Most open houses are held to attract potential buyers. However, when your home is open to the public, anyone can stop by for a peek - even casual observers looking for decorating ideas. Your Realtor can help you decide if an open house is right for you and can walk you through the process. In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.
Why hold an open house?
An open house is an opportunity for you to market your home directly to potential buyers. Visitors can take their time walking from room to room and ask questions about the home's features. This allows buyers to see the inside of the home in a way you can't get from flipping through photos online. Hosting an open house is a good opportunity for you to receive honest feedback about your home. You can count on at least a few of the attendees to offer candid comments about what they do and don't like. Your Realtor can collect this information during the open house and share it with you afterward. You may decide to make minor improvements or highlight certain amenities based on visitors' input.
Isn't it a lot of work?
It's very easy to host an open house, as long as you do the prep work ahead of time. Your Realtor will recommend a day and time that is best to host the event. Most open houses are held for a few hours on weekend afternoons, but he or she may suggest hosting one mid-week so buyers can observe the area's school or rush-hour traffic patterns.
Get the word out
Holding an open house requires more marketing than putting a sign in the front yard. Your Realtor's marketing plan may include advertising the open house in the classified section of the newspaper, on his or her website or other online media, and directional signage in the neighborhood.
Ready, set, show
It's important to help your home look its best before holding an open house. It requires just a few steps.
Create curb appeal - The more appealing a property looks from the outside, the greater chance a potential buyer will choose to drop in.
Clean the house - First, put away anything that will distract buyers from the property, such as personal photos and other knick knacks. Second, scrub the house from top to bottom. Nothing is less appealing than a dirty home.
Freshen it up - A little paint goes a long way to brighten a room. If you do paint, choose neutral colors. They are much more appealing to buyers.
Eliminate the odors - Pets and cigarettes are the big ones. To alleviate the smells, deodorize upholstery and carpets.
Perform minor repairs - If you can fix it easily, do it. Check for squeaky doors, leaky faucets, faulty lights, etc. If you have repairs that require more work, talk to your Realtor to determine if the repair is worth the cost. Keep yourself and your belongings safe - Secure your valuables, prescription medications, and personal items before the open house.
Work with a professional
Don't be surprised if your Realtor recommends you be out of the house during the open house. While it may be tempting to stay, some buyers feel uncomfortable with you there while they open bedroom closets and kitchen drawers. Your Realtor will work on your behalf to field the questions and point out the home's assets.
Talk to your Realtor to determine whether an open house should be part of his or her plan to market your home. In the meantime, visit TexasRealEstate.com and HAR.com for more information about real estate.