10 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make at Your Open House
Are you getting ready for an open house event? Are you hoping to sell your South Florida home quickly, at a good price? Give yourself the best chance of success and avoid these 10 common mistakes that sellers often make at the open house.
Mistake #1: Being at the Open House
We know you want to be there. After all, it’s your home, and you probably feel nervous about a bunch of strangers traipsing around the premises. However, your real estate agent is experienced and well-trained in handling open house situations. As any expert in the business will tell you, having the homeowners at the open house is a big no-no. Many sellers tend to put too much pressure on the open house guests. Instead of making your potential buyers uncomfortable in your presence, walk away until the event is done. Give the buyers space and freedom to see the house, and give your real estate agent the room to do his job.
Mistake #2: Having Your Pets at the Open House
Don’t leave your pets at the open house. Pets running throughout the home or around the backyard are a big distraction for potential buyers who are trying to look at the home. Even if the visitors are pet-lovers, they may be a little annoyed by a cat constantly rubbing against their legs or by a dog who barks and jumps around, begging for attention. If your dog acts aggressive towards strangers or your cat tends to hiss and scratch, that’s another important reason to get those pets out of the way. Even animals like mice, hamsters, rabbits, and lizards need to be out of the house, along with any litter boxes, cages, or other supplies that could be a turn-off to buyers who don’t like pets.
Mistake #3: Forgetting the Dishes
Buyers focus a lot of attention on the kitchen. That means you need to have the place looking spotless before the open house event. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink; wash them, dry them, and put them away. Take a look through your cabinets to make sure that everything is tidy, and check the drawers as well. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher, thinking that they will be hidden, because some guests may open it, especially if you’re selling the appliances with the home. Avoid running the dishwasher right before the event; the loud noise may annoy buyers. Wipe down the shelves in your refrigerator and remove anything that might smell or look disgusting.
Mistake #4: Leaving Your Bath Towels Out
Who wants to see your crumpled, damp, used towels hanging in the bathroom? Certainly not the prospective buyers attending your open house. Plus, you probably wouldn’t want to use the towels anyway after all those people have trooped through your bathroom. Instead of leaving the towels out, fold them up, put them in a bin or basket, and tuck them neatly in a closet for later use. Hang out decorative, crisply folded towels instead.
Mistake #5: Failing to Ask for an Honest Opinion
You have lived in your home for a long time, and you’re used to all of its smells, temperature changes, and quirks. That means you might not notice flaws that could turn off potential buyers. If you know someone with an observant eye and a keen nose, call that person in and ask the individual for an honest evaluation of the home. Listen to their critiques as well as their praises and take any advice to heart. Chances are, if your friend notices something negative, your open house guests will see or smell it, too. With a little advance warning about the problem, you have some time to rectify it.
Mistake #6: Cleaning the Place Yourself
Do you love to clean house? Do you get down on the floor with a toothbrush to clean the cracks in the tile, or wipe down the baseboards with a microfiber cloth? Can you eliminate grime and soap scum on the shower and tub? If you don’t excel at cleaning and you feel overwhelmed at the thought of giving your home the “white glove” treatment, hire professionals to clean the house. You’ll have all kinds of people coming through, and some of them are sure to notice every trace of dirt and speck of dust. With the assistance of a cleaning service, you can present a home that is clean enough to please even the pickiest guest.
Mistake #7: Keeping Your Medication in the Bathroom
Don’t assume that the visitors to your open house will respect your privacy. They are there to view a product that is for sale, and everything is on the table. They will likely open your bathroom cupboards and your medicine cabinet, so be sure to take all your medication with you or place it in a locked box in a closet during the open house. This prevents anyone from stealing your items or gleaning information about you that they don’t need to know.
Mistake #8: Leaving Behind Your Personal Aids
If you’re older or if you have a condition that requires the use of a walker, hearing aids, wheelchair, oxygen, a ventilator, or a cane, take those possessions with you as well. If people see those items, they may assume that they can undercut your price or take advantage of you somehow because of your age or your physical condition. In some cases, they may think that your age would prevent you from properly caring for the home, and they may decide not to place a bid as a result. Keep the house as free from personal items as possible, not only to protect your privacy but to avoid giving people excuses to place low-ball offers.
Mistake #9: Forgetting about the Yard
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone for the job, you need to give your home’s outdoor spaces the same attention as the indoors. The grass needs to be even and smooth, the hedges trimmed, the weeds pulled, the flowers watered, and the porch freshly painted. Remove grass from between the stones of walkways, power-wash the driveway and siding, clean the pool, and sweep the back patio.
Mistake #10. Over-Stuffing the Closets
When you’re cleaning up the house, don’t just stuff everything in the closets. Your visitors will open them, and you don’t want prospective buyers buried in an avalanche of your personal possessions. Put excess clutter in storage or keep it at a relative’s house for the time being. Every closet in the house should contain just a few neatly arranged items, giving the impression of ample space.
Your realtor can give you more helpful advice about how to prepare your home for an open house event. However, as long as you avoid these ten mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful open house, followed by a succession of competitive bids.
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June 5, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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