Hosting an Open House is a great way to bring potential buyers to your home all at the same time, in just one viewing. This can save you a lot of time and effort as you don’t have to clean and prepare for multiple viewings. It is not a traditional way to show a property in the UK, but is very common in the USA and Canada and is well worth considering, especially if you have a few people interested. Don’t worry about any embarrassment about discussing offers, because these days you can use messaging to respond to any interest in your property there and then. The iProperty Company has a special open house function to help you create an open house event – in fact it could not be easier!
The success of an open house depends on lots of things. We can’t control things like the weather or drive-by traffic, but there are many things you can do to increase your chances of success. Here is our ‘how to’ guide on how to host an open house event to sell or rent your property:
Market your open house event properly.
Choose the time and date of your “open House” and let people know about 10 days beforehand so they have enough notice. Use an ‘Open House’ Sign Board and put it in the window or at the front of the house where it is most visible with a contact number for any interested parties. It is best to choose a date at the weekend, when viewers are least likely to be working. Choose three to four hours in daylight when your house looks its best.
Kerb appeal is about how your house looks from the street. You should start getting the outside of your house ready well before you announce your open house, or put up your board.
A freshly painted front door and few pot plants can help make a good impression.
On the day of your open house, make a quick check to make sure that there is no loose rubbish, branches or weeds on the property. Also put all rubbish and recycling bins out of sight.
Smell is Essential
As every home has its own unique fragrance, you should try to neutralise any bad smells before the open house. Especially if you have pets or smoke in your home, you need to make sure your house smells fresh and clean.
Make a Grand Entrance
The first place inside your property that anyone will see is the entry hall, so make sure that all shoes and coats are removed so it looks as clear and spacious as possible. You don’t want your viewers fighting their way through outdoor clothing and tripping over umbrellas!
Let the Light In
Make sure that all curtains and blinds are open to allow in as much natural light as possible. It is also a good idea to turn on lights or lamps to create atmosphere.
Polish and Shine
All shiny surfaces should look polished, so check any glass, windows or mirrored surfaces for fingerprints and smudges and polish light switches and doorknobs.
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house – some people believe that it’s actually the heart of a home, so it deserves a little extra attention.
Make sure that counter space looks as big as possible by putting away any unnecessary items and take out any rubbish or recycling to avoid any bad smells. Sinks should be polished and all cloths put away.
The Price is Right
Do not forget, anything is for sale for the right price, especially appliances, so make sure that they are sparkling clean, inside and out! If there is a dishwasher in the home, it should be empty and clean.
The bathrooms in a house also need to be hygienic and sparkling. Along with the master bedroom, bathrooms and toilets are the most personal space in any home and require special attention. Remove all your personal items such as toothbrushes, combs, shampoo, shaving cream and razors, perhaps put them in a basket or container that is out of sight. Ensure that everything is clean and hang up nice towels. Maximize floor space by putting away extra toilet paper and cleaners. Also make sure that the bin is empty, the toilet seat is down and the room smells fresh.
Open all the windows, if it’s not too cold and rubbish bins should be empty or completely out of sight. Make the beds up with nice bed linen and once again, store away your personal stuff. An inexpensive storage box is a great last-minute solution for short-notice viewings or your open house. Tuck the container away under a bed or neatly in a closet. Remember, potential buyers will open your cupboards!
Living and Dining Areas
It’s a good idea to create a nice ambiance in the dining area so the chairs and table should be clean and clutter free. It is a nice touch to set your table for a special dinner, but simple arrangement of fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit are enough to allow potential buyers to get an idea of how the room works. Along with your kitchen, the living room is very important, as it is where you spend most of your time relaxing. Tidy up everyday items such as newspapers, magazines, remote controls. We know that kids have to play but children’s toys and games look like clutter, these should be put away during your open house. All electronics and furniture should be free of finger prints, smudges and dust. Also arrange and plump up any cushions and throws so that everything looks neat and tidy and make sure any rugs or carpets are freshly vacuumed.
Another important point to remember is that underground areas such as basements and cellars can have a bit of a musty smell. Airing the room before hand is a good idea to ensure that everything smells fresh and clean.
If you are not sure that everything is just as it should be why not ask a friend to look or really use a critical eye? Like a potential buyer would. This will ensure that everything is in tip-top shape and has move-in ready appeal.
Finally, your open House is not a Party but it is nice to make people feel welcome with some soft drinks and nibbles.
Take a tour of our blog for more written ‘how to’ guides and tutorial videos on how to get the most out of using the iProperty Company. http://blog.theipropertycompany.com/category/how-to-guides/