Here's a little information on what to expect when you as the seller are having an open house and what to expect when you as the buyer attend an open house.
An open house is a great way as a buyer to see a lot of houses in one afternoon without appointments; it is also a good way for the sellers to get a feel for the interest in their homes.
As the seller you need to have your home in tip-top showing condition: that means smelling nice, de-cluttered and lawn neat.
Basically, this time you really need to do all the things your realtor has been suggesting to you all along.
You also need to put away anything that can be easily picked up, jewelry, medications, etc. Your realtor will do all they can to safe-guard your valuables, but they cannot have eyes in the back of their heads.
Leave the house at least 15 minutes or so before the open house, just in case buyers arrive a little early. Plan on returning home as much as 30 minutes after the open house as there will be those buyers who come in at the very last minute - we realtors love them, too.
Think about leaving a tray of cookies out. It can’t hurt and it leaves a great smell in the house. Chocolate chip is my favorite in case any of my sellers are reading this.
Please know that at least on the first open house, you will have plenty of your neighbors coming in to check out your home.
"They've always wanted to see the inside of the house," "I can’t believe you did that to the kitchen," "I'm looking for decorating tips," (love that one)."
However, as I have said many times before, you never, never know where your buyer is coming from. Your neighbor might be really looking for a friend or they may be renting and ready to buy in your neighborhood - you just never know.
Your agent will have a record of all who attended the open house and will follow up with them in the upcoming week. Sometimes we never hear from them, sometimes we do.
OK, now for the buyers. As I have said, an open house is a great way to see a lot of homes in one afternoon and get a feel for the price range and what works for you. One hint, stay in the price range that you can really buy in. Looking way above your price range is the best way to ensure you will never find a home.
When you come to an open house, you will be asked to sign in. Why must you give your name and all your information?
If you were having an open house, you would want the agent to have the names and some information of the people that the sellers have just opened their doors to and said come on in, look at our home. You would never open your front door to a stranger, but that is what we do every time we have an open house. If you’re feeling uncomfortable about giving your name and some information about yourself, stay home, I hear football is on...
Another question you as the buyer will be asked is if you are working with a realtor to help you find a home. By law this is a question we must ask.
You may also be asked how you found out about the open house; this helps us know how to spend our advertising dollars.
You may also be asked if you are in a rental or own a home, again, this helps us help you in your home buying needs.
Many times you have other sellers attending the open house. They may be checking out the competition or looking for an agent to help them sell their home. If you like the way the agent presents the house you are in, that speaks well for how they will represent your home.
Most open houses are held on Sunday afternoon, but I have seen some on Saturday morning and after work on Thursday and Friday.
No matter when they are, we thank you for attending.