home with front door open

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An open house is just one of the many tools used to sell a home. Scheduling Mount Pleasant homes for sale allows the general public to tour a house in a relaxed way. Ideally, the home’s owners aren’t present for this event. However, the listing agent is there to answer questions and show off the property. Use this guide to consider how an open house can help you on the journey to selling your home.

What Is the Purpose of an Open House?

One of the purposes of an open house is to display the rooms of your home in their best light. That makes it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. Plus, holding an open house is a simple way to increase your pool of possible buyers. With so many people passing through, it’s possible to receive several offers in a short time.

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When Is the Best Time to Host an Open House?

Weekends are the most favorable time to host this type of event. Sunday is usually the better choice of the two days. Many potential buyers are working during the week and don’t have the time to tour a home.

Early afternoon is a suitable time for an open house to begin. That way, the event takes place after lunchtime and doesn’t last long enough to interrupt dinner plans. A real estate agent may check for other open houses happening in the neighborhood and adjust the hours if necessary. The goal is to make the event as convenient as possible to attend.

How Long Is an Open House?

Most open houses last for two to three hours. This allows people enough time to attend your open house along with a few others in one afternoon. Not surprisingly, some potential buyers spend an afternoon traveling from one open house to the next to cover their bases.

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An event lasting just two or three hours is likely to have a steady flow of visitors. Alternatively, a five-hour event may have periods with several visitors as well as sparsely attended periods. When potential buyers drive up to your open house, you want them to see lots of visitors. This level of activity makes your home even more attractive. You want to capture attention so people will want to find out what’s so special about your property.

Who Goes to Open Houses?

People go to open houses for a variety of reasons. Because the event is open to the public, you may get a mixture of visitors walking through the door.

Many people attend open houses because it’s a no-stress way to see a home that’s piqued their interest. Written descriptions, photos and even virtual tours are all helpful in conveying information about a home. But there’s no substitute for walking through the rooms of a house to get the feel of the place. Touching kitchen countertops, walking up the stairs, and surveying the view from a bedroom window are all things that help potential buyers decide about a home.

Some visitors at an open house are thinking about moving out of their homes but haven’t made a final decision. These individuals may visit to get ideas of what they’d like in their next home. Or they just want a general idea of features available in homes as well as selling prices.

Is a Broker’s Open House Different From the Standard Type?

Yes. A broker’s open house is an event attended exclusively by local real estate agents. Alternatively, the standard type of this event is open to the public.

At a broker’s open house, real estate agents take a tour making notes on the home’s features. Ideally, the agents return to their offices to find clients who’d have an interest in seeing the home.

couple talking with real estate agent

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Preparing Your Home for the Big Event

One of the first steps involved in preparing your home for an open house is setting a clean, organized scene. This means getting rid of clutter such as paperwork, magazines and other items piled on countertops and tables. Organizing closets, putting the kids’ toys into the toy chest and straightening shelves are just a few other helpful tips.

Also, it’s best to put away most of your framed family pictures and other family-related items. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it helps encourage potential buyers to imagine themselves living there.

People should be able to move freely through the rooms of the home. So, if you have an extra chair in your living room that makes the space feel crowded or an end table you have to maneuver around to cross the room, store it temporarily. 

Having a clean home to show prospective buyers is just as important as having an organized one. After mopping floors, vacuuming carpet and dusting furniture, think about the small details visitors may notice in your home.

woman wiping down shelves

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Shining faucets in the bathroom, dust-free TV screens, a swept front walkway and smudge-free windows are all important touches. Hiring a cleaning crew is an idea if you want to leave the big and small details to the professionals.

Another suggestion is hiring a team to stage your home for the open house. Home stagers tour your home and come up with specific ways to make it look most inviting, like rearranging furniture for the most appealing view to visitors.

Painting and making repairs are other things to do to prepare your property for the event. Take a few minutes to look around your place and make a list of things in need of your attention.

You may notice a torn window screen in your patio door that needs replacement. Or perhaps a fresh coat of paint in a bedroom would enhance the natural light flowing through the windows. Sometimes the smallest change or repair can really make a difference in the look of your home.

Don’t forget to give some attention to the outside of your home. Trimming the lawn, pulling weeds and putting out pots of flowers are all worthwhile tasks. You may even want to power wash your driveway. In addition, make sure it’s easy to see your house number. If your house numbers are painted on the curb, give them a fresh coat to make them stand out.

modern home living room interior

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Setting the Right Tone for an Open House

Along with cleaning, decluttering and organizing, there are other ways to set the tone for this event.

Some real estate agents like to set the tone by lighting a scented candle. It’s best to choose a subtle scent such as vanilla or cinnamon. Visitors walking into the home should notice a wisp of a scent without being overwhelmed by it. Serving refreshments is another way real estate agents set the tone. Bottled water, lemonade, cookies, pretzels or a veggie tray are appetizing options. Serving these drinks and snacks lends to the relaxed atmosphere.

If you have a dog or a cat, take your pet with you when you leave for the duration of the open house. Though many of your visitors are likely to be fond of animals, they want to imagine their own pets there. In addition, pick up and store away dog bones, cat toys, etc. 

Other typical things real estate agents do before the event:

  • Wipe moisture from sink basins
  • Put out fresh soap and towels in the bathroom
  • Close the toilet seats
  • Turn on ceiling fans
  • Turn on the lights in the rooms
  • Put a vase of flowers in the kitchen
  • Tidy the entryway

How Do You Advertise an Open House?

Today, whether it’s an open house at Folly Beach homes for Sale, a home for sale in the Isle of Palms Wild Dunes or another area on the South Carolina coast, it’s easy to spread the word. Many real estate agents advertise the event on an MLS or Multiple Listing Service. This website can deliver information about the home as well as the event to a large number of potential buyers.

open house sign

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A more traditional way of advertising this event is by posting signs in the neighborhood. A colorful, easy-to-read sign that’s put onto a well-traveled street is likely to attract the attention of many people. Of course, not everyone is in the market for a home, but they may know someone who is.

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Other Valuable Benefits of Having an Open House

Say you have an open house, but you don’t receive any offers. Was it worth having the event? The answer is yes. While getting offers is the goal, there are other benefits of holding this event.

An open house gives visitors the chance to ask questions. After receiving knowledgeable answers from the agent, a person may go home to give your property more serious consideration.

Holding an open house can stir up a lot of word of mouth about your property. For example, someone who visits may not feel your home is right for them. However, the person happens to know of a coworker who’s looking for a place just like yours!