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How to avoid common open house mistakes

How_To_Avoid_Common_Open_House_MistakesHosting an open house is an excellent way to announce your home's arrival on the market, encouraging potential buyers to pay a no-pressure visit while exposing your property to a wider audience. However, there are a few essential steps to follow to ensure that you present your home in the best possible light:

List your open house online and make a concerted effort to spread the word in person. It's particularly important to inform your neighbours, as they may know someone looking to buy in the area. Your online listings should include a selection of flattering, high-resolution photographs, taken by a professional.

Perfect your ‘staging’
In addition to clearing up clutter and ensuring your home has been professionally cleaned, put some thought into the presentation of each room. Storage space is often an important consideration, especially in cities, so be prepared for closets and cupboards to be opened and make sure their full capacity is visible. Don't leave rooms empty, but avoid overcrowding.

Hide your pets
If you have pets, arrange for them to stay elsewhere from before the cleaners arrive until the end of your open house. This should put any animal-phobic visitors at ease.

Pack away your valuables
An open house is just that: open. When you have no idea who is coming into your property, it's best to hide your jewellery and keep an eye on any portable and valuable items.

Silence is golden
Music can be used to create a relaxing atmosphere, but it may also arouse suspicion. Experienced buyers will question whether the radio is on to disguise potentially irritating noises, such as squeaky floorboards or nearby traffic.

Avoid strong smells
Similarly, powerful scents can give the impression that you’re trying to cover something up.  Avoid bleach, air fresheners and just-baked cookies and use fresh cut flowers instead, opening the windows to keep air circulating and banish stale odours.

Monitor the temperature
Extreme temperatures can mar the impression of your home and may also imply that something is wrong with your thermostat. Check that the property is neither too hot nor too cold before your viewers arrive.

Print extra brochures
Keep your home at the forefront of the buyer’s mind by providing free brochures showcasing the property. These should include the floor plan, a list of specifications, and high-resolution photographs. Print more than you think you will need: it’s always better to have a few extra then to run out.

Let your agent take control
Your agent should have years of sales experience and will know exactly how to speak to buyers, so leave them to it. If you think you'll be tempted to hover and interject, plan a day out and leave the property in the capable hands of your agent.

Hire a reputable estate agent
The estate agent will be responsible for answering questions from potential buyers, in addition to managing your property throughout every stage of the sale. It’s important to have someone trustworthy on hand, with enough knowledge to build the buyer’s confidence and convince them that they should invest in your property. At Engel & Völkers, our agents have extensive experience in their local markets and are held to the highest professional standards. Visit our website to learn more about our training and services.   

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