Making the Most of an Open House


In a competitive real estate market, like Knoxville’s, you want your home to stand out. Getting your house ready for viewing can be as important as neighborhood property values and competitive pricing. Before your open house, you can make a few changes that will help your home appear more updated and welcoming, creating a positive impact on potential buyers. Here are a few of our best tips on making the most of an open house.

Make Smart Upgrades

Before an open house is the best time to make small renovations and changes that can improve your home’s looks and value. That doesn’t have to mean a pricy overhaul of your kitchen and bathrooms. Instead, choose updates with good ROI that will still make an impact on buyers. Simply putting in new fixtures or lighting, for example, can make a positive impression without a lot of cost. Replacing drafty windows or installing a new garage door are also great ways to upgrade without spending a fortune.

Cover the Staging Basics

Make sure your house is tidy and inviting. In the days before an open house, be sure to perform a deep clean and decluttering of your home. Accumulated dust, grime, and detritus can crop up even with regular attention. If you don’t have time to scrub everything down yourself, consider hiring a cleaning service for several hours.

In addition, make sure each room feels as spacious and navigable as possible by clearing any unnecessary clutter from the room. Walking through with a box or basket to gather up dog toys, stray jackets and shoes, and other odds and ends can help.

Prepare for a Thorough Examination

Many open house visitors will casually stroll through, but some will be very meticulous – opening cupboards and drawers, and turning on closet lights to look into every inch of your home. Be prepared for some visitors to investigate more thoroughly.

Buyers will often use the bathroom, too—at least to test the faucets and shower heads for water pressure. Be sure to clean soap residue and hairs from the tub and put out nice hand towels. Pretend you’re preparing for a visit from important guests!

Plan to Be Elsewhere

When buyers arrive at an open house, they expect a low-pressure atmosphere and a chance to simply view the house for sale. While you may not consider your presence in the house during the event to be a problem, be aware that it can make visitors uncomfortable. In fact, they may leave without really viewing or considering the house because of it. No matter how low-key and friendly you are, many buyers don’t want to interact with the seller during an open house. In this case, it’s best to make plans to be out of the house for a few hours. Keeping out of sight minimizes stress on both you and potential buyers, and allows your realtor to do their job more easily.

Use Social Media to Get the Word Out

Even with a great asking price in a popular neighborhood, there’s no guarantee that your listing will get the attention it deserves. To that end, social media provides a great (free!) tool to advertise when making the most of an open house. Find local groups and popular related hashtags to increase the reach of your post. Ask your friends in the area to share and repost. Everybody knows somebody looking to buy a home in Knoxville. Make sure to include the pertinent information, any notable perks, and clear, high quality photos of the property.

For more advice on making the most of an open house in Knoxville, get in touch with the real estate professionals at Holloway-Westerling Group.

(This post was originally published on 9/16/15. It was since been updated.)

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