An open house is a chance to show off your home and increase the number of bids from potential buyers. Most real estate agents agree that first impressions can make or break a sale. Therefore, open house preparation is just as important as the event itself.
Cleanliness and space are the first two characteristics potential buyers notice, so it's crucial to make sure your home is clean from top to bottom. Floors, counters and walls should be scrubbed and cleaned, furniture should be orderly, beds should be made and no clutter, dirty laundry or paperwork should be left in the open. If home buyers see a dirty and cluttered house, this may be the only image they remember when they leave.
The goal of an open house is to attract buyers, so be sure to keep home decor as neutral as possible. To depersonalize your home, put away any photos and sentimental objects.
One factor you may forget about is your pets. While fish or other animals inside an enclosed container are unlikely to pose difficulties, prospective buyers may not appreciate being greeted or followed by a dog or cat. Some may even be allergic to or dislike pets. While this has nothing to do with your home directly, it can still impact their memories of the walkthrough experience.
If you have any pets, make sure no lingering smells permeate through your home. For example, cat litter boxes can add an unpleasant smell to a room and make it less appealing to buyers.
You may be tempted to stay for the open house to show buyers around and explain the characteristics of your house. However, according to a recent article in Parade Magazine, this puts unnecessary pressure on visitors. Real estate agents may be more experienced to answer questions and potential buyers are likely to be more open to providing feedback about the home if speaking with a professional, rather than a homeowner.