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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ten DIY Open House Tips

by Czarina Carden

In most northern regions across the country, open house season officially kicks off in the spring shortly following the Super Bowl. For our neighbors to the south, open house season can also occur in the Fall. Regardless of where you’re coming from, an open house by any other season still provides a unique opportunity for buyers to connect with a home on a more tangible level. Despite the proliferation of online listing sites offering multiple property photos and even virtual tours, there’s still something to be said for physically walking through a home and getting a substantial feel for the layout, neighborhood and general condition of the home. For lack of a better term, it’s a crucial opportunity unlike any other, to investigate the je ne sais quoi, or “certain something” — of a potential home. For you sellers, your open house is a chance to make a great first or lasting impression.

Here are our 10 tips for spicing up your open house to romance potential buyers!

10. Breathe new life into an old home
Even if you don’t have the budget or time for a major renovation project, at the very least, you should clean your home thoroughly to make it shine like new. All surfaces should be spotless, including floors, counters, windows, walls and mirrors. You can also work small miracles with a few coats of fresh paint. But this doesn’t mean white. Don’t be afraid of a little color, just keep it neutral.

9. Take ‘you’ out of the equation
You want buyers to walk in and picture themselves living in the home. Your home should reflect a blank canvas, devoid of any personal touches including pictures and bold wall colors. On open house day, this might also mean you literally, as some buyers might prefer talking to a neutral agent, rather than you the home seller, about the home.

8. Fool the eye
Stage your home for maximum impact. If you have a smaller living area, remove heavy furniture to open up the space. If you want to detract attention away from a small feature window, arrange furniture or use wall color (in neutral tones) to play up the fireplace or tray ceilings as the primary focal point.

7. Bring on the light
Light creates energy and a positive vibe, so open up your curtains to let in natural sunlight. If you’re lacking windows, illuminate your space with strategic and functional lighting for added warmth and ambiance. Less is not more so turn all your lights on, especially if you have nice fixtures.

6. Enhance your curb appeal
First impressions are lasting impressions, so replace fading house numbers or put a fresh coat of paint on tired looking doors and mailboxes. Lawns should be neat, trim and sparkling, so run your sprinklers shortly before your open house starts.

5. Sweat the small stuff
Don’t forget about the details, such as replacing mismatched outlet covers, patching holes and rehanging or oiling squeaky doors.

4. Appeal to the nose
Nothing turns off buyers quicker than offensive odors. You might not smell your pets, but a non-pet owner definitely will. Ensure foul odors are not only eliminated, but replaced with delicious scents from fresh cut flowers or home baked treats.

3. Create a plan of attack
Make sure you or your agent have discussed a tactical plan to accomplish your open house goals. This should include strategic scheduling and a fundamental understanding of buyer behavior. Keep in mind most open houses are posted on Thursdays and Sundays, with a majority of buyers searching on Sunday morning.

2. Roll out the welcome mat
Make buyers feel at home and at ease by providing soft, inviting music, balloons at the entryway, prominent sign in sheets/brochures, and even kid-friendly activities such as coloring books and crayons. Not only will this make your home more inviting, but it will also leave the real decision makers free to focus on your home’s great features.

1. Promote, promote, promote!
It won’t matter how wonderful your house looks if no one attends your open house. So make sure you or your agent has advertised your open house both online and in print, maximizing all the channels buyers are searching. On open house day, post signs at the busiest intersections and create an effective path for buyers to easily navigate to your open house.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

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