Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7 Steps to Preparing for an Open House

1. Hire a cleaning service (or gather the kids and make a day of it!). A spotlessly clean home is essential; dirt will turn off a prospect faster than anything. Studies done by the National Association of Realtors found that buyers associate 'clean' with 'well maintained'.  This means buyer's take your house smelling like bleach and furniture polish to imply that the home has had the furnace maintained, the roof and gutters kept up, ect.

2. Mow your lawn, and be sure toys and yard equipment are put away.This is a lot like number one, but in addition people like to think that 'if we live here we will live like they do.'  This means that if the home and the yard are well kept then the buyer thinks they will also keep a perfect yard.

3. Serve cookies, coffee, and soft drinks. Not a must but it's nice to break the voyeur feeling.  When we were little kids our moms told us not to go into people's homes when they were not home.  Buyer's subconsciously feel that they are intruding so anything you can do to make them feel welcome is a huge plus.   So if you serve cookies or even just write a note welcoming the buyers a guests, it creates a welcoming touch. But please be sure the kitchen has been cleaned up after you bake and use disposable cups so the sink doesn't fill up. 

4. Lock up your valuables, guns, meds, jewelry, and money. Although the real estate salesperson will be on site during the open house, it's impossible to watch everyone all the time.  Theft is very rare but the most common items stolen are prescription drugs and gun so keep these items out of sight and out of mind.

5. Turn on all the lights. Even in the daytime, incandescent lights add sparkle.  The Realtor will go around the house and turn all the lights on when she gets to the home but remember she is coming from an open house and has one after yours.  This means she has likely around 30 min to pick up all the directional signs, drive to the next open house, put out new signs, and open the house up.  Anything you can do to make this process go faster helps prevent a Realtor from having to let the waiting masses in the house while she runs around the house flipping on lights.  You want you Realtor to be able to open the house and seamlessly transition into taking the buyer on a tour.

6. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that's not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (a basement or bath), and let the salesperson know where to find them. 

7. Leave. It's awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there. If you can't leave for some reason go in the backyard and garden, take the kids on a walk around the neighborhood, or go to the open house up the street and check out the competition!


Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/R5GJQY/1312-OVERHILL-RD-COLUMBIA-MO-378936 Classic 2 story colonial nestled...