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How To Prepare For An Open House (8 Expert Tips)

a cheerful couple welcoming guests to an open house

Open houses are extremely useful events for homeowners looking to sell their property. During an open house, many interested people will see your home and it can help you find a buyer in a matter of days. If you have a listing agent, they may advise you to host a few open houses and avoid a sale listing that may go on for months or even years.

While these events promise success, there are several key points you need to know beforehand. If you want your open house to be successful and end with several offers on the table, you need to make it as appealing as possible. Read the article below for some of the most helpful tips you can get to prepare for an open house.

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The 12 Tips On How To Prepare For An Open House

1. Plan Out the Ideal Time to Host an Open House

A crucial tip is to plan out the time of your open house carefully and strategically. Set up a time with your real estate agent that best suits you while keeping the traffic and weather conditions in mind. You also need to be aware of the regular work hours for most buyers and try and avoid those times. The ideal time to host an open house would be during the weekends when most people have time off from work and other chores. If you have a listing agent to consult, trust their experienced decision and stay flexible.

Couple with real-estate agent visiting house for sale
Image By: goodluz, Shutterstock

2. Promote the Open House to Your Friends and on Social Media

The second most important part of preparing for an open house is giving it good advertising. Even if you have a good agent who promotes your home through their contacts, it won’t hurt to spread the word. Ask your neighbors to give you a great reference or talk about the open house with your friends. If you are active on social media, you can spread the news on a local advertisement page, where it will reach most of your community.

3. Prepare All the Documentation in Advance

Before and during your open house, you must prepare yourself for multiple serious buyers who may be interested immediately. If this happens, you want to have all the necessary documents and information ready at all times. If you’re an agent or a homeowner, you need to have your contact details written somewhere so interested candidates can take this information. If there were any additional documents or contracts required before the open house, have those at hand as well. If you’ve done all the inspections, providing your buyers with the proper documentation can only be a huge plus, making you one step closer to closing the sale.

4. Avoid Baking Anything Just Before the Open House

If you want your home to have a pleasant and clean smell, avoid baking or frying anything just before the open house. Also, give your house excellent ventilation during the days leading up to the open house by cracking open some windows or turning on a fan. Let some fresh air in, and you can even use a mild and subtle air freshener. Make sure not to use a strong fragrance since some people have a sensitive sense of smell.

Woman spraying air freshener at home
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

5. Deep Clean Your Home for a Fresh Look

The most important step to do before an open house is to give your home a deep clean. This means either hiring a professional to give your home the spark it needs or rolling up your sleeves a couple of days before and thoroughly cleaning each corner, crevice, and nook. Carpets are the first thing that needs a good clean, as you won’t notice their condition only until after you’ve washed them. Clean the windows by giving them spotless polishing.

The front of your house needs to be spotless as well. This outdoor area is the first thing a potential buyer will see, and you want your house to make a strong first impression.

6. Store All Your Valuables Items Somewhere Safe

A house full of swarming strangers may seem intimidating to sellers, especially if you decide to leave during the open house. If you feel insecure, it is always a great idea to store all your valuable items somewhere safe. This also includes storing items or appliances not included in the sale.

7. Let Your Buyers Envision Themselves in the Home by Removing All Personal Items

Depersonalizing your home may seem like the opposite of what you’re supposed to do, but it is actually a wise tip. Your potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in your property and leaving out your family photos may create some distance. Store your photos away, together with all the knick-knacks and personal collections. While it is a good idea to depersonalize your home, you don’t want to leave your home an empty shell. Leave out decoration and some charming features, such as a blanket on the sofa, some magazines or books lying around, and plants.

Living Room in Luxury Home with Fireplace, Coffee Table, and Hardwood Floors
Image Credit: Justin_Krug, Shutterstock

8. Give Your Pets a Day Off

While this might not be something you want to hear, some people are allergic to our furry friends. If you don’t have any preferences about your potential buyers, it may be wisest to take your pets away from the open house with you. Some buyers have allergies, while others may be intimidated by your pet. Make sure to thoroughly clean your carpets and upholstery from any pet hair since most people without pets of their own may view this as a messy and untidy home.

9. Offer Treats and Refreshments

Your goal for this open house is to create a warm, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere around your house. The best way to make your house more inviting is to offer potential buyers refreshments at the entrance. Chances are your visitors have been visiting multiple properties on that day, and refreshments can improve their mood and day.

10. Leave Out Flyers or Pamphlets

One tip that can change how potential buyers view your home is to provide them with professionally designed and printed pamphlets at the entrance. The brochure should contain all the features and information about the home that may be of interest. These brochures can leave a lasting impression on people, especially since they take them with them even after leaving the property. This will make your property stand out and be more memorable. Make sure to include your contacts or the contact details of your listing agent.

young couple standing and hugging together looking happy in front of their new house
Image Credit: Travelpixs, Shutterstock

11. Make Last-Minute Improvements

Some last-minute improvements to your home might be necessary, especially in front of your home. Tidy up one last time, and make sure everything is in its place. Take your time with it, or you’ll make your home seem cold and empty when you want to go for a natural and relaxed atmosphere. Create a setup that will appear most welcoming and inviting to your buyers. Set up everything, including the pamphlets at the front door and the refreshments around the house.

12. Leave the Event Once It Starts

If you have a listing agent, leaving the open house before it begins would be a good idea. This is an excellent tip because visitors will feel much more comfortable and relaxed without you. They need to be open and honest about their likes and dislikes, and with you listening, they will only want to rush their visit.

If you don’t have a listing agent and are selling your house on your own, make sure to stay charming and inviting. Be sincere with your buyers and tell them about your experience in this house and neighborhood.

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Final Thoughts

Open houses are events with a lot of rules and etiquette around them. Being new to the industry, especially without a listing agent, can cause a lot of confusion and stress. If you wish to organize an open house alone or with the help of an agent, several vital tips will ensure you have a smooth, stress-free, and successful experience. Good luck!

Featured Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock


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