If your agent is holding an open house, there are a couple of main points to remember. First, you want to attract as many people as possible to create interest at your asking price (or ideally even a more). Second, potential buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in your home.

Here are the five best ways to set up for your open house: 

1.  Be Sure Your Realtor Maximizes Technology 

Homes are sold through realtors, lawn signs, word of mouth and open houses. However, they are primarily sold through people viewing listings online. Estimates show that over 92% of buyers shop online. It’s critical to have the best photography, descriptive wording and accompanying websites. Virtual tours are also common.

Use an experienced agent who takes advantage of the multiple listing method (more agents = more potential buyers) and be sure agents are posting information to the max (unless you are using a top company and are taking advantage of their exclusive listing strategy. Understand if and why this would be to your benefit if you do use an exclusive listing period.) 

2.  Neutralize Your Décor and Keep it Light!

Buyers are thinking of their comfort in your home and need to be able to visualize themselves watching TV in your living room or cooking dinner in your kitchen or entertaining friends on your patio. You need to “create” that moment for them. Everything must be pristine and neutral. Paint your walls a neutral shade. Unusual furnishing and decor has to go. Think “model home”. Be sure all lamps and light fixtures have working bulbs. Have all of the lights on for the open house.

3.  Keep it Clean

Your house must be spotlessly clean when it’s being shown. An unclean home might translate to a buyer as a home that is not maintained. Be sure it gleams. This goes for what you see and what you don’t easily see. Closets, linen closets, basement work benches. Everything. 

4.  Make Sure Everything is in Good Repair

Everything in your home has to function well. You want the buyers to know that you care about your home. Do a very thorough walk-through of your home with your realtor. If anything isn’t working, even if it’s something you’ve lived with for the past year, now is the time to fix it. Some sellers invest in a “pre-home inspection”.

5.  Pets 

Potential buyers might not like animals. If they are allergic or find dogs frightening, that could be a problem. Be sure your pets have other homes for the day.