Your agent has put a lot of time into helping you analyze the value of your home, to put together the best presentation of your home in a marketing campaign, and putting together the time to schedule an open house for your home. You play a big role in how your home is presented and here are some tips and information to help you along the way.
The best time to have an open house is within 7-10 days of listing the home for sale. Open houses are a great way to market your home to prospective buyers who either aren't working with a real estate agent or with buyers who's schedules don't match up with their Realtors. They're typically held mid-day on the weekends to ensure the highest exposure of your home. Try to avoid having an open house on dates that could conflict with local or national events for example: church, football games, holidays, community celebrations, etc. The weather plays a role in open house attendance, check the forecast before scheduling. If the forecast says cold and rainy, try to schedule the open house for another weekend. However, if the open house is already scheduled, and the forecast changes to rainy, don't cancel! Some buyers aren't intimidated by the weather and could show up any way. Even if you've accepted an offer on your home, do not cancel the open house. Get your home more exposure, in the event that your accepted offer falls through.
Showings are an intimate way for prospective purchasers to view their home and hear their agent's advice about the home. Most buyers give you notice the night before, but sometimes the notice is shorter; like the day of. You never know what the other party's schedule is like. Try to make last minute showings work. If your home is show ready most of the time, you will give yourself the best opportunity to sell your home.
We're all familiar with wifi surveillance these days. Did you know, it's illegal in the state of Michigan to record audio without the other parties knowing? Did you also know it makes purchasers really uncomfortable walking through your home? We know you're curious to know what others think of your home, but it's important for the sale that you try your best to respect others' privacy. They're going to be in your home, supervised with a licensed real estate agent; who is held to a higher standard of liability. The buyers want to freely view your home with their Realtor, without the feeling that Creepy Cleetus is watching them. They want to know they can have discussions about your home without feeling they're going to say something the you can hold against them when negotiating the sale. Not knowing what the other party is saying will also help you take your emotion out of the sale of your home.
Now that we have some difficult topics out of the way, here's what you should do:
Clear out valuables. No, we're not talking jewelry and medications (although it is wise to keep those items locked away). We're talking about appliances, fixtures and decor that you feel is too valuable to leave with the house. If the buyers don't see these items, they won't want to roll them into their offer. Even if it's an appliance- these days most homes come with appliances, if you want to take your favorite washer and dryer, replace them now.
Selling a home with pets is difficult, especially if your prospective purchasers aren't pet people. And if they are pet people, and your pet is home, it could prove to be a distraction. You want them to look at your home, not spend half their time snuggling up to Milo. Make arrangements for any pets to leave the house before any showings and open houses.
Clean, dust and shine your house top to bottom. You've already done these chores to get the house prepared for photos, so it should be an easy once over before any showings or open houses. Consider cleaning the inside of the appliances, especially if the appliances are included in the sale, the purchasers are going to look inside.
Clean up the exterior of your home. Sweep the porch, pick up the "fly aways" from the neighbors' recycle bins, mow the lawn, trim the hedges, clean up the flower beds, etc. Continuously maintain the curb appeal of your home, because you never get a second chance at a first impression!
Before leaving your house, open windows to air out your house, give every room a once-over and turn on all lights.
Consider burning a candle (capping it before you leave) or getting a couple of fragrance plub-ins. Not wax warmers, they're too messy, and if someone knocks into one, it can make a real mess! Experts say citrus, vanilla and herbal scents are best.
A nice pop of color in your rooms is helpful, too. Fresh flowers in the kitchen or dining room and house plants in the bedrooms ad a touch of natural color to your home. A nice wreath on the front door or potted plants also helps your home feel more welcoming.
Lastly, the night before your open house, or the night before a day with several showings, treat yourself to dinner. You've worked hard getting your home ready to sell, you deserve to reward yourself. Plus, if you go out to dinner, you don't have dinner dishes to clean up!
We wish you the best of luck at selling your home. And if you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out. We're always available to chat!