Eight Tips for Preparing for Your Open House – And Beyond!

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By Prince William Living

Holding an open house is a solid way to get your property on buyers’ radars. But anyone can tack up an open house sign and hope for the best. Instead, use these tips to present your home ideally and make your open house a full house the day of the event and beyond.

1. Become your own handyman or hire one. It’s likely that you’ve already tackled the larger-scale projects, like the roof and siding. But before you hold your open house, think about the smaller touches. Silence squeaky doors and cabinets, touch up scratches and dings on your walls and replace burnt-out light bulbs.

2. Clear your space. Stash away items that could be considered controversial, pack up family photos and clear surfaces as much as you can, including removing the kids’ drawings from the fridge. (It’s only for a little while.) You want buyers to envision themselves in your home, not you living with them!

3. Employ technology. Chat with your realtor to be sure he or she is using technology to your advantage. Your home and open house should be highlighted on sites such as Trulia, Zillow and even Facebook, Yahoo and Google. Ask for sites that you can share on your own social media profiles to increase awareness of your open house.

4. Put up signs. Ideally a week ahead of time, your realtor should place open house signs in key areas. Rider signs placed on top of the “for sale” sign in your yard are effective tools, too.

5. Invite the neighbors. You may think you don’t want neighbors peeking in your closets, but they can actually be your best allies in selling your home. Create fliers, invitations or door hangers to invite the neighborhood. They have friends and family they may love to have close by. Use your connections.

6. Lock up valuables. On the day of the open house, have a plan for locking up or removing items that might easily walk away. This includes jewelry, money, bank/credit card statements, prescriptions, liquor and personal electronics. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

7. Let there be light…and fresh air. Before you leave, turn on all lights and open curtains and blinds. If weather permits, air your home out a few hours before the open house. Avoid the use of air fresheners and candles, as they can be overwhelming and offensive to some home buyers.

8. Grab Fido and Spot and head out. It’s best for you — and your pets — to make an exit during the open house. Let your realtor be the host or hostess. Taking your pets’ food bowls, litterbox and toys is also a good idea.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s work that pays off, not just for your open house, but for the remainder of time your home is on the market. So, take the time to prepare, and see how fast your house sells!

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