Hosting an open house? Ensure it's successful by avoiding these common mistakes.
- DON'T attend your open house. This is your realtor's opportunity to showcase the best parts of your home and allow potential buyers to ask questions. Your presence at an open house can put pressure on interested individuals and drive away potential buyers.
- DON'T leave your pets behind. Letting pets run free in your home during an open house can be annoying to potential buyers, especially those who aren't pet owners themselves. Realtor.com recommends sellers take their pets with them during the open house, for the safety of the animals and the sanity of potential buyers.
- DON'T forget the kitchen. An untidy kitchen will turn off potential buyers. Make sure your kitchen is just as spotless as the rest of your home by clearing dishes from the sink AND the dishwasher--because buyers may take a peek inside! Similarly, remove any odor-causing foods from the refrigerator.
- DO swap out your bath towels. To ensure each room of your home is “open house ready,” remove used bath towels from all bathrooms. Not only does this look more tidy, it prevents strangers from wiping their hands on your dirty bath towels during their bathroom breaks.
- DO hire a professional, if necessary. Sometimes you just need to call a pro. Professional house cleaners will save you time and stress as you prepare your home in other ways. They'll likely hit places you wouldn't think to clean like baseboards and switch plates, and can eliminate odors you may not even notice.
- DO get a second opinion. After you've cleaned and staged your home to your standards, ask an honest friend or neighbor for their opinion, as well. Realtor.com advises that a neutral third party can alert you to smells or eye sores you may be blind to.
- DO clean up your yard. This includes coiling garden hoses, hiding trash bins, and raking leaves. Objects cluttering your yard can also be a safety hazard for potential buyers crossing your yard for a closer look.
- DON'T forget to hide personal items. Realtor.com advises hiding all prescription medication, family photos, and any walkers or canes. Not only is it a good idea to depersonalize your home, but these items can also tip potential buyers off to personal information that may be used against you in the negotiation process.