Open house no-nos

Open houses are a great way to get your property sold. Here are a few things to keep in mindMohanad Alwadiya

In real estate, open houses have always been used as a means to  showcase unique features of a property to prospective buyers. Surprisingly, even with the wealth of information available out there, some sellers, along with their realtors, still commit mistakes that end up proving costly for them. Below is a list of things to avoid if you want your open house to be a nonstressful event.

Dirt: If potential buyers see dust on the coffee table, on the floor or windowsill, or if you have a dirty bathroom, or a greasy kitchen wall, say making a sale. Pay special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms — they pose the biggest turn-off to potential buyers if these areas are dirty.

Smell/odour: Make your house look inviting and smelling fresh for the open house. Ensure you eliminate all traces of pets, including pet odour and paraphernalia. Get rid of ashtrays, put up new curtains and upholstery, and freshen up your rugs/carpets or get them shampooed.

Clutter: Remember that less is more. Household clutter, including children’s toys, should not figure in an open house at all. Closets should just have a few clean presentable-looking clothes on identical hangers,  and bookshelves should not be bursting at the seams. Your kitchen should not only be spotless but also feature a limited number of appliances just to suggest to the viewer how they can best utilise the space.

Too personalised: Avoid marketing your property with a lot of personal items. In fact, sellers should try to eliminate personal items altogether. Remember that prospective buyers would want to picture themselves living in your house so make an effort to keep the décor neutral and simple.

Dated things: Any old fixture, appliance or hardware must be replaced. A creaking ceiling fan that has seen better days, loose light switches, rusty doorknobs, a well-worn fridge and kitchen cabinets — all these must go. Having to purchase new things may seem a little too much to get the  cosmetic effect right, but doing so is absolutely necessary to create a favourable impression and get the best possible price.

A spray-on acoustic ceiling: Though this type of bumpy grainy ceiling was in vogue earlier, it has no place in a modern home. Nobody seems to want them these days so get rid of them as soon as you can.

Being there: Snooping around during the open house will turn away  prospective buyers and turn off your realtor. People will need to have the freedom to walk around and ask questions for clarification without the added discomfort of the owner being actually there.

Off-putting exteriors: Take note that all properties out in the market need some “curb appeal,” especially when it comes to open houses. Keep your lawn well-maintained, replace the old welcome mat and pressure wash your home exterior. If your home exterior isn’t well-maintained, buyers will think the rest of the house has been neglected as well. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so make it count. Open houses are a great way to introduce your property to the market. But if you are not committed to showing your property at its best, then don’t conduct an open house at all.

Source: Mohanad Alwadiya Special to PW


For Rent


View more properties

For Sale


View more properties