As your real estate agents, we serve two roles for your open house. To you, we are the director, giving you instructions on how to prepare for the day, and what to do during the event. To buyers, we are the host. We will welcome viewers, introduce your home’s impressive features, and take questions from the audience.

Our goal is to make your house look like a million bucks — even if it's listed for $300,000.

We will also recommend that you must leave while we show off your house to strangers, who will look under your sinks and peek into your closets. Why should you heed that advice? Because it makes good business sense for you.

A homeowner’s presence can make it awkward for the buyer. Buyers want to make assessments on their own, without worrying about how the seller might react or try to influence them.

Buyers may have trouble picturing themselves living in the house. Especially when the owner is right there, say, serving lemonade in the kitchen.

Sometimes sellers say too much. You might point out something that you think is a nice feature or amenity of your home, when it’s something that might turn off a buyer. (That busy arcade bar down the block may have been your favorite place to meet friends and play Pac-Man during weekends, but it could be a deal breaker for a buyer looking for a peaceful block.) You might blurt out something that could tip your negotiating hand, like how motivated you are to sell (soon!), or that you always wanted to update the retro kitchen — but just never got around to it.

The last things you want buyers to think after the open house is, “This place needs work,” or “This seller is desperate — I have the upper hand.” So, let your agent take the lead. This won’t be their first rodeo. They know the nuanced ways to show your home in its best light so that buyers will oooh and ahhh. They also know how to strategically answer questions from buyers to help set you up for success later, during negotiation.

What to Do During and After the Open House

Once you’ve done everything you can to make your house look and feel amazing to buyers — and we are on site to assume their hosting duties — the time during your open house is yours to enjoy. Go to the park, get a three-course lunch, do whatever you like as long as you’re free to take calls. Your agent may need to get in touch with questions, so make sure you’re available and have good cell phone reception. (A movie, for example, is not a great activity for you during the open house for that reason.)

After the open house ends, we will share with you what questions buyers asked and any comments they overheard by visitors. Buyers’ remarks will likely run the gamut, including some that could be negative. (“Why is the closet such a mess,” for example.) The important thing is to stay open to buyers’ feedback, and to follow our advice about how to respond or changes that should be made prior to the next open house. Based on buyers’ reactions, we may recommend that you make certain repairs, do some painting, or invest in additional staging if your home doesn't sell as quickly as you are anticipating. Whatever they advise, it’s not personal — it’s just the business of selling your home.

We can make your experience far less stressful, so please contact us when you feel like it’s time to sell your home!

Source: Excerpt from House Logic

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