Open houses in Austin have often been a key feature in the real estate professional’s marketing toolkit for decades. While there’s been much debate recently among Realtors® across the country on the effectiveness of open houses in attracting serious buyers, some still see it as an effective part of the selling process. In addition to getting a property seen by the widest possible audience, reports show that in certain metropolitan areas, homes that have open houses tend to sell for more money and spend less time on the market. And while today’s buyers rely on websites to take virtual tours of homes, they can’t get a real feel for a home without visiting in person. That’s where Austin open houses come into play. Buyers want to be taken beyond a virtual tour and be shown the home, the layout and design elements by someone who knows the property well.
While your Realtor® will be tasked with marketing the open house and hosting it, there are things you can do as the homeowner to ensure a successful event.
Tackle Minor Repairs
Now’s the time to tackle that repair list you’ve been needing to get to — freshen up your home with a few coats of paint, replace cracked tiles, fix leaky faucets, and replace outdated fixtures. A well-maintained home is a signal to potential buyers that it’s move-in-ready. If your budget doesn’t allow for remodeling, making small changes can make a difference. For example, give your kitchen a mini makeover by replacing cabinet hardware and lighting and updating appliances.
Help Make a Good First Impression
First impressions of open houses in Austin start the moment visitors pull up to the front of a home. Simple updates to your landscaping and front door can make a huge difference. These are the first thing buyers see and presenting a manicured lawn, weed-free walkway and well-maintained front door sets the tone for the rest of the home.
Clean, Clean and Clean Some More
Once open house guests step into your home, it doesn’t take long for them to form an opinion on whether or not they’re interested in the house. Take the time to make sure your home is ready to be seen (and scrutinized) by deep cleaning it. Dirt, stains and cobwebs can raise a red flag that the home needs TLC and elbow grease, something potential buyers may not be interested in tackling. In addition to dusting and vacuuming, be sure to wash windows and rugs and pay particular attention to commonly overlooked areas: ceiling fans, door frames, windowsills, light switches, etc.
To help make your home appealing to visitors, you’ll also want to present it as one that’s well organized and filled with ample storage space. Decluttering is the key to achieving both. Go through each room and remove knickknacks, recycle stacks of magazines, clear kitchen counters of paperwork, and corral loose toys into a toy box. You’ll even want to pare down throw pillows and table accessories to make rooms appear as spacious as possible. Don’t forget to make space in your closets. Disorganized, cluttered closets can give the impression that your home is short on storage space.
Ask a friend or family member to look after your pet during an open house, if possible, and hide litter boxes, dog toys and pet food dishes. Not everyone is a pet lover, and you don’t want to turn off potential buyers or lower the home’s perceived value with your beloved furry family members. If you have a dog or cat, be sure to vacuum fur from furniture and address any pet odors.
Set the Stage
The goal of staging your home is to help potential buyers envision themselves and loved ones living in the home. This means depersonalizing and neutralizing your home. Remove personal effects throughout the home, such as family photos, refrigerator art, religious and political items and trophy collections. If oversized pieces of furniture are overpowering small rooms, place them in storage. Create a soothing, neutral space by painting walls subtle hues, and dress up the space with a few small touches, like pretty hand towels and fresh flowers, to make the interior feel much more like home. Take cues from interior decorating magazines and go for décor that’s simple, comfortable and inviting.
Partner with the Right Real Estate Agent
As previously mentioned, your real estate agent will be responsible for marketing your home, including spreading the word about your open house. Partnering with the right real estate agent who has an effective and aggressive marketing plan is key to quickly selling your home.
A proactive agent will take advantage of the many tools and resources available to ensure the success of your open house. This includes promoting the open house on social media, taking advantage of the many apps available that do everything from collect guest demographics and manage guest details electronically, to send automated and branded thank you emails. A professional agent will also give his or her full attention by engaging everyone who comes in and is armed with facts on your house.
Our talented team of agents has vast experience marketing and hosting hundreds of successful Austin open houses. Reach out to us to learn how we can add your open house to our list of successes.