You’ve decided to sell your home, you've scouted a reputable listing agent, you’ve got the ‘for sale’ sign on the lawn, and wonderful photos are listed on MLS, but now your agent is talking ‘exposure’.
No, not the creepy trenchcoat hiding behind a bush kind of exposure—the type of exposure you cannot get from online listingsor word of mouth, we’re talking about an OPEN HOUSE!
Now, before you get anxious about the idea of complete strangers wandering around your bedroom, and opening your kitchen cabinets, think of an Open House as a great opportunity to put the spotlight on the various features of your home that must be seen in order to be appreciated.
You may not be Martha Stewart or Mr. Clean, but here are 5 Tips on How to Host a MEMORABLE Open House.
Homebuyers need to envision themselves living in your home, and, well, if there isn’t much space, that may prove difficult.
One rule of thumb when decluttering for an Open House is to remove at least 1 piece of furniture from every room. It will make your home appear larger and more inviting.
Consider renting space from a storage facility in order to declutter. If there are items that won’t be included in the sale, be sure to remove them from the house before your open house.
And while you are at it, go through your closets and decide what you want to keep and what you can give away. If you’re serious about taking inventory of your belongings, consider the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, it’s quickly becoming a cult classic! When you’re done, take boxes of stuff to the local thrift store, recycle what you can and the rest can be removed and taken to the dump. After all, this will give you a clean start and reduce the amount of stuff you will have to carry on moving day!
This is where you hang up your rubber gloves and hire a professional. A cleaning service can tackle areas that you might not even think about.
Remember, we’re going for a memorable first impression, and nothing deters guests more than an unkept home.
Since you are already taking some of your clutter to the storage facility, be sure to pack away any personal items such as family photos and knick-knacks.
Depending on your budget, you may want to consider staging your home with items and furniture that are not yours.
Home stagers are experts at creating a beautiful space is that appeals to many.
While it may seem void of your personality, it will help the future owners envision themselves living there.
Oh and don’t forget to get your pets out of the house for the day! Dog hair, pet dander and aggressive or loud pets can be a real turn-off for potential buyers. They may have allergies or be fearful of certain animals.
This one is a no-brainer. Head to your local florist and pick up some fresh colourful flowers and place them in gorgeous vases throughout your home.
Stop at the bakery and pick up an apple pie and put it in the oven on low. Guests will be greeted with the comforting aroma of homemade deliciousness! The scent will give them warm and fuzzies all over and keep them thinking about how inviting your place seemed—just like home!
Now get out! No really, leave for the day. Let your real estate agent be the host, and sell your home.
Buyers are definitely more comfortable asking questions of your agent if you’re not hovering in the background—that’s just awkward for everyone.
Come home later than the suggested time frame, and wait for the phone to ring!
Wrapping Things Up
So whether you are having your first Open House or you’ve been through the process before, remember to trust your agent with all the details.
Of course there will be decluttering, handyman jobs and chores to be done in advance, but your hard work will pay off!
Don’t be afraid to let your home reflect less of your personality in an effort to help it appeal to the masses.
In the end it will lessen your own seller’s remorse (cause your house will never look better!) and ultimately make for a smoother transition into your new home!
Find more open house tips in our Seller's Guide!