Selling a home can be difficult at best, and a downright nightmare at the worst. There are so many factors to selling a home and making it marketable for potential buyers. Repairs may need to be made, updates and renovations may be required, and of course, keeping the house looking clean and tidy at all times for showings.

One of the most difficult parts of selling a house is the dreaded open house. So many people walking in to see the house, complete strangers looking over every nook and cranny of the place; what are the best ways to keep people interested and make an offer after the open house?

Keep reading for the top ten tips on how to have a successful open house.

1. Clean, Clean, Clean

Those attending the open house know that it is currently being lived in. They expect to see evidence of this, however, you should still clean and tidy up the place prior to anyone coming in.

Nobody wants to see dirty laundry lying around, toys strewn about, or dirty dishes in the sink. It’s not necessary to pack away any knick-knacks on display or hide the coffee pot and microwave. The house should appear to be inviting and those items help with that.

Be sure though to get rid of any dust bunnies running around, clutter on counters, tables, desks, and floors, and take out the trash.

People will want to be able to picture what the house would look like with their belongings in their, and what they could do with the available space. It’s hard to do that with clutter, dirt, and messes everywhere.

2. Sanitize the House

This does not mean calling a group of people to come in wearing hazmat suits to make your house suitable to perform open heart surgery. Sanitizing the house in this respect refers to removing family photos and neutralizing any odors in the home.

It’s easy to become nose blind to the smells in a place that is always occupied. Have a real estate agent or friend point out any odors in the home and then begin shampooing, setting up air fresheners and cleaning to get rid of them.

Also, take down any family photos that are displayed. While family photos make a home complete potential buyers want to imagine their own family photos on the walls and not see those of someone else.

3. Make Any Repairs And/Or Renovations

Before the open house, make sure all repairs and renovations have been completed and have been completed with a potential buyer in mind. Now is not the time to finish the Red Sox-themed bar you’ve always wanted, or to have a giant mural depicting Custer’s Last Stand on your family room wall.

Be sure the repairs are in accordance with local requirements and coding, and the same for renovations. When renovating prior to selling be sure the renovations are neutral and add value to the house, as mentioned now is not the time to redesign the kitchen to be Disney themed.

4. Organize

Be sure to organize all the cabinets and drawers. Everything should have its own place and should be in that place. Make the house as well as the contents inside cabinets and drawers neat and tidy.

People would attend open houses will open cabinets and drawers to see the space available and won’t appreciate seeing chaos and disorder inside. That will make it difficult for them to picture what they would be doing with the space available.

5. Take Pets with You

If a real estate agent has been hired then chances are you’ll be asked to leave the house while the open house is going on, the real estate agent will conduct the door and answer questions about the home. When you depart be sure to take any pets with you. While you may love your pets, others may not be so welcoming to their presence.

Believe it or not, not everyone is a dog, cat, or bird lover. Take the pets with you. If you are hosting the open house yourself have someone take your pets for the day.

6. Make Sure the Table Is Set

Sounds ridiculous to be sure, but setting the table can be a huge help to a successful open house. Setting the table for a formal meal (no actual food though) will help guests to imagine entertaining their own guests in the house.

7. Staging

Staging for this purpose is different than simply setting the table. It’s time to buy new towels, dishcloths, and bedding. These should only be put in linen closets and on display for the open house and other showings. When not in use pack them away.

Make sure they perfectly match the paint you’ve chosen for the rooms, and if the paint color is wild or extravagant consider repainting the walls to a more neutral tone. Again the guests need to imagine what they would do with the space once they’ve bought it.

8. Provide Information on the House

Layout informational packets about the house for guests to grab as they enter or leave. This information should include the age of the house, how many square feet, the number of acres it comes with, schools and stores in the area, as well as any updates made and when.

9. Signs

A sign on the front lawn is not enough. Also, place signs at major intersections close by to direct people to the house. Consider also tying balloons around the mailbox so people know when they have found the place.

10. Interact with Visitors or Leave

If a real estate agent is present then leave the house. People will be more comfortable asking questions of a real estate agent then the actual owner.

However, if you are present in the house then engage and interact with the guests. Answer any and all questions they may have honestly and objectively.

A Successful Open House

Following these tips will help to ensure a successful open house. This means that once the event is over, the guests have left, and you return t your daily living, the offers should be pouring in.

Be sure to check with your real estate agent for any additional information on how to have a successful open house. For any and all tips and helpful suggestions on selling or buying a home check out our blog today!