Biggest Open House Mistakes

An open house can be a very effective marketing tool to help sell a home. It’s a time when potential buyers can see the entire property first hand, allowing them to compare what they’ve seen online to the actual home. The appearance of your property will be paramount to turning curiosity into a solid purchase offer, and, aside from setting the right asking price, can literally make or break a possible deal. When you’re ready to put your home on the market for sale, you’ll want to make a really big impression on whomever tours the property. An open house is a prime opportunity for this to happen, but, you’ve got to pay attention to details.

Biggest Open House Mistakes

Some home sellers make the mistake of believing their homes are in good enough condition to show. In reality, very few homes will hit all the marks in buyers’ expectations. Buyers are looking for a place to call home, and, will have critical eyes going into an open house. If you prepare properly, an open house can be very beneficial. However, if you don’t do what’s necessary, you’re going to do a lot more damage than you might suppose.

When a potential buyer walks into an open house, what does he or she look for? Buyers want bright, clean rooms void of clutter. Sounds easy enough, but one man’s treasures can be another man’s trash (or vice versa). —Fox News

This is especially true if one or more of the buyers brings a real estate professional, because a mediocre impression will cause said professional to avoid showing your property to others. There’s also a chance the word will spread in the industry locally. So, you need to put your best foot forward and do all you can to make a great impression with your open house. Before you schedule your first or even next open house, don’t make the following big-time mistakes.

  • Leaving pets in the home. Your four-legged family members are no doubt lovable and adorable. They are part of your day-to-day life, but, not part of buyers’ lives and that’s why leaving pets behind is a bad idea. Plus, there’s the risk of the dog or cat escaping from the home, or, being a big annoyance. Even pet lovers like to have space when touring a home and you also risk offending people who aren’t pet lovers.
  • Forgetting to deep-clean the kitchen. You probably clean your kitchen on a regular basis, but, that’s not the level of clean you need for an open house. You need the kitchen to be completely immaculate, from top to bottom. Every surface ought to be cleaned and disinfected, including the top of the refrigerator and cabinets. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink is a huge no-no, as well as leaving desserts on the counter; each of these will have a negative impact on buyers.
  • Leaving dirty laundry out in the open. The fact that you live in the home is going to be problematic after you list it for sale. There are going to be challenges, like keeping the living room look like a model home. In addition, you can’t leave unsightly traces, such as dirty laundry. Even freshly folded laundry will cause buyers to think of it more as your home rather than their new home.
  • Not giving some real attention to the curb appeal. Buyers form an impression of a home within just 7 to 10 seconds after arriving at an open house. That’s not much time to make a good impression, but, it can be just enough to leave a bad impression. Make sure you it has some colorful, fresh flowers, and, put any trash bins out of sight.
  • Leaving any prescription medication out on the counter. Another open house mistake is to leave medication on the counter. If you think about it for a moment, there’s a lot of information that can be had from prescription labels and that could be used as leverage against you. Besides, you want the home to be depersonalized.