Seller Resources: Open House Preparation
- Clean up the inside of your home. Try and remove the clutter and make your home open and welcoming, people coming through will want to pen every closed and look behind every door. Turn on all the lights and replace any low watt bulbs with higher watt bulbs. Consider a fresh coat of white or neutral colored paint.
- Bake some cookies or get a sweet smelling candle (they do have cookie scented candles). Have fresh flowers in your kitchen and/or dining room.
- Have your home listing fliers ready, recently sold properties in your area, or loan comparison forms based on your property and asking price. A mortgage broker can help you with some of these forms. Check and see what your state required disclosures are and have them available - i.e. sellers disclosure, lead based paint disclosure, property condition reports, etc.
- Freshen up your landscaping! A fresh layer of mulch can make a huge improvement in appearance. Sweep up walk ways and your drive way, and remove any eye sores or clutter.
- Ask questions. Some people will want the grand tour and some people will just want to be left alone to poke around. Be accommodating and help those who want it.
- When selling your home for sale by owner, have open houses often. When you have open houses, invite friends, family, and neighbors over to check out your house. By doing this, it will inform them all that you are selling and they can assist by word of mouth to all of their friends and family. Many times they know of someone looking to buy a home or they may want to get someone they know into the neighborhood to live close to them. Talk to your mortgage broker for more ideas and tips on selling your home for sale by owner.
- Always answer any questions honestly. If there is an ugly patch of carpet where your dog chewed up an ink pen, let the prospective buyers know. If the roof leaks in the spring, but it's now summer and you've painted over the stain, tell the prospect. Anything you misrepresent can and probably will be used against you. And of course, you would want the same honesty when you purchase.
- Remember to be willing to show your home a lot. In the end its well worth it.
- Probably the most critical component to the success or failure of a For Sale By Owner is the asking price. It must be high enough so the seller doesn't do all the work for nothing, yet pricing too high will make it hard to generate interest in the property. Click here for more information on Setting your Price.
- One way to prevent potential litigation for a problem you were unaware of is to hire an inspector to go through your home before you list it. That way, there will be no nasty surprises years later when the new owners discover something that began while you owned it, but didn't disclose. You don't have necessarily have to fix the problems, but you do have to disclose their existence.
- The kitchen is the single most important room that sells the house. Create a spacious feeling in the kitchen by putting away small appliances, such as microwave oven, toaster, and blender. Also be sure the kitchen counter is free of personal mails, magazines and newspapers.
- A mortgage professional can often times help you sell your home faster, by providing free marketing, and even potential qualified buyers. Let a mortgage professional provide financing information for your home to potential buyers!
- Disqualifying prospective buyers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiy status, or national origin is illegal. Discrimination can get you into a heap of legal trouble and can cost you big bucks. If in doubt, check with the Equal Housing Opportunity agency in your area.
- You are attempting to sell your home yourself to avoid paying several thousand dollars in commmissions. Be willing to spend some of that savings on advertising. Remember that your home is competing for attention with those listed by real estate agents and they are putting ads in homes magazines, mailing out flyers, etc. Establish a budget that will realistically promote the sale of your home!