A great open house can be just what you need to set your home apart and land an offer. For the novice seller, preparing for an open house can be intimidating. Take the guesswork out of getting your home ready with this checklist of the top 10 questions to ask before scheduling an open house.
- What do you need to fix? Squeaks, leaks, dents, and dings will detract from your home. If you have any of these issues, make a date with a handyman.
- What is your plan to clear the clutter? A staged home shows best, so get rid of any unnecessary items and make a plan to remove and store personal items. If necessary, allow time for a garage sale to dispose of extra belongings. Tip: Drawers and closets are not good places to stash excess items. Yes, buyers will open your cupboards and closets.
- Does your home need to be painted? Many real estate agents suggest a fresh coat of paint in an appealing neutral color to increase a home’s chance of selling. Budget several extra days to eliminate residual paint odors.
- What services do you need to book? You may need to find an alternate location or sitter for your pets or children for the day of the open house. Carpet cleaners, power washers, and house cleaners can help ensure that your home is spic and span for the open house.
- What items do you need to purchase? Some real estate agents recommend displaying new towels and doormats. Fresh flowers or fruit can be a nice touch. Bake up a batch of cookies to give your home a welcoming scent.
- What should be done to the outside of your home? Like the inside, the exterior of your home should be staged. Make a plan to store outdoor items, mow the lawn and trim any hedges, and set out potted plants or other enhancements a day or two before the open house.
- Do you have all your home’s product information? Many potential buyers want to know about big items such as air conditioners, water heaters, and major appliances. Provide the age of appliances, maintenance records, and other pertinent information. Place everything in a binder in an easy-to-see spot such as the kitchen counter. Your real estate agent will likely leave copies of required property disclosures, home brochures and business cards for potential buyer reference.
- What do you need to do before you leave the house? Similar to staging for a showing, you’ll want to do a few last-minute tasks to make your home look its best. Ask your real estate agent for guidance, but start by opening curtains, turning on all lights, and wiping surfaces clean.
- How will you keep your home and family secure? Because you’ll be allowing strangers into your home, you’ll need to take precautions. Experts recommend removing all personal valuables (checkbooks, jewelry, etc) from the premises, taking down family pictures and identifying information, and unplugging personal computers. Do not leave any medications insight.
- When should you leave? Plan to leave the house a half-hour before the open house begins and it’s best not to return until at least 30 minutes after its scheduled ending time. You don’t want to be around when potential buyers are looking at your home. Take the opportunity to pamper yourself…you’ve earned it!
Related – Make the Most of an Open House Tour