Advice on Prepping Your Home for a Successful Open House
Another long, cold Canadian winter is slowly giving way to bright green, warmer weather. That’s very good news if you’re planning to put your home on the market. Spring weather is ideal for staging your home and preparing for an open house that’ll have prospective buyers from far and wide flocking to your door. But it’ll take some work and a determination to keep things clean and orderly while your property is on the market. It can be easy to overlook some of the “must do’s” of an open house these days, with online marketing and personal websites getting the word out about your home. You still need to get buyers to engage with your home, and that means covering all the basics when you hold your open house, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
There’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion when it comes to planning an open house. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with a lot of self-promotion. Sometimes, the old-fashioned approach is the best way to get the word out, so make up a few dozen flyers with photos of your house (nice and clean, of course) and as much detail as possible, in terms of square footage, number of rooms, bathrooms, etc. Include your website (or your realtor’s) and contact information. Hand them out to neighbors on both sides of your house and across the street. They may only be interested in comparing their place to yours, but they may also tell someone they know at work or in their family, someone who’s in the market for a new house, about how great your house is, their favorite features, and how great it’d be to live near each other. It can’t hurt.
Bang the drum online
The internet and social media are indispensable online tools for marketing a house these days. Post a gallery of images both inside and outside your house. You want to emphasize space, flow, and light, so be careful about staging any pictures you’ll be posting. Tweet early and often about your open house and start a detailed conversation among friends and family on Facebook. Before you know it, your home will be plastered all over the place, and people you’ve never met will be asking you questions.
Believe it or not, signage still gets people’s attention and can influence behavior. Let’s face it, people love to rubberneck while they’re driving, and a sign announcing that an attractive local property is on the market can’t help but gain notice. Attach signs to light posts, fencing, and any other likely landmark that isn’t on someone else’s property. Don’t forget to give good directions and a street address or a website or email address to make it as easy as possible for passersby to find your home.
It’s a quirk of real estate that even people who own and love pets act as though a telltale urine stain or clump of hair means a dog or cat has all but destroyed your home. Consider having your carpeting professionally deep cleaned and air the place out by opening windows and lighting scented candles if lingering pet smells are a problem. Try a water and vinegar solution as a spray or stain remover. Vinegar is a powerful cleaner, and it’s remarkably effective at getting rid of bad smells.
An open house is your great opportunity to make a powerful sensory impact on prospective buyers. Be careful not to overdo it with personal photos and objects that might distract visitors from envisioning your space as theirs, which is the true aim of an open house. Take every opportunity to make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your home.
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