3 Tips for Holding a Successful Open House

Holding an open house can make a seller’s teeth grind. It’s probably the only time you would invite to your home complete strangers who poke around, open your closets, and make judgments about your home — sometimes out loud. Here are 3 tips for holding a successful open house—with a minimum of teeth grinding.

1. Emotionally prepare yourself

If you understand the emotional implications of selling a home well in advance and come to terms with the change or the “loss,” the actual sale and open house process will be easier. If, after 20 years in a home, you decide to sell overnight, you’d better believe that the process will be a roller coaster. Don’t do it under the gun — otherwise you’ll make knee-jerk decisions and react emotionally.

2. Depersonalize and declutter

The open house won’t seem so odd if you’ve made the effort to put many of your personal items away. When prepping the home for sale, declutter, take down family photos and start to see your home as an object. Think of your home a product. Like something on the shelf at your local Best Buy, it’s for sale on the open market.

Besides, buyers don’t want to feel like they’re walking into someone else’s home. They want to see a place as neutral. That’s what pulls them in.

it’s ideal if you can move out of the home or do some major staging. That way you can emotionally detach from the house and remove your presence, so buyers can imagine themselves living in the home.

3. Take stock of what you have in the house

If you still live in the home, take stock of what you have with an eye toward safety and security. Remove from public view any small and expensive items. Put jewelry, watches and cash deep in closets or in a safe. People may go through drawers when nobody is looking. Make sure there’s nothing of value in them.

Open houses are the fabric of the real estate industry and the real estate market. Buyers will continue to see homes on Sunday as a way to learn the market and get inside the inventory. There’s only so much you can learn about a home online. And so, for many sellers, open houses are a necessary step toward attracting buyers—and that’s not likely to change.

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