As a For Sale by Owner [FSBO] Seller, follow these Open House & Home Showing Tips to Shine Above the Competition and Show your Home like a Professional.
1. A Friendly Welcome
Greet the potential buyer at the door with a smile and a friendly handshake. Introduce yourself and welcome them inside. Buyers don’t like to feel as if they are intruding on your privacy, so it is your job to encourage them to feel comfortable and at ease while they investigate the attributes of your home.
2. An Inviting Smell
This can be a sensitive area… but every house smells. Some smell good while others don’t. Most of the time, the homeowner is unaware of the normal odor of their home. So, ensure your home is odor-free by cleaning throughly before a showing. Empty the garbage, clean with scented cleaners, etc. Ask a friend to take a sniff; honesty can help you identify problem areas in your home. Fresh air is always a good idea; open a few windows to better ventilate your home.
Tip: If there is no time to bake cookies (a popular open house “trick”) then combine vanilla and water in a baking dish. Place in the oven at 200 degrees, half an hour prior to your showing appointment. The aroma will smell like fresh baking! Scented candles work as well, but stick with softer scents; avoid incense and musky aromas.
Supply the prospective buyer with a Feature Sheet of your home. Not only does this help with answering questions, it also gives them a reminder of your property to take home. An informative Feature Sheet can create a lasting impression that a buyer may need to review later.
If you have flattering seasonal pictures of your home, display them on the kitchen table or counter top. A winter or fall sale, for example, may not highlight the beautiful landscaping of a particular home, which really comes to life in the summertime. Also, hidden treasures such as ponds, flowerbeds, etc. may be obscured by snow in the winter months.
4. Light Up the House
Turn on all lights, including closets and basement areas. If there are gloomy areas or dark corners then add lamps or spot lights wherever possible. A well-lit atmosphere contributes to the impression of a bright and cheery home. Open all curtains and blinds (unless they result in an undesirable or negative view).
5. Check the Temperature
Now is not the time to worry about the utility bill! If it’s chilly outside, make sure your house temperature is warm and inviting. If it’s hot out, turn on the air conditioner for a cooler retreat indoors. You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and give a buyer more of a reason to take their time, lingering longer to absorb all the details of your home.
6. Create a Mood
Turn off the television and play soft music. Turn off the ringer on the telephone and answering machine. Without distractions, low music can be inviting and soothing. If you have a fireplace, light the fire! A warm, cozy feeling will fill the room. Water fountains also have a calming effect and help drown out other distracting sounds.
7. Open Doors
Open all doors to other levels of the home, as well as bedroom doors and bathrooms. Buyers do not typically like to intrudeand may not be comfortable opening a closed door, simply because they don’t know what (or who) to expect on the other side. During a showing, let the potential buyer enter each room first. The reason for this is that if you lead the way, you are the first to enter the smaller spaces of your home. You walk into a bedroom first, and more often than not, the buyer stops at the door and simply peeks inside. You really want it to be the other way around! You already know what your home looks like, so encourage the buyer to see for themselves.
8. Offer a Light Snack
One of the best ways to entice buyers to linger and notice more details of your home is to offer food. A light snack and coffee are all that is necessary (no need to cater a lunch). Providing small plates, cups, and napkins with a friendly smile may provide you a little more time with the buyer and an extra opportunity to make the sale happen.
9. Buyer’s Feedback
Ask questions or supply printed feedback questionnaires. This can be done while the buyer is still in your home or give you a great reason for a follow-up call later. Either way, a buyer’s feedback is a great way to find out what kind of an impression you and your home have made.
10. A Gracious Exit
Even if a buyer does not seem interested in your home, thank them for coming anyway. Remember, they may still recommend your home to friends or family. People always appreciate a friendly approach; if you have a great attitude, regardless of interest, it will leave a lasting impression on prospective buyers.
If you haven’t already, check out CanadianHomeFind’s Selling Packages. With resources like our Open House Success Guide E-book, you can acheive success selling your Home or Condo as a For Sale by Owner [FSBO].