Open houses are critical in real estate. They give prospective buyers a chance to come in and see the home in a low-pressure environment. Since all visitors are welcome (with no appointment necessary), hosting an open house provides the opportunity to show the property to as many people as possible – and on their own schedule. However, there are many mistakes made during open houses that can significantly impact the way prospective buyers feel about the house for sale. Avoid making these open house mistakes to encourage the best possible outlook for the home – and the best possible outcome for the open house:
Questionable Odors in the Home
It’s no secret that homes may have different smells, and in an open house, some odors should be eliminated. Advise the home sellers to avoid spraying perfumes in the house, lighting incense, spraying air fresheners, or cooking strong-smelling foods prior to the open house. This will keep the home from having an overwhelming smell of any sort that may disturb sensitive sellers. Febreeze or another odor eliminator is an exception, as they can help eliminate pet odors or any unexpected scents in the air.
Additionally, crack open some windows prior to or during the open house to let some fresh air flow. It’s important to remember that although you might like the smell of candles and incense in your home, the potential new owner may not, and it could unintentionally turn them off.
Pets Around the Home
Whether your client has a bird, dog, cat, or hamster, advise them to remove the pets from the premises before showing the real estate. Regardless of how well-behaved the dog can be, how well the cat can hide, or how quiet the bird is, they can distract prospective buyers from seeing the value of the property; remove all animals. No exceptions.
Some home sellers want to play some light music to set an ambiance in the air. However, doing so may actually backfire. Often, when prospective buyers hear music being played during an open house, they may assume that it’s being used to muffle out noise from nearby roads or something else that is disturbing about the property. The only noise that should be filling the property while showing real estate is the chatter from all the prospective buyers.
Leaving and Prepping in a Hurry
Make sure that all homeowners are off the premises well before starting the open house. With that said, it’s important to give the sellers a reasonable amount of time to prepare themselves and their homes prior to open houses. You never want to inform your client about an open house that coming weekend on the Thursday directly before. Without providing the sellers with an ample amount of time, the home can appear messy, dirty, and certainly not in its best shape.
Leaving Notes for the Buyers
During open houses, many sellers want to leave notes to highlight important features around the home for the prospective buyers. Although this is a well-meant gesture, it can distract the prospective buyers. If your client is insistent on taping a note to the wall or leaving it on the counter, take the time to inform them of your duties as their real estate agent. Reassuring them that all the best features will be showcased and that thorough knowledge will be provided to the prospective buyers will put their mind at ease. Forbid the notes, and reestablish your expertise.
Flexibility is also incredibly important in selling a home. You want to be showing real estate as much as possible, in order to bring in the highest amount of prospective buyers. Reiterate the importance of this to your clients, and keep a “pre-showing real estate” checklist in the house at all times, so they can prepare the property when needed.
With these tips for success in mind, you can set yourself and your clients up for a successful and enjoyable open house every time!