Director, Residential Agency
In an age of online house hunting, don’t be misled into thinking buyers won’t take up an open house day opportunity. Here are some tips if your property is taking part in Open House Day...
From becoming a dream of looking online, to viewing a property in the flesh and to making an offer, open house days are a smooth and modern approach that aims to make the process easier and more accessible for homebuyers. The ability to view a home without commitment is the secret to its enduring success.
“Last year Strutt & Parker’s National Open House Day created over £61.5 million worth of offers” says Simon Backhouse, at Strutt & Parker’s Canterbury office. “The day itself can encourage new buyers and sellers to register, prompting many to view properties they might have normally side lined. Ultimately, it is a very 21st century way of buying a house and one that I actively encourage my sellers to do every year with successful results.”
Some of Simon’s top tips for preparing your home for an Open House Day include….
“Start preparing your home in advance. De-clutter, put items in storage, clean and add personal touches like fresh flowers and scented candles. Keep décor neutral and lights on to ensure there are no awkward corners.
Groom your garden. The front garden is often the first thing a potential a viewer will see and one of the most underrated selling tools. Mow the lawn, keep plants looking fresh and colourful and in the back garden, put out any garden furniture for an added lifestyle touch.
Hide your pets on the day. Be respectful that many people might not be dog or cat lovers like you. What’s more, you don’t want to put off any potential buyers with a bad smell.”
“Get too involved with viewers. You are there to help potential buyers navigate their way around the house, offer tea and coffee and answer any questions they might have. Don’t tell them your life story like how the cat died and where it’s now buried!
Get carried away with demand. Remember, buyers won't say what they are truly thinking if the seller is present on the day. Most viewers will be polite and pleasant, and that could encourage a presuming seller to raise the price. Beware of falling into this trap! All your hard work could be undone if a buyer isn’t prepared to pay what you’re asking.
Prevent access from certain parts of the home. This will only set alarm bells ringing. If it’s clutter you’re hiding; rent out storage space. It’s unrealistic to expect buyers to commit to purchasing your home they can’t see all of it.”