Getting the maximum exposure possible is a key part of any home sale. That’s why it pays to sell your home with the help of a Realtor through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS provides details of your home to all real estate professionals in the area and markets the property to a broad range of potential buyers.
To further maximize exposure, your Realtor may recommend you hold one or two types of open houses as soon as the property goes on the market. The first will be an open house for Realtors only. If your home is attractive and well-priced, many of the Realtors at the open house will make arrangements to bring clients to see your home immediately.
Your Realtor may also recommend one or more open houses for the general public. Although this type of open house tends to attract a lot of “browsers,” if your home is clean, attractive, well-priced and in good repair, it could turn a “browser” into a buyer. Some purchasers want to get the “feel” of several neighborhoods before they begin working with a Realtor. Open houses will attract these potential buyers.
Most open houses for the public are held on a weekend afternoon when potential buyers often have more time to drive through neighborhoods. You will have to work out dates with your Realtor that fit your schedule. If you have pets, the Realtor may suggest you remove them from the home during the open house, since their presence could be distracting.
Your Realtor will likely recommend you and your family be away from the home during the open house as well. If you remain home, prospective buyers may feel compelled to rush their visit to avoid disturbing you. You want them to feel relaxed and to take the time to really see the features of your property.
Potential buyers may also feel uncomfortable commenting on your home in your presence. This hampers your Realtor’s ability to sell the home since buyer feedback is essential in making any deal.
Your Realtor will suggest ways to prepare your home for an open house to make it a secure, enjoyable experience for everyone. Do ensure that the Realtor asks for the name, address and telephone number of everyone who attends. Your Realtor should also try to walk through the home with each visitor.
Here are some general tips to help you prepare for the big day:
A tiny hand-print on a wall or the slightest door squeak can be quite distracting to some potential buyers. Use this handy check list to assess what needs to be cleaned, repaired or changed before opening your home to potential buyers:
(Includes carpeting, tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc.)
These should be clean, organized and odor free.
Ensure all gates open easily.
Clean all exterior surfaces, including decks, pools, walkways and driveways and make them tidy.
Depending on the time of year, lawns should be mowed, walkways and driveway cleared of snow, leaves removed, trees pruned, gardens weeded, hedges trimmed.
Source: Ontario Real Estate Association