Yesterday I conducted an open house and decided to take advantage by having and open house training class for my new agents. While I prepared I really had to make sure that I expressed everything I was ever taught, and what I have acquired from my experiences. So, as I was preparing, it dawned on me that an open house is no different than having the home prepared for any type of showing. You must make a good first impression to the prospective buyer. Like I told my agents, it’s a Jedi mind trick. Attack the buyer’s sensors with positive sights, sounds, smells, and atmosphere. Nothing devious here, just present the property it the best way, and make it memorable. Every Home Showing is Important to your success.
Now, I thought I would write a blog and make it boring, what are the 5 most important things a seller can do to not turn off a buyer. Boring. That blog has been written many time before and the only variance is how many items can be added, 5, 6, or 7? Maybe 10? I don’t know but I have read them all and they are about the same. But I have never seen, or read one that incorporates open houses into it.
So what is an Open House? It’s a showing that you are allow to stage before the perspective buyers arrive. As well as making it an event. Ever take a buyer to 15 homes in one day? At the end of the day fatigue sets in and it’s hard to recall all you have seen. But, the house that had flags out front and fresh baked cookies? That stands out so don’t blow it.
Ok, now to the same old boring format.
Curb appeal. What is the buyer seeing before they exit their car. Do they want to exit their car?
Have the grass cut and shrubs trimmed. Declutter, no tricycles in the from yard, no trash cans in view. Stand at the street and look at the picture your presenting.
The Front Door. At a minimum, clean the door and the area around it. Cobwebs and insect nests are not welcoming. A fresh coat of pain is a great first impression.
Odors. When you walk into the front door, what does your sense of smell tell you? Fresh baked cookies are a great smell and is very welcoming. Does the house need more? Backing up that aroma might need a Febreze plug in. I always use these in vacant homes. Bake a pan of cookies, it’s worth it.
Let there be light! Open the drapes or blinds. Turn on all the lights inside and out. A bright home is a larger home and feels welcoming.
Get rid of the occupants. Buyers really don’t want to impose on individuals residing in the property. They won’t feel welcome and curtail their stay.
Take professional quality photos. I left this one for last as it is in my opinion the most important. What does every buyer have in common before they visit a home? They have seen it already. Not in person, but they have online. Take good photographs. And secondly, take good photographs. Bad pictures won’t even get the buyer to drive by much less stop the car and get out. Use a camera, not your cell phone, even if it’s the iPhone 7 with that amazing camera. The iPhone does not have the wide angle view, yet.
With all that being said, the old adage, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression is true for any buyer showing, even if it’s an open house.