Open houses can be a great way to showcase your house to a wide range of potential customers in a short period of time. By showing your house at it’s prime, and allowing interested parties to get a tour without having to call their realtor well ahead of time, and saving realtors the hassle of getting keys, everyone benefits. There are several different types of open houses however, and each require different approaches and different setup methods.
For Agents and Buyers
In our previous article, we went over some open house basics for REALTORS®. In a nutshell, a REALTOR® can showcase a variety of different types client’s homes, including:
- Homes that are already built
- New home builds
- Placing a home on a local tour of homes (Historic Home tours, new to market homes etc)
- Pre-purchases of new developments not yet built
- A few other miscellaneous types of open houses not mentioned here
For the seller side, they can assist in a couple different ways when putting their homes on the markets or when they appear on local tours.
Buyers of course can take advantage of any of the open houses available. This is where staying in touch with your REALTOR® can help so they can answer any questions, represent you, and inform you of any other open houses. But at the end of the day, consider this: the more people see your home or the more homes you see, the more likely you find the perfect buyer or the perfect home. Both sides win with open houses.
Using Your Own Furniture & Decorations
For sellers, how you host it will depend on whether or not you’re still living there, or if you are using a staging company. For people who are still living there, or have their things there while they are in the process of moving to a new location, they can use the furniture and decorations that they already have to stage the house. But you still need to visitor proof your house, since unlike normal tours, there is no checks on the people coming to visit. So you should lock up any valuables or place them somewhere that is off limits.
Hiring a Staging Company
If you have already packed up most of your things, you can bring out basic furniture and basic decorations to avoid a staging company. But if you have everything you already own there, your best bet is to make sure it does not appear cluttered. For many, it is hard for them to see through the clutter. Same situation with any messes, meaning hiring a cleaning crew or a staging crew might be best for those who do not want to do it themselves.
For anyone who is using a staging company, while it might be more expensive than using your own furniture that you already own, you won’t have to worry about the liability of having your things stolen. And while your realtor can assist you in setting up the open house, it can be helpful to know what goes into it for them, so you can help answer any questions they might have.