Your open home attracts attention from neighbors and local investors, drive-by drop-ins and those who want to tour your home after seeing it online. In short, it can be the event that sells your home or even starts a bidding war. It could also be what drives away your most devoted potential buyers. Here are four open house mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
The Bad First Impression
The walk up the driveway or path to your front door is the first impression people get of your home. There are several major mistakes home sellers make that leave a bad first impression. Neglected landscaping will subtract a significant amount from the offer for your home if they like the inside. Ant mounds in the front yard and a slew of children’s toys, too, hurt your home’s impression on buyers. A dirty front door takes points off in the mind of visitors.
The Wrong Atmosphere
A home that smells like mold - whether from mildew in the bathroom, mold growing in the carpets, or piles of undone laundry - leaves a negative impression on everyone who smells it. And it will undermine the positive visual impression of your home. Pouring gallons of bleach in the bathroom, heavy use of incense and other odor-masking techniques hurt you when home buyers realize this was probably done to cover up various problems. Don’t try to cover up the odors. Air out the moldy rooms, get the spots on the carpet where the cat peed thoroughly cleaned, and wash problem areas days in advance.
The Lived-In Look
The worst thing you can do is open up your home to inspection and look like you weren’t expecting company. Toys scattered across the floor, dirty hand prints on the walls and a messy bathroom are not the canvas on which potential home buyers can imagine themselves living in your home. Unkempt beds and dirty sheets subtract points in the mind of the visitor, even though they’ll never sleep in it.
You need to make sure that your bathrooms are spotless, the floors are clean, and your home looks like a show home. Clean your furniture and put covers on items you cannot move or sufficiently clean. You shouldn’t remove the bed. Instead, go for white shabby chic bedding that is attractive to everyone due to its clean look. You can shove things into closets and boxes if you can’t vacate the property before people arrive, but don’t let the house’s lived in look make it look like it is worth less than your selling price.
Literally Scaring Away Customers
A major mistake is anything that scares away potential buyers. If you have a watchdog, it needs to be somewhere else when you’re showing off your home. Another red flag is saying a part of the house is off-limits. Many buyers will wonder what is wrong with the space that you don’t want them to see.
Make sure that you steer away from these simple open house errors and do everything in your power to present your home in the best light.