If you’re new to the home selling process, it can be difficult to know what to expect. To help get your house seen by a lot of people at one time, your real estate agent may recommend hosting an open house. Before you open your door to a bunch of strangers, here’s what to expect during an open house for your Los Angeles property.
MAKE SURE THE HOUSE IS SPOTLESS
Even though you need to make sure your house is clean for every single showing, it’s even more important that everything’s in order when you have an open house for the first time. When you host single showings, only a few people will be moving through the house at a time. Once they’re done, they leave the house.
With an open house, on the other hand, you could have dozens of people traipsing through your home in a few hours’ time. That’s a lot of possible fingerprints on the glass and dirty shoe prints on your white carpet.
To give your home the best chance of shining, clean everything very thoroughly as close to the open house as possible. Go top to bottom, making sure all ceiling fans are dusted, baseboards are scrubbed, and floors are mopped.
PAY ATTENTION TO SMELLS
How your home smells is just as important as how it looks when you’re hosting an open house for your Los Angeles property. But resist the urge to put out a bunch of potpourri, burn some candles, or spray air fresheners. Lots of people are sensitive to heavy scents, and using anything too cloying in your home could cause a potential buyer to have a reaction.
Instead, first make sure you root out any unpleasant smells and correct them. This includes that pesky urine smell in the bathroom, the musty smell in your carpets, or the damp smell in the basement.
If you want to give your home a pleasant smell, try simmering some water, a cut orange, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a small pot on the stove during the open house. This gives your house a nice comforting smell without being overpowering.
EXPECT SOME LOOKY-LOOS
One of the biggest misconceptions when hosting an open house for the first time is that everyone who walks through the door will be a potential buyer. Often, you’ll find neighbors who stop by just to see your house while it’s available or even people who drive around attending open houses for fun.
Don’t pin your hopes of selling your home solely on your open house. Instead, continue to host individual showings and market your home before and after your open house to give you the best chance of selling.
BE PREPARED TO WAIT
Shortly after your open house, you may see an influx of people wanting answers to their questions or to schedule private showings. However, these may peter out fairly quickly, and you may be back to sitting around refreshing your inbox waiting for a request.
But don’t lose all hope: Some buyers use open houses as a first stepping stone in the process, giving them an idea of what’s available on the market without having to schedule lots of individual showings.
Because of this, you may find that people who came to your open house reach out several days or even a few weeks later to ask questions or schedule additional showings. Expect that, but also don’t stop entertaining new visitors in the hopes that someone who attended your open house will come back for a second look.