As a seller, you may be puzzled by the title of this blog “Top 7 Open House Mistakes SELLERS Make”?! Isn’t the real estate agent responsible for what happens at the Open House? The answer is yes, however your real estate agent is not a magician. There are things that sellers do that make it difficult for even the most seasoned agent to sell their home. Do yourself and your agent a favor and before you walk out that door to let your agent host your Open House, make sure you haven’t committed any of these real estate sins.
Stay for the Open House
Never should you ever stay for the Open House if you want to sell your home. This is the cardinal sin as far as Open House mistakes goes. Selling your home is an emotional experience, and sometimes when a homeowner overhears criticism regarding their home it can be difficult. Your real estate agent is there to represent your property, let them do their job. Once the Open House is finished, they will update you on what happened during the Open House and present you with any offers they received. There is no reason whatsoever for a home owner to be present for their Open House. Having the owner at the Open House is distracting for your real estate agent, who should instead be focused on interacting with the potential buyers and trying to bring in offers for you.
Leave Fido at Home
We love our pets, and treat them as members of our family. However, at an Open House they are distracting and sometimes scary for potential buyers. Typically, you would have to keep your pets separate from the people walking your home, which blocks off an area of your home for potential buyers to see. Even if you have a baby gate so they could peek, who knows how your pet will react. The last thing you want is for someone to see your pet have an accident on your floor because they are over excited. It is always better when conducting an Open House to bring your pets to a friend or family member’s house. This gives home buyers the chance to walk freely through your house.
Ignoring Second Opinion
One of the Open House mistakes that many people don’t consider is the importance of having a second opinion of your home’s condition right before the Open House. If you have an opinionated neighbor or mother-in-law, put their pushy opinion to good use. A blunt second opinion could flag you to an issue you had not noticed such as a smell you’ve become used to or staging issue that makes your home unappealing. It is important to take this criticism lightly because remember, you are trying to sell your house. It is not a personal attack. Their insight will ultimately help you make your home more appealing to more people.
Your Home’s First Impression
Your front yard is your first impression for the potential home buyers coming to your open house. Yard waste and a dirty exterior could turn these buyers away before they reach your front door. Besides yard debris being an eyesore, it could also be dangerous for the people walking through your yard. Unclog the gutters, power wash any mold or mildew on your shingles, and clean your windows to make your property appear fresh. For more landscaping tips for selling your home, check out our blog “5 Easy Spring Landscaping Tips.”
Cleaning By Yourself
To save money, many homeowners clean their own home to prepare for an Open House. However, when you think about how much buying a house costs, you understand why someone walking into your Open House expects it to be spotless. Spending the money on a professional cleaning service is something that you should really consider to make your home stand out. A professional cleaner can remove odors and stains that may have been there for years that you have become accustomed to, and clean areas that you might miss (such as baseboards and switch plates). Check out our blog, “5 Household Chores You Should Consider Outsourcing,” to see where you could save yourself time and effort by letting a professional help you.
Personal Items Out
It is important to remove any personal pictures, religious items, political items and of course drugs when preparing for an Open House. When a person walks into your home during an Open House, they need to be able to imagine their family living there, not see yours that is currently living there. You never know who is walking through your home, so medicine cabinets should be cleared of any prescriptions before you leave. Religious or political items could turn some buyers off, and you don’t want conflicting views that have nothing to do with your home keeping a buyer away. Medical equipment such as a walker could signal to a buyer that you are unable to care for your home, causing them to underbid you. It is best to keep these personal items out of sight so your home is a blank space with no indication of who you are as a person.
Ignore Kitchen Chores
You would be surprised at the number of people who ignore their kitchen duties when preparing for their Open House. Dirty dishes in the sink and messy counters are a big turn off for buyers, as the kitchen tends to be a big selling point for a home. Ideally, you would clear out your dishwasher and make sure your refrigerator are clean when showing your home because buyers tend to like to see the inside when investigating the kitchen. Small kitchen appliances should be put away in cabinets and taken off of the counters. You want to highlight for potential buyers the amount of counter space in the kitchen, so it should not appear cluttered.
How Can You Avoid Open House Mistakes?
It is difficult to avoid all Open House mistakes, but if you follow this guide, it will give your Open House a better chance of succeeding. Your real estate agent can only do so much, so if you set them up to succeed, they can focus on the potential buyer and bringing in the offers. The professionals at Leighton Realty have a proven track record at Ocean Edge. Michael Leighton has been the #1 Sales Agent for Ocean Edge since 2004. When selling your home, it is important you use an expert in your area. Contact us today.