1. Remember that curb appeal is crucial. It is the first impression a potential buyer has of your home. 2.Remove allvehicles from the driveway. Ask your neighbors to help out by not parking in front of your house.
3. Make sure the front door is clean. It is the first thing potential buyers notice before entering the house.
4. Open all the drapes, blinds, window coverings and let in that light.
5. Turn on every light in the house, except lights that produce noise such as exhaust fans.
6. Turn on soft music to help set a mood. I had an Open House in the Village of Saugerties and my homeowner had soft music playing, it felt relaxing and peaceful.
7. Set up a three ring binder of seasonal house photographs so buyers can see what the home would look like at another time of the year. This is especially helpful to showcase gardens during the winter. My sellers in Kingston had an Open House in the summer, you can see all the beautiful flowers throughout the gardens. The sellers put together a binder with their garden photos of the Fall perennials and annuals, to let the potential buyer see what the gardens looked like in the Fall season.
8. Set out all documents pertaining to the house near the sign-up sheet. It should include such property information as recentrepairs, current warranties, utility costs, plat map,local schools and other property history and information.
9. Bake some cookies before the open house. This gives the home a warm, cozy feel and smells great! I went to an open house in Woodstock and the homeowner baked Snickerdoodle cookies and you can smell the aroma of cinnamon throughout the house.
10. Take down the family photos. If you have walls completely devoted to your family, it makes it difficult for home buyer's to visualize your house as their home. Bare walls also make rooms appear larger.
11. Clear away the clutter. Small kitchen appliances can be put under cabinets to increase counter space. Children toys can bestored in closets so they are not scattered across the floor. I went to an Open House in New Paltz and the homeowner had all the toys in baskets and bins, it made it easier to put away when there were showings.
12. Make sure your house is sparkling clean.Floors and carpets should be vacuumed, windows and mirrors clean, beds should be made,furniture polished, trash cans emptied, and all noticeable smudges wiped from light switches and walls.
13. Do not stay at home and take your pets with you . Let your real estate agent handle the showing and open house as sellers sometimes have a bad habit of talking too much to potential buyers. If they suspect you're eager to sell, they might make a lower offer in price.
14. If members of your household smoke, give yourself sufficient time to air out the house. When a non-smoker walks into a smoker’s house, it can be an immediate turn off.
15. If the forecast calls for rain, or snow that day, make sure you have a mat outside and inside the door for wiping off shoes. An associate had a Open House in Stone Ridge, with refinished hardwood floors throughout. The homeowner provided shoe covers to slip on over your shoes and help protect the floors from the wetness of the rain and snow.
Having an Open House is one of many ways to help sell your home. It's important to leave the best impression that you can for potential home buyers. Let me know if these tips are helpful at your next Open House!