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Be Informed: Open Houses

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You’ve already baked the apple pie, mowed the lawn, and dusted the windowsills, but is your open house really ready to open?  Here are some other things you should do before rolling out the welcome mat.

  1. Tell the neighbors. You want to show prospective buyers that they are buying into a happy, vibrant community.  Neighbors know the place better than you, and they can provide extra information that will give you that edge in selling. Also, the neighbors could be your next clients – if you do a bang-up job.
  2. Clutter is the enemy. All the books say to take out extra furniture, but don’t forget the Tupperware, shampoos, and other cabinet dwellers.  Prospective buyers WILL open the cupboards, and want them to be efficient.
  3. A happy HOA is a helpful HOA.  If your unit is in a condo complex or other community, make sure to give the HOA and management company a friendly heads-up.  They’ll help you get people through the door, and even fix those little cosmetic issues like burnt out lightbulbs and overgrown plants in the common area.  Finally, HOAs and management companies are great sources of information regarding policies and amenities. Bone up on this information so that you can tell prospective buyers about the gym policies and the rentable guest suite. Have a copy of the CC&Rs hidden in your back pocket, just in case.
  4. Keep the property smelling like a rose, but not literally – they’ll wonder what you’re hiding. Clean out the usual odor suspects, like the cat box, bathrooms, and, of course, the teenager’s bedroom. Open the windows, run a lemon through the disposal, and maybe even bring in an extra nose to look for trouble.  You want those prospective buyers breathing the freshness of a new home.
  5. Don’t just check your calendar, check everyone’s.  Superbowl Sunday is not Super Open House day.  On the other hand, the local farmer’s market is a big customer draw and selling point. Find a day when the neighborhood’s at its best, and let it sell for you.
  6. Communicate with your seller. Talk about ground rules, like “no one uses the bathroom” and explain that you can’t put the garage off limits.  Also, make sure that any valuables, including prescription medications, are safely secured. Assure them that you can do the open house without them, and that your assistants are also looking out for their best interests. You and the buyers will be more comfortable if the sellers are not there, and they’ll be more comfortable if they know that their belongings are in good hands.
  7. Rain, rain, buyers go away. Check your weather forecast, and make sure your open house will be on a nice sunny day.
  8. Remember, open houses can be used to sell more than just this property.  For some more tips on how to use open houses to improve your overall business situation, search ReboReports for our other videos on open houses.

Follow these simple tips to make the open house about the house and you. Happy selling!

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