Open house viewings are like auditions for your property listing. You’ll have the chance to showcase your home before a large selection of buyers and have a limited amount of time to make the best impression possible.
But in many cases, either due to negligence, ignorance, or poor taste, many homeowners end up making crucial mistakes that could severely hurt their chances of making a sale. In this article, we’re going to give you some of the biggest mistakes you should refrain from committing when hosting an open house viewing.
Bad Street Appeal
First impressions count, and if your potential buyers are disappointed from the get-go, then chances are you’ll either have to forget a sale or renegotiate prices. Making sure that your home looks great from the moment your visitors arrive is the first step in sparking interest.
This means repairing that broken fence and replacing or re-painting that old wooden door and porch if you want to make a good first impression. Doing simple things like changing the front door colour, adding new house numbers, and adding a cute mailbox could make a big difference to how your house looks from the front.
You should also consider breaking out the pressure washer and get to work on the walls, driveway, walkways, and garage doors to remove any signs of dirt. If your driveway is made of tarmac, consider resurfacing if it looks dull and showing signs of deterioration. It’s cheap and will make a great impression on your buyers.
Making the Style too Personal
The goal here should be to make your house look like somewhere the visitors would see themselves living in. This means letting go of statement pieces and opting for more classic pieces instead. You should also consider buying new furniture if you feel like your current furniture is either outdated or in poor condition. While furniture isn’t part of the house, poorly maintained or bad furniture will end up reflecting poorly on you and the property, whether you like it or not.
And it doesn’t mean that you have to completely overhaul your furniture to make a good impression. Doing something as simple as going for new window treatments could dramatically change the look of the whole house and make certain elements pop. Retailers like Fashion Interiors, for instance, sell all types of fabrics and blinds that you could use to dress some of the windows in the house. And while you want to be more conservative with furniture, choose something that will pop when it comes to curtains; this could liven up an otherwise empty-looking room and enhance its overall look.
You should also make sure that your personality is not too strongly reflected in the room. Anything that could be viewed as controversial should be removed if you want to maximise your chances of closing a sale. Any signs relating to politics, religion, or even seemingly minor things like professional sports team affiliations should be removed from the house. Any controversial art should also be removed as well.
Ignoring Small Repairs
Your house may be in overall excellent condition, but one hanging gutter or a cracked tile could be enough to turn off some buyers. While we know that hosting an open house viewing is already hard work, get to work on these minor repairs around the house. Fix those missing roof tiles or bricks, repair holes in walls, replace rotting window frames and fix any crack, rusted items or peeling paint that you see.
The last thing you want is for your buyers to entertain any doubt about the condition of your house. Small signs of neglect could be a sign of worse things going on with the house, this is why these kinds of repairs should not be taken lightly. So, make sure that you give your home a proper visual inspection and look for anything you feel could cause an issue.
Too Much Clutter
Not everybody is a fan of minimalism, but when it comes to home presentations, less is definitely more. You want the rooms to look as spacious as possible, so make sure that you remove any unnecessary clutter from rooms if you’re going to make them look more attractive. Remove any knick-knacks, oversized sofas and cupboards, unwanted chairs, and unnecessary side tables, coffee tables or ornaments.
However, you don’t want to remove stuff to a point where the room feels sterile and cold. Add a few tasteful pieces, like new pillow cases and lighting elements, for instance, so that there’s still a certain element of warmth in the room.
In addition to clutter, you have to make sure that the house is as clean as possible. Again, a dirty home will reflect poorly on you and your property and will make buyers think twice. This means giving your walls and carpets a good wash if needed, remove finger marks from stainless steel elements, and give your house a good dusting before you let anyone in.
Not Trying to Set a Scene
Setting a scene is essential when showcasing your property. You want your buyers to imagine actually living in the house. You can do that in a variety of ways. For instance, if you have a beautiful patio with a complete view of your garden, why not place your furniture in a way that allows you to have a direct view of the pool? Or you could open up entertainment areas in the house so that your visitors could actually see themselves hosting a party, for instance. These are all small changes that will allow your buyers to immerse themselves into the feeling of actually living there and will allow you to establish an emotional link between them and the house.
Not Worrying about Light
Dark rooms don’t allow you to showcase rooms properly and are just unattractive. Plenty of natural light will make rooms look bigger and will give a better impression of your house, so make sure that you give your windows a good clean, blinds and curtains are wide open, and that any obstruction that could block the sunlight from coming in is removed.
A Bad Kitchen or Bathroom
Some rooms hold more weight than others, and the bathroom or kitchen are usually make or break rooms for many buyers. An old, poorly maintained, or out of style kitchen or bathroom is a sure way to turn buyers away.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to go over the top to enhance your kitchen or bathroom. Doing things like replacing your cabinet doors or repainting them, adding stainless handles or adding a wooden frame around your bathroom mirror could make a massive difference to how they look. Replacing the floors with low-cost options like vinyl tiles could also be a quick fix if you feel the floors need replacing but you don’t want to go overboard on your budget.
While open house viewings can be nerve-racking, making sure that you steer away from these mistakes should make the whole process easier. Always make sure that you think about the visitor first and give them a space they can see themselves calling home if you want the best results.