How to Blow the Open House: The Most Frequent Mistakes That Sellers Make Before, During, and After Them

Open houses really are not all that difficult. You make sure your home is clean and presentable, that you have some nice plants in the front yard, and that the home is clear of any odd smells. And yet, it is shocking how much real estate agents talk about how their clients time and time again embarrass them when they bring over a prospective buyer. Here are some of the worst mistakes that you can make as a seller, during an open house or a showing.

• Questionable smells. This is not the time to cook fish. No candle will be able to mask the pungent smell. This also counts for any other smells, even those that are scented to intentionally make the house smell nice. However, an air freshener like Febreeze may be necessary for masking odors, especially pet odors, without making it seem that you are hiding something. 

• Pets on the premises. Speaking of pets and their odors, having real-life pets present during an open house or showing is a really bad idea. Aside from the fact that many people are allergic to pets, it completely distracts the buyer from properly being able to make a sound decision on how they feel about the house.

• Not leaving. It probably goes without saying that no seller should be around during a showing or open house. No one wants a seller leading the walk-through, telling them all about the house. For all practical and mental purposes..the buyer does not want you there. And honestly, neither does your agent. The buyer will be so focused on when you will leave that they can’t pay attention.

• Leaving in a hurry. Sellers need to give themselves plenty of time to prepare their house, and, to leave in advance of an open house. Please be sure to keep your home clean at all times. Your agent could show the house at any minute, and your home must be prepared for it. Check out: 7 Open House Mistakes Sellers Make – FOX News Magazine.

• Blocking access to rooms. If your home is in no way staged, or ready for showings, then your home shouldn’t be on the market. Some buyers try to get around this by blocking certain rooms from being seen, which is shocking. The objective is to grant buyers relatively free access to see and fall in love with your home.

• Leaving a mess. Every day, you should be sure that you are not leaving any messes anywhere, and that you are cleaning up everything, from dishes in the sink to your pet, or children’s toys. Be sure you also hide the cleaning supplies so that they are not out in the open.

• Writing notes to buyers. There is no need to leave notes to point out various features around the home. It can be distracting to someone coming through to see a note taped on the wall explaining various features of the home. Read: Ten Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Open House – USA Today.

• Not turning on lights. It’s essential that lights are turned on, window blinds and curtains are open, and the temperature is set accordingly. Buyers don’t like coming into dark spaces, and tend to have a much more positive reaction when homes are light and bright.

One of the most important things to remember, in terms of showings, is that exposure is key to selling your home. Be flexible and try to allow showings whenever requested. Of course, you have a life, but you don’t want to risk having the buyers skip your home because you didn’t let them in when it was convenient. They’ll simply move on to the next listing. On the flip side, here are the Costly Mistakes Every Buyer Makes at an Open House.

2 thoughts on “How to Blow the Open House: The Most Frequent Mistakes That Sellers Make Before, During, and After Them

  1. Please don’t have your pets at an open house. I bought my home last year, and although I am extremely happy with the home, and the pets being there during the showing was not a deal breaker, it was extremely annoying. I had to pretend like I thought their dog was cute and that I didn’t mind it drooling on my leg. Aside from the fact that their cat got hair all over my black pants which paired nicely with the dog drool. It’s not that hard..board them for the day, or take them to a friend’s house.

  2. Having pets at an open house is a big no-no. I have never heard of a seller bold enough to do this, but I’m sure it’s happened…more than once.

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