3 buyer/seller tips to prepare you for open house season
We all know that spring is the start of the traditional homebuying season, and one of the staples of this time is the open house.
Being prepared for an open house is essential whether you’re a buyer or seller. Your agent will have plenty of advice tailored to your needs, but our team wants to provide you with a primer. After all, there’s no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to real estate.
Tips for buyers
As a buyer, every open house you visit is an opportunity to find your potential new home. Not every open house is created equal; some sellers will make it easier to imagine yourself living in the home than others. However, don’t forget to use this time to learn all you can about the property, no matter how well it’s staged. Here are a few other helpful tips for your next open house.
- Ask about future expenses
Be proactive, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Despite having a perfect floor plan or being immaculately decorated, some homes may be on the verge of upcoming expenses that, if you don’t ask, you won’t know about until you move in. To prevent surprises, ask about the age of the most costly items to repair, such as the roof, AC system and water heater.
- Take notes
Many homes are decorated similarly, and you may visit multiple properties each weekend. Even though some hosts will allow you to snap a few pictures while you browse an open house, nothing is better for recording your real-time thoughts than writing them down as you have them. If writing isn’t your thing, use your phone to record your thoughts verbally.
- Put your best foot forward
No, you don’t have to dress up for an open house – unless you just want to look good. However, an open house is an occasion that deserves your full attention. Being mindfully present can help you spot something important about the house and tell your brain, and the world, that you are here and ready to do business. You may want to leave children and pets at home, if possible, and switch your cell phone to silent.
Tips for sellers
Selling your house can be incredibly stressful, as it requires a lot of preparation before you even get to Open House Day. It can feel very personal to have people come into your home and voice their opinions about what they like and don’t like.
Honesty is the best policy, but we all know the truth hurts. That’s one of the reasons many of our REALTOR® friends often ask the seller to go somewhere during the event. It’s good for everyone involved. What other tips do prospective sellers need to know? We’re glad you asked!
- Remember your windows – and other commonly missed areas
Cleaning top to bottom is an expected part of hosting an open house. You want to present your home at its absolute best, but some common areas get missed. One of them is the windows. To accentuate the size of your home, experts recommend opening curtains, blinds, and shades to let the natural light shine in, and it’s important to remember to clean them, too.
- Make your pets disappear
Dogs, cats and other creatures are part of our family, and having pet-friendly amenities in your home and nearby can also be good selling points. However, prospective buyers don’t want to be reminded of your pet, specifically. Remove water bowls, toys and beds. Although many people will have furry friends of their own, there will be viewers who will have negative associations with pets. They might make assumptions about smells or home damage, whether that’s fair or not.
- Truly trust your agent
When you choose your agent, you actively believe they have the skills and experience to sell your home. Micromanaging your agent, even accidentally, isn’t good for anyone. Remember, REALTORS® have hosted – and gone to – many open houses in their career. They should know what they’re doing.
Open houses are an essential part of the real estate game, and these showcases can benefit buyers and sellers. Our teams are here when you need a knowledgeable and friendly title and escrow provider! No matter who you are in the transaction, remember we’re rooting for you.