Anyone with their house on the market at the moment knows how quiet open homes have been of late. It is easy to get discouraged when you have spent half your weekend preparing the house for that important 30 minutes, only to come home and find that the agent was the only one to appreciate your hard work. However, it is true that it only takes one buyer to walk through the door and love your home to make it all worthwhile!
So, what can you do to maximize the opportunity an open home offers? Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Ensure the lawns are freshly mown and the garden at the front of the house is tidy. Quiet often I see a car slow down outside an open home and then drive away – make sure you give your home every chance to encourage buyers to park the car and come in!
2. First impressions count. I have had buyers tell me “this is the one” just from the entranceway of a house before they have even seen the rest. Open your front door and pretend you are entering the house for the first time – what do you see? How does it feel? Does it smell nice? Get a friend to do this exercise as well and get their honest feedback.
3. Show your Agent how to work your stereo and have an easy listening CD handy or download some suitable songs to your IPod. Silence is golden but for buyers walking through a house it can feel a bit uncomfortable.
4. If you have a dog, take it with you when you go out for the open home. Even if a dog is tied up, buyers can be put off exploring the back yard and a barking dog doesn’t make people feel at home!
5. If you have any valuable artwork, jewelry or cash in the house – take them with you! While it is extremely rare to hear of a theft at an open home, don’t give thieves an easy opportunity.