How to Host the Perfect Open House
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Life During Home Selling
Keeping It Clean, Taking Care of Pets and Keeping a Schedule
If you are in the midst of selling your home, and still living in the home while you sell it, then you probably feel as though you are living in half of a house. If you followed the advice of your agent, you most likely decluttered and de-personalized your home, leaving all but minimal furniture so that potential home buyers will be able to picture themselves in the home. As you continue to live in the home you are trying to sell, here are some tips to keep your home show ready.
Rent a Storage Unit
Don’t try to fit everything you aren’t going to use in the next 120 days into the garage. Homebuyers will want to see the garage, storage space, or basement during their home tour. Items to pack away include any bulky or seldom-used appliances, seasonal clothing, and items related to any hobbies. Consider limiting the amount of kitchenware, leaving out just enough utensils for each person in the house to use. This will not only open up space in kitchen cabinets, but will also help keep the house clean each day.
Clean Every Day
Even though you cleaned the house from top-to-bottom in preparation, you will need to keep cleaning while your home is on the market. Be prepared to wipe down the kitchen and bathrooms every day, and to keep doorways, stairs, and counter-tops free of clutter. If you have carpet, be ready with the vacuum because they get dirty very quickly.
Send the Pets on a Vacation
Pets should spend some time out of the house. How much time is up to you, but the tough truth is the more the better. The less the pets are in the home, the easier it will be to clean and get any smells out. Smell is something many homeowners forget about, or become “nose-blind” to, but it can one of the first things people new to the property notice.
Some home sellers schedule their open houses or showings for the weekend or bunch them together during the week, then send their pets to family or friends just for that time. Others spring for a pet hotel or day spa. Depending on how much the sale of the house is going to be, it might be worth the cost.
Make a Schedule
Selling a home can be like owning a small business, so it’s important to keep a schedule. You know your life and availability, so talk to your agent about when you want to show your home and don’t be afraid to be specific. Dedicate time during the week to sell your home, and make sure the home looks its best when it happens. If you trust your agent enough to show the space while you aren’t home, the home should look just as good, if not better, than it does when you’re not there. Remember, every showing is a performance.
Protect Your Valuables
Your agent will likely bring multiple interested buyers to your home, and while it’s unlikely an issue could occur, it’s always best to practice safety. While there are strangers in your home, make sure all computers and touchscreen devices are password-locked and keep all valuables locked away safely. Make sure any mail that could have credit card numbers or bank information is out of view.
Day of the Open House
On the day of, turn on all lights and open windows, drapes and blinds. Remember, light is right. Also, make sure your house smells pleasant by removing the trash and cleaning the bin, if needed. Many people are turned off by fragrances, so opt for neutral smells over candles or incense.
Shopper Feedback: Why Don’t They Love My House?
If you are living in your home for sale, and the home is stagnant on the market, it can be important to ask for buyer feedback. If your agent keeps getting similar comments, then pay attention. Many agents report that if they have a client they are having a hard time convincing of something, the buyer feedback allows them to say what they couldn’t say directly.
When it comes to feedback, many homeowners get surprised by the general negativity of the comments. Usually, it’s the natural outcome of the buyers’ eyes being conditioned to spot problems or potential bad buys. Other times, the negativity is used as a tactic. Buyer’s agents will prep their clients to give an unfavorable impression of a house they love in order to give them a jump on negotiation. So, if you are truly puzzled as to why some buyers don’t love your home, keep in mind there’s a chance that they actually do.