Guest blog post by Suzie Wilson author of
The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House.
Pulling off a great open house requires not only hard work but a little sales savvy. So in this post we'll share secrets culled from real estate experts across the country. Use these ideas to make your event as flawless as possible.
Make That First Glimpse as Perfect as Possible
Hollywood producers spend a lot of money setting the mood for a film's opening scene. They know that the first microsecond the viewer's eyes touch the screen can make or break the rest of the movie. The same is true with your open house. Here's how to make that first glimpse the prospect sees an enchanting one:
● Make sure the house numbers, mailbox, front door, walkway, and garage door are shining and spotless. You may need to replace some of these items if they're past their prime. But this is money well spent, as US News points out.
● Clear the driveway and stash your cars somewhere else. This will help prospects to envision their own vehicles parked in front of the home.
● Hold the event on a bright, sunny day if possible. Fair weather makes any home look better.
What to Do Once They're in the Door
Okay, your potential buyers have crossed the first hurdle and are standing inside your home. Here's what they should experience next:
● Furnishings that give their imaginations plenty of room to run wild. You want to make the home appealing in a generic way, according to HGTV. Their minds need a blank slate in which to paint the image of themselves living contentedly in the surroundings.
● The sound of your voice greeting them. Whereas playing music is a chancy move that may offend some people, even if you choose the most non-objectionable melody ever composed.
● A smell that says nothing but "clean"; potpourri, scented candles, and other fragrance makers will make visitors think you're trying to mask objectionable odors. Plus, you never know what will upset a person's allergies.
Speaking of clean, we should stress that dirt, stains, or anything which suggests the presence of germs is a death kiss. The average cleaning service cost is $165 nationally, a small price to pay for professional results.
How to Deal With Questions
Buyers differ like night and day. Some will act like your best friend. Others will poke and prod and maintain a perpetual scowl. Most will seem cordial but non-committal. Here are some tips for dealing with (almost) all kinds of folks:
● Prepare a list of features you wish to point out beforehand and memorize it. For example, did your home just get a new roof last summer? Failing to mention that fact may cost you the deal.
● Avoid calling it "my" or "our" home. Refer to it as "the" home. Instead of saying, "we had the floors redone last month," say "the floors were redone last month." This will help the prospect to envision the house as hers.
● Ask for feedback every time. Knowing what people think will help you fine-tune your approach for the next go-around.
Here are some things you should avoid doing:
● Giving the impression that you have pets, even if you do. Sending Fido or Tabby to a friend's home for the day may seem harsh, but it's crucial for maximizing your chances of closing the deal.
● Arguing. Some prospects may test your patience. Keep your cool in such cases and try to steer the encounter in a positive direction. Returning negativity with negativity will never work in your interests.
● Counting your chickens before they're hatched. Some people may seem like they're ready to sign the papers after the first five minutes, only to never contact you again. So keep up your selling efforts until you have a firm offer from a creditworthy customer. This can save you from bitter disappointment.
Selling your home is more than a commercial transaction. It's a move that will affect the rest of your life. So give your open house as much care and attention as you can. You'll be glad you did.