The Washington, D.C., area, which includes affluent suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the country. The District alone is home to some 700,000 people, many of whom work in high-level government jobs and are looking for luxury homes to live in. The area also attracts business executives in addition to professors and administrators at the area’s many colleges and universities. For those who prefer living in the suburbs, the nicest areas include Potomac and Bethesda, Maryland, and Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia.
Washington, D.C., is a beautiful city full of historical landmarks such as the White House, U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and many more. There’s also unmatched natural beauty and open spaces along the Potomac River, making it perfect for people who like an active outdoor lifestyle. With the market remaining hot and favoring those who have just listed homes, here are some open house tips for sellers.
Open house basics
Who should host an open house?
Most people who want to sell their home as quickly as possible and for the biggest profit should plan to host an open house, which will allow a large number of sellers to view the property over a few hours during two weekend days. Technically, your real estate agent will host the open house and answer questions since it’s always recommended that the owners clear out so they won’t be a distraction.
When to host an open house?
Most real estate agents agree that the best time to host an open house is within the first week your home hits the market. The best days and times are Saturday and Sunday afternoons, usually between the hours of 1-4 p.m. That’s when most people are off work and have time to get out and view homes. Try to avoid scheduling an open house during a holiday weekend or when large events are going on in the area.
Planning for an open house
Many steps go into hosting an open house, including decluttering, cleaning, and staging your furniture and decor. You will want your home to shine inside and out for the big day, so pay attention to every detail. Buyers will poke and prod in every nook and cranny in every room because they want to know how much space they will have for their possessions.
Smartly market an open house
After you’ve set the date and times for your open house, your skilled real estate agent will take the lead in advertising it. Your agent will start by promoting your open house with postings on the Multiple Listing Service and public-facing real estate websites, as well as on all social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These postings will include professional photos and videos that put your home in the best light. Your agent will put out physical signs on the nearest street corners on the day of the open house to guide buyers right to your door. The more people you reach, the more successful your open house will be.
One other tip is to print up information sheets and leave a pile of them on a table near the front door. Although buyers will have access to your home’s online listing, having an information sheet that includes a few photos of your home will keep it fresh and possibly even spur them to make an offer.
Spruce up your home
Once you decide to list your home for sale, begin preparing it for both an open house and private showings by decluttering, depersonalizing, making cosmetic repairs, and giving it a deep cleaning. Arrange the furniture and decor in an attractive way to open up the floor plan and ease foot traffic through every room. Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your home and spruce up the front and back yards.
On the day of the open house, open all the curtains, turn on all the lights, and bake some cookies or light some candles so your home smells wonderful. Remove all signs of your pets and the pets themselves. The same thing goes for any children’s toys or books and any seasonal decorations. Remove or lock up all valuables, such as jewelry, cash, and medications. Move the cars out of the garage and from the driveway.
Highlight your home’s best features
Your agent will hire a professional photographer to take high-quality photos of every room in your home to use in your online listing and promote your open house. You should use these photos to highlight the top selling points, such as a luxurious primary bedroom, a gourmet kitchen with all the latest smart appliances, a fun rec room or home theater, and your professionally landscaped backyard. These photos will get buyers excited to see your home in person and maybe be the first to submit an offer.
Give visitors space during showings
As mentioned earlier, it’s always best to let your experienced agent host the open house while you head out for the day to take in a movie or do some shopping. Your agent is an expert at hosting open houses and will do a great job, starting by greeting buyers at the door and guiding them room-by-room through your home. Your agent will answer their questions and point out the great attributes of your home. Buyers are more comfortable and relaxed when dealing with the agent rather than having the sellers lurking in the background, which can be distracting.
Put on the best open house
These are the top tips for putting on a perfect open house. For more ideas and outstanding client services throughout the entire sales process, partner with Jack Wang of the PowerHouse Realty Group, the top-producing agent in the market.