Looking to sell your home? Host an open house. Looking to buy a new home? Attend an open house. Whether you’re selling or buying, open houses are a great opportunity to advertise your property to prospective buyers or to learn more about your potential next home.
At 23 Legal, we want you to be equipped with the best tips and knowledge to have a successful open house experience – no matter if you’re buying or selling. Attorney Ben Weaver is an expert when it comes to standing out in this current housing market. That being said, here’s how to prepare for an open house.
What is an Open House?
An open house is when sellers ‘open’ their properties to prospective buyers. Visitors can swing by and view the house on sale within a specified time without an appointment. But not all open houses are the same…
Broker’s Open House
As the name suggests, a broker’s open house is when the property is open for brokers and real estate agents instead of the general public. Listing agents help other agents tour the home so they may attract prospective buyers.
In any case, an open house is a perfect opportunity for sellers to make a good impression and for buyers to get a feel of their new space.
Preparing for an Open House
As a Buyer
When you’re house hunting, open houses help explore new properties and neighborhoods to help narrow down your list of favorites. Here is what our real estate lawyer, Ben Weaver, has to say about open houses in Illinois:
- Let’s walk you through a typical open house experience. The listing agent will greet you, and ask for your name and contact details – usually email and phone numbers. You are then free to tour the house, explore, and ask any questions that you may have.
- Sellers don’t usually host open houses themselves so that you can comfortably experience the space without the distracting appearance of the current residents.
- You will receive a call, message, or mail from the listing agents to inquire about your interest in the house after your visit. Feel free to express disinterest if you think the property isn’t suitable for you. But if you’re interested, you can ask for a private visit, or make an offer.
- Always be prepared when you go to an open house. What exactly are you looking for? Pull out your dream home wish list and see how many boxes you can check off.
- Be curious! Know what you are looking for and ask relevant questions. This is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions about the property history, neighborhood amenities, inquiries for the listing agents, and so on.
- Stand out. The market is very competitive, if you want to increase your chance of having your offer accepted, do your best to make a good impression and be memorable.
As a Seller
If you are a first-time seller, the process can be overwhelming, especially when you’re meeting individual buyers. Once again, hosting an open house helps you manage the offers and help assess which visitors are serious about your property. Shortlist the best ones and focus your efforts on closing them. Here’s how to go about it:
- Stage your home so that it offers the best experience to visitors. The better experience you offer, the higher your closing rate will be.
- Declutter and organize your house to maximum the space and help visitors visualize their own furniture and belongings. Remove excess furniture or personal items, clean and dust all visible surfaces and store your belongings neatly out of sight.
- Make the best use of natural light and tasteful decorations. Add brighter lighting and open the curtains. No one wants to walk into a dark home! Clean the windows and add fresh flowers for a welcoming environment. Most open houses happen during the day, giving you adequate light. But you can add to it by using soft, warm lighting inside and even light a candle to make it more cozy.
- Add minimal but high-impact decor that makes the house look classy, modern, and organized. It also enhances the elegance of your rooms. Changing the bed sheets and working on the staging is sure to elevate the atmosphere, making it more inviting.
- If you have a backyard, work on the landscaping to make it more appealing to the buyers! Also spruce up your curb appeal by cleaning your porch and driveway, maintaining the lawn and plants, and cleaning the windows and the gutters. A little upkeep goes a long way!
- With several visitors in your house, try moving your valuables to a safe location. Even with listing agents around, it can be hard to safeguard your precious items and documents in a house full of strangers.
- The best time for an open house is during off-peak hours, like weekends and afternoons. It guarantees a larger number of visitors as most people are working Monday-Friday. Having a specific time (1-3 hours) rather than an all-day invitation also allows a crowd to gather, generating more interest and offers among potential buyers.
Bonus: Pro Tips for a Successful Open House
Still reading? Good! Here are some bonus insider secrets for visiting and hosting an open house in Illinois:
- Do not take children, pets, or snacks to an open house – these can disrupt your viewing experience and disturb others, or even damage the property.
- Change into the footwear or booties offered, or take off your shoes, as required by the listing agents. Manners matter!
- Respect the homeowners by not invading their privacy. Avoid opening cabinets and cupboards, or getting into personal areas. You may be allowed to view the storeroom, linen closets, or pantry, to visualize the storage spaces.
- Offer light snacks and water to guests.
- Put fresh towels in the bathroom, making the visitors feel comfortable and at home.
- Work with listing agents to assist viewers to answer questions, receive and negotiate the offers.
- Be open to private showings and flexible when scheduling them. This ensures a positive response and impression with the buyers.
Finding the Right Real Estate Attorney
“Ben was easy to communicate with and on top of all of our real estate transactions. Would definitely recommend and use again!” – Client Testimonial
This is what a client had to say about working with Ben Weaver at 23 Legal. Selling a property or planning your estate is no easy task. It requires time, effort, and expertise if you want to get the best possible outcome. Fortunately, that’s when hiring a real estate attorney comes in handy. An experienced lawyer like Ben Weaver can help you navigate the world of real estate to protect you from liabilities and mistakes while making the most out of your investments!
Partner with 23 Legal to make your real estate adventure a smooth one!
Whether you’re buying, selling, or planning your estate, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today and learn how we can help you: (847) 447-6004
Why Choose 23 Legal
23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.