Once you have decided to sell your home yourself (FSBO) instead of using the services provided by a realtor, you will be faced with hosting your own open house. Hosting your own open house might seem like a daunting task at first, but if you bear in mind that you are inviting people into your home for a purpose, it can make things go much more smoothly and you can be more relaxed during the process. Of course, you should be sure to advertise your open house a few days in advance and post an “open house” sign out front.
One of the first things to do is “stage” your home. This means you will need to clean out all the clutter and personal belongings that might interfere with the buyer’s ability to “see” himself in your home. Leave enough items so your home continues to look like a spacious, orderly and comfortably decorated home, but definitely not overdone with a particular theme. If you have paint colors that you enjoy but might not be a favorite color for others, you will also need to paint, preferably in a neutral color. Be sure all of your bedding is fresh and color coordinated, even if it means buying something new just for this purpose. You will also want to purchase new towels to hang in your bathroom(s), which will also add a very fresh, clean appearance.
- Host an Open House Party
Sometimes going beyond what is expected can be just the ticket to sell your home more quickly. Everyone does an open house, but if you have both the time and the money to take it to the next level, if just might be worth it in the long run. You could choose an outdoor event, provided one of your home’s best features is your backyard and patio area. Choose foods that are easy to prepare on the grill and can be easily eaten by your guests after they have viewed inside your home. Be sure to provide comfortable seating, cold drinks such as colas, tea, or lemonade. Help potential home buyers get a feel for how relaxing your backyard truly is as they gather for refreshments. Be sure to accent any features you want to draw attention to in your yard, such as arbors, beautiful flower gardens, water features, etc. Show off!
- Financing Assistance
Another helpful idea for hosting a FSBO open house would be to have a financing expert on hand to help answer questions asked by your potential home buyers. Making things easy, especially for first-time home buyers will be a welcome addition to your open house.
- Kitchens Sell Homes
It is especially important to put your best foot forward in your kitchen. If you have an especially spacious, well-appointed kitchen, be sure to focus on this room of your home. On the other hand, if your kitchen isn’t very spacious, you might need to focus on this space prior to the open house. Replacing outdated counter tops, appliances and flooring can be costly, but the yield on these improvements will be substantial. Kitchens sell homes, so spend some money on this room and be sure it is an eye-catcher, regardless of its size.
- Be Sure Your Home Smells Good
It seems that every home has its own scent. We become so accustomed to our own scents that we don’t realize the smell can be offensive to others when they first enter our home. So, be sure your home smells really great! If you have pets, be sure you clean carpets and upholstery. If you have a litter box, be sure both the cat(s) and the litter box are removed before your open house begins. It is also a good idea to bake up some muffins or brownies before the start of your open house. Even just popping some pop corn will add a wonderful aroma to your home. Be careful with strongly perfumed sprays however, not everyone loves these scents and some may even be allergic.
- Landscaping is Important
Sometimes we get so caught up with inside our homes that we neglect the outside. It is especially important for your home to have a very welcoming appearance from the street. Be sure walkways and porches are clean. They should be well lit and inviting to potential home buyers. Spruce up flower beds and borders with colors that will accent your home’s exterior and will provide a fresh, well cared for appearance.
- Timing is Everything
Choose a day and a time that will be best for the majority of future home buyers. This is usually on the weekend or in the evening before dark.
- Host A Neighborhood Open House
If other homes in your neighborhood are for sale, network with your neighbors by hosting a Neighborhood Open House. This way, buyers can view several home in one day, saving them lots of time. You could also provide potential buyers with a small note pad and pencil so they can jot down things they want to remember about your home.
- Get to Know Potential Buyers
Greet your guests as you would a friend. Get to know something about them and share a few things about your own life, especially any warm memories you have about living in your home. Take your time so they don’t feel rushed.
- After the Open House
Safety is always a concern when you have unknown visitors viewing every inch of your home. After the open house, check all the doors and windows to be sure they are locked. Check outside to be sure an unwanted guest did not choose a hiding place for future entrance into your home. It is better to be safe than sorry.