This weekend is National Open House Weekend! An open house is a great way to create interest in your home. But to have a truly successful open house, you need to do some work ahead of time. Read on for our top eight tips on how to host an open house.

Tip #1: Clean, clean, clean!

A clean home implies that your house has been well cared for and maintained. It sends a signal to buyers that this is a good house. It is well worth the investment to have a professional cleaning service make your house shine from top to bottom.

It’s also important to declutter. When your “stuff” is out of the way, it will be easy for potential buyers to picture their own things in the space. This is why it’s important to also remove your personal photos… You want visitors at your open house to feel like they’re walking through their house. If your family photos are everywhere, they will feel like they’re in your home, not their own.

Tip #2: Invest in your curb appeal and backyard.

First impressions are everything. When a potential buyer sees your house for the first time, you want them to be impressed before they even walk through the front door. A well-maintained lawn is a signal that the house has been well cared for overall. Invest in a good power washing to make your house look its absolute best.

Tip #3: Let the light in.

No one wants to live in a dark house. Open all the drapes and turn on every light in the house. This will make your home feel warm and welcoming.

Tip #4: Avoid strong scents.

You want your home to smell fresh and clean. If pet odors are an issue, do everything you can to get rid of them. Have the carpets professionally cleaned and remove old pet beds. Don’t try to mask odors with strong candles or room sprays. Strong scents can cause allergic reactions among some potential buyers, so they’re best avoided.

It can be a good idea to bake cookies just before the open house. This creates a warm, wonderful scent that will feel like home to most buyers.

Tip #5: Provide photos and documentation.

Buyers are really impressed when a homeowner is able to provide all of their maintenance records. Set out a file that shows the work that has been done to the house over the years. This gives buyers confidence that they’re buying a home that has been lovingly maintained and cared for.

It’s also a good idea to set out photos of your home taken during different seasons. This is especially important if you’re hosting an open house in the winter. If you have a beautiful yard that really shines in spring and summer, share those photos with buyers.

Tip #6: Clear out for the open house – and take your pets with you!

Again, you want buyers to walk through your house and picture themselves living there. That’s awfully hard to do if the current owner is in the house. Clear out of the house for the day and leave it to your Realtor to host and answer buyers’ questions.

And take your pets with you! No matter how friendly and cute your pets are, they’re a distraction to buyers. They may also trigger allergies among certain buyers, which can be enough for them to walk out and scratch your home off their list.

Tip #7: Help spread the word.

Your Realtor is responsible for marketing your open house, but consider using your own social media network to help get the word out. Post lots of pictures, mention any special features about your home, and include your Realtor’s contact info.

Tip #8: Be open to your Realtor’s feedback.

During the open house, your Realtor will hear lots of feedback from buyers. This information is extremely valuable! It may not be what you want to hear, but it’s direct insight into your market. Be open to your Realtor’s suggestions regarding pricing or changes to your home. If you open house didn’t result in an offer, it’s wise to make some adjustments moving forward. Ultimately, this will help you sell your home more quickly and for top dollar.

Interested in scheduling an open house? Our Realtors would love to help! Shoot us a message and we’ll start planning.