An open house can be a very effective measure in selling your home quickly and for a fair price. Rather than individual showings on multiple days, an open house is a scheduled event that your realtor will likely advertise in the local paper, on MLS or through social media. It will hopefully bring in several interested parties, giving them an opportunity to tour your home and ask your realtor any questions.
Most people have heard of public open houses, which anyone is welcome to attend. A second type of open house is referred to as an agent’s open house. This is when real estate agents from the listing company are invited to tour your home, keeping their own clients in mind.
Usually Public Open Houses in Toronto are held on the weekends 2-4, some go even longer 1-5. Agent Open houses are usually held during the week, shortly after the home is listed on the MLS. At my brokerage we have an opportunity to view or present any new listings to our colleagues before they hit the MLS. Then a few days after we plan an agent open house and we invite other brokerages as well.
Both types of open houses present an excellent opportunity to show off your home. Your realtor does the work and you are simply required to vacate the premises for the duration. There are, however, a number of things that you, the seller, should do in order to show your home at its maximum potential.
Clean, clean, clean. Nothing is more appealing to prospective buyers than a tidy, well-cared for home. Make sure that there are no dishes in the sink, the countertops are wiped clean, the floors are swept, carpets vacuumed, beds are made and bathrooms clean.
I remember once, I had a new listing in Leslieville, beautiful semi, nicely renovated and showed very well. I was very excited about doing the open house, it was a beautiful spring day and I was expecting it to be very busy. The sellers were very clean and tidy people…I don’t know what happened that day, when I went in the kitchen the sink was full of dirty dishes!!! This is 10 minutes before the open house and people were already waiting outside to get in!! The dishwasher was full of clean dishes and I had no other place to put those dirty dishes…so I did the Real Estate Oven Trick: I put all the dirty dishes in the oven, bundled them together, wrapped them up with tinfoil to make them look like a Turkey Roast! LOL…Tricks of the trade.
Declutter. Your realtor will probably advise you to pack away your knick knacks, photos and kids’ toys. It’s important that prospective buyers are able to imagine themselves living in your home, and this is difficult when your personal items are covering every surface.
By making an extra effort in advance, you can ensure that buyers are seeing your home at its true value and you will hopefully receive an offer that you are happy with!