buying game, from just testing the waters to looking at homes daily, making offers and working closely with an agent. For someone new to the market, it’s helpful to know the best practices for visiting open houses and interacting with the real estate agent. For more experienced buyers, the open house is an opportunity to make a second or third visit, getting a closer look at the details and uncovering things you may have missed earlier. There are lots of reasons why open houses have been around for decades — and why you should take full advantage of them.

 

For more information on my listings, please visit this link.

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best ...

 

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